The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

Service Reflections of YN2 George Glover, U.S. Coast Guard (1974-1979)

Service Reflections of YN2 George Glover, U.S. Coast Guard (1974-1979)

I was 19 years old, and it was the Vietnam Era. I had registered for the draft the previous year while in High School in San Diego, CA. I graduated HS and tried going to college, but it just wasn’t for me. So, after a semester, I left college. Now, what am I going to do? I really had no idea. I was thinking of the Navy because my father had served in the Navy during WWII. He had a career of over 22 years and was a BMC. I was going to join the Navy when a friend of mine mentioned the Coast Guard. That had never occurred to me. I was familiar with the USCG Air Station in San Diego and the cutters at Point Loma, and I liked what the Coast Guard did. Not only did they train for war, but they trained for SAR, law enforcement, pollution control, marine safety, etc. I knew that my father would be spinning in his grave as he had passed away, but I went down to the Coast Guard recruiter in San Diego, talked to them, and signed up. After the physical and paperwork was done, I was offered a guaranteed “A” school, YN. I took it and was off to boot camp in Alameda.

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Service Reflections of OS2 Christopher Hawley, U.S. Navy (1981-1987)

Service Reflections of OS2 Christopher Hawley, U.S. Navy (1981-1987)

I was always sure that I would serve in the military from a very young age. Military Service in my family was always a strong influence. At about fifteen years old, I was very sure that I would make a career in the military. I had joined the Civil Air Patrol at the time, and I loved it. I was also sure that I would be a United States Marine, just as two of my cousins, an uncle, and a Great-grandfather had all been.

My Great-grandfather had joined the Marines in 1910 at 16, lying with his parents’ help about his age, saying his birth year was 1892, not 1893. He served until 1914, participating in the incursion into Vera Cruz, Mexico, after the “Tampico Incident.” During much of his four years, he was detached from his command to the Marine Corps Rifle Range Detachment at the Marine Barracks, Quantico, VA, as part of the marksmanship team. After finishing Boot Camp at Paris Island, South Carolina, he was assigned to an old Battleship, the USS Louisiana (BB-19) and later the USS Texas (BB-35), as part of the Marine detachment. He was a participant in most of the National matches at Camp Perry during that time, earning the National Match, Distinguished Marksmanship Gold Metal.

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Service Reflections of SSGT Robert Floyd Jones, U.S. Air Force (1966-1976)

Service Reflections of SSGT Robert Floyd Jones, U.S. Air Force (1966-1976)

After one semester in our local “community college” (Edison Junior College), my grades were below the minimum to avoid the draft. Shortly after that, I received a draft notice. Having had relatives in the military, I was resigned to the fact I would have to serve, and I wanted to select a “specialty” that would help me after I had served my country. There was nothing in the Army I wanted to pursue, and I visited my Air Force Recruiter for his input.

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Famous Navy Unit: USS Parche (SS-384)

Famous Navy Unit: USS Parche (SS-384)

The first USS Parche (SS-384) was a United States Navy submarine. She bore the name of a butterfly fish, one of at least 114 species. Butterfly fish have a large spot that looks like an eye on the tail end of their body. Their natural eye is often much smaller or camouflaged within other body markings. This is to trick a predator into thinking the fish will move in the direction of the false eye, thereby giving the small fish a chance to escape capture. USS Parche: World War II Exploits and...

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The German Wehrmacht and U.S. Army Fought the Nazi SS Together at Itter Castle

The German Wehrmacht and U.S. Army Fought the Nazi SS Together at Itter Castle

On May 3, 1945, a Yugoslavian handyman walked out of Nazi Germany's Itter Prison on a 40-mile trek to Innsbruck (in what is today Austria). His mission was to find any American troops he could and get them back to the castle. Itter Castle was a prison for the Reich's most high-value prisoners, including the sister of Gen. Charles de Gaulle and former French Prime Minister Edouard Daladier.  The Imminent Threat to Itter Castle With the end of the war soon coming, the prisoners had taken...

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Service Reflections of Lt. Col. Ryan Rowe, U.S. Air Force (1995-2021)

Service Reflections of Lt. Col. Ryan Rowe, U.S. Air Force (1995-2021)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents LT COL Ryan Rowe's legacy of his military service from 1995 to 2021. 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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PFC Jerome Silberman (Gene Wilder), U.S. Army, 1956-1958

PFC Jerome Silberman (Gene Wilder), U.S. Army, 1956-1958

In the glittering world of Hollywood, Gene Wilder remains an iconic figure, celebrated for his comedic genius and unforgettable performances. From his iconic roles in classics like "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" to his collaborations with Mel Brooks in uproarious films like "Young Frankenstein" and "Blazing Saddles," Wilder's legacy is etched in the hearts of movie buffs everywhere. Yet, amidst the laughter and applause, there exists a lesser-known chapter of his life – his service...

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MSgt John F. Baker, Jr., U.S. Army (1966-1989)

MSgt John F. Baker, Jr., U.S. Army (1966-1989)

One of the most daunting jobs of the Vietnam War – if not all of military history – was that of the "Tunnel Rats." These brave men were tasked with entering tunnels dug by the Viet Cong as forward operating bases. Once inside these enemy strongholds, they would embark on search and destroy missions, clearing the underground complexes of any men and materiel with only a sidearm, bayonet, some explosives, and a flashlight for seeing in the dark depths.  Facing the Dangers of the Tunnels Enemy...

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Service Reflections of AT2 Larry French, U.S. Coast Guard (1966-1970)

Service Reflections of AT2 Larry French, U.S. Coast Guard (1966-1970)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents AT2 Larry French's legacy of his military service from 1966 to 1970. 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 MSG Edwin Holt, U.S. Army (1967-2008)

Service Reflections of MSG Edwin Holt, U.S. Army (1967-2008)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents MSG Edwin Holt's legacy of his military service from 1967 to 2008. 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 RM2 Darryl Cady, U.S. Navy (1966-1970)

Service Reflections of RM2 Darryl Cady, U.S. Navy (1966-1970)

In 1966, I was working at GE in Brockport, NY. I just purchased a small motorcycle. I had a 1957 Chevy and was having fun. I knew I would get drafted soon and was just waiting for that to happen. My dad was in the NAVY Seabees in WWII and kept telling me it would be better in the Navy than in the Army. My grandfather was in the Army in France during WW I. So, I grew up with my dad’s stories about his time in the South Pacific during WW II. I had it in my mind that the Navy would be better, but I did not like the idea of 4 years away from my family, friends, and girlfriend. So, I was going to wait for the draft. Then, one day in July 66, I ran into a friend from HS who had just joined the Navy. He said I should join him, and we could go in together and not have to go to Vietnam. We had already lost 5 or 6 guys from our HS in Holley, NY (8 altogether). So, I drove to the recruiter’s office in Batavia, NY, and signed up. I did not ask for any special training. It was a 120-day delay program, so we still got to enjoy the summer and fall. Then we got delayed a couple more weeks and finally left on November 22, 1966. That was my 19th birthday. That is how I started my time in the US Navy. Best thing I ever did.

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