The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

Service Reflections of SGT John Graham, U.S. Marine Corps (1962-1966)

Service Reflections of SGT John Graham, U.S. Marine Corps (1962-1966)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents SGT John Graham's legacy of his military service from 1962 to 1966. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The following Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to...

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Service Reflections of AE2 Allan Muller, U.S. Coast Guard (1969-1975)

Service Reflections of AE2 Allan Muller, U.S. Coast Guard (1969-1975)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents AE2 Allan Muller's legacy of his military service from 1969 to 1975. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The following Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to...

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Service Reflections of SSG Wasim Khan, U.S. Army (1998-2010)

Service Reflections of SSG Wasim Khan, U.S. Army (1998-2010)

As a kid, I always liked the military. As a young kid, I wanted to join the Navy. When I got to high school, we had Army JROTC, and my interest changed to Army or Marines. My dad, who was in the Army, convinced me that the Army was the way to go because it was bigger and promoted faster. He was a tanker and tried to steer me to armor. I wanted to be an airborne ranger, and my dad said whatever you do, ensure you get what you want in your contract. When I went to the recruiter, I scored very high on the ASVAB. The career counselor told me that he didn’t have airborne infantry available. He said the only thing with airborne was the 31C Radio Operator, probably because of the high GT. I believed him and felt good about getting guaranteed airborne. It first took me to the 82nd, and as soon as I got there, I started applying for a Ranger assignment because I got put in the Engineer Battalion, and it wasn’t what I wanted. After a year and a half, I got my wish and orders for Ranger Indoctrination and the 2nd Ranger Battalion.

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Service Reflections of CPL Chandra Duncan, U.S. Marine Corps (1981-1986)

Service Reflections of CPL Chandra Duncan, U.S. Marine Corps (1981-1986)

As a child, I always wanted to be a Marine and spent many hours watching movies and playing “war” with friends in the backyard wearing surplus WWII, Korea, and Vietnam apparel and gear given to me by my “uncle” Jr. The late 90s, while I was in high school, was a relative time of peace, and the few people I did see joining the military were doing it for college money, which, while making sense to me, also kind of soured the idea for me. In my senior year in 2000, the Army National Guard ran a recruiting event in the quad area at lunch, and a friend and I added our names to a list to get more information; my mother always told me that the military would brainwash me and that I was flat-footed and wouldn’t be accepted anyway (I’m not flat-footed) and when that Army Sgt called the house I heard my mother quickly give him a piece of her mind and then abruptly hang up on him, and that was the end of that, I wasn’t fully committed to the idea myself and had apprehensions and concerns about whether I’d be up to military life and honestly was unsure that I even had what it takes to make it through boot camp. After high school, I worked for my family, got engaged, and took out a loan for my first home. Then September 11th happened. I was angry, and silly as it may sound, I was filled with guilt as I saw on the news the brave men and women my age who answered the call to service both before and during this unprecedented time in our country. Still, I had obligations here at home and continued on my current course at the time. Years passed, and I grew older and feared that my youth would quickly pass me by. Then, the economic recession of 2008 hit.

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HM3 Johnathan Loper, U.S. Navy (2010-2016)

HM3 Johnathan Loper, U.S. Navy (2010-2016)

What was the biggest personal challenge that you encountered during your military service? How did you approach and overcome this?:

As a Navy Ceremonial Guard Casket Bearer, we did 6 funerals daily, 5 days a week in Arlington National Cemetery. However, one funeral in particular was very tough. Everything seemed normal. The car pulled up to the chapel; I removed the urn from the back seat and carried it past the seated family to the front of the chapel. I placed the urn on the small table and made my way out and down to the basement, where we usually waited for the family to speak and pay their final respects upstairs.

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OSCS Larry Tucker, U.S. Navy (1956-1977)

OSCS Larry Tucker, U.S. Navy (1956-1977)

What was the biggest personal challenge that you encountered during your military service? How did you approach and overcome this?:

Early in my career, I received a recommendation for the Naval Aviation Cadet program, a golden ticket to becoming a pilot. The skies beckoned, and I eagerly pursued my dream. However, fate had other plans. Dental issues stood between me and the cockpit, and I found myself grounded. The Navy pilot wings eluded me, but destiny had a different flight path in mind.

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BM2 Richard Kirshen, U.S. Navy (1967-1971)

BM2 Richard Kirshen, U.S. Navy (1967-1971)

What was the biggest personal challenge that you encountered during your military service? How did you approach and overcome this?:

Not all experiences during the Vietnam War were unpleasant. There were a few “pleasant” events when I was in Vietnam during those strange days…days that ended on a high note. One might get the idea, from the glut of stories and movies that arose out of that war, that everything that occurred during that peculiar time was either horrific or life-threatening. That was not quite the case. There were brighter moments, moments that were still frightening, dangerous, and thought-provoking, but in another way.

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Cpl David Mulldune, U.S. Marine Corps (1967-1969)

Cpl David Mulldune, U.S. Marine Corps (1967-1969)

What was the biggest personal challenge that you encountered during your military service? How did you approach and overcome this?:

Upon arriving in Vietnam, I was assigned to India Company, 3rdBattalionn, 27th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. I had only been in Vietnam for about three to four weeks when word came down that we would leave to go on Operation Allen Brook. During briefing, we were told that Go Noi Island was serving as a staging area for NVA units preparing for attacks against Danang. Intelligence wasn’t sure of the exact enemy numbers but figured it to be around the strength of the battalion (approximately 1,000 men). Upon reaching our objective, we came under heavy attack and, at one point, were encircled by several NVA units.

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1SG Randy Taylor, U.S. Army (2002-2023)

1SG Randy Taylor, U.S. Army (2002-2023)

What was the biggest personal challenge that you encountered during your military service? How did you approach and overcome this?:

In 2006, I deployed to Iraq for my second 12-month tour, this time to Baghdad. I had previously been deployed to this theater in 2003 during the Initial Invasion but in Kirkuk. This time, my deployment experience has drastically changed with the counterinsurgency agenda, operating during the surge within a Sunni and Shia Faultline, as well as pinned up against the developing/ evolving use of IEDs and ambush techniques. Every patrol, either mounted or dismounted, would prove to be a gamble of committed forward movement within the muhallahs. Every Platoon operating within the Area of Operations was in tune with each other and shared in the concern and worry for elements leaving and entering FOB Falcon. Platoons and Sections on a mission would be met and sent off at the gates with supportive encouragement, and a couple of cigarettes as final pre-combat checks were being completed. I was a squad leader during this deployment and shouldered the safety and leadership of my M1114 truck crew, which included 1 gunner, 1 driver, and 2 dismounts.

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SP4 Tom Hirst, U.S. Army (1969-1971)

SP4 Tom Hirst, U.S. Army (1969-1971)

What was the biggest personal challenge that you encountered during your military service? How did you approach and overcome this?:

I know this will sound crazy, but when I got drafted in 1969, I was 20 years old and a VEGETARIAN! I didn’t smoke, drink or eat meat. Meat was something that had never been prepared at my home, and I was pretty sure that “à la carte” wasn’t on the menu! I was sent to Ft. Sam Houston for Basic Training & AIT, and I survived by picking my way through the mess hall offerings. I hope that my next duty station will work out the same way.

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Service Reflections of Maj Toppie Robinette, U.S. Air Force (1954-1974)

Service Reflections of Maj Toppie Robinette, U.S. Air Force (1954-1974)

Since my parents went through the Great Depression and only finished the 8th grade, there was never an incentive for me to go to college. I grew up a country boy with interests in Hot Rodding and playing fastpitch softball. I continued both during my service career. After High School, I assumed that I would get a job at the Kelly Springfield Tire Co, where my father was a bead room supervisor. The company would not hire me because I had not fulfilled my military draft obligation.

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The Revolutionary War – Washington Crossing the Delaware

The Revolutionary War – Washington Crossing the Delaware

The American Revolution did not start off the way the Americans had hoped. By Christmas night, 1776, morale was lower than it had ever been. The British Army had captured New York the previous summer, and men were beginning to desert as Washington's Army camped across the Delaware River from occupied Trenton (Washington Crossing the Delaware), New Jersey.  What men Washington had left were largely inexperienced, as most of the veterans from the Battle of Long Island went home when their...

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