The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

Service Reflections of SSGT Ken Christeson, U.S. Marine Corps (1971-1977)

Service Reflections of SSGT Ken Christeson, U.S. Marine Corps (1971-1977)

My dad and all of my uncles were veterans of WWII. My dad and some uncles served in the Pacific, while others served in Europe. I grew up watching the war programs on TV and playing combat with the kids in the neighborhood. I read Leon Uris’s book BATTLE CRY in high school, which started considering the Marine Corps.

After school, I had a part-time job and worked alongside a couple of active-duty Marines working off duty for extra spending money.

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Service Reflections of SMC Rick N. Riggins, U.S. Navy (1973-1997)

Service Reflections of SMC Rick N. Riggins, U.S. Navy (1973-1997)

My decision to enlist in the Navy was solely based on the draft that was in effect at the time, and I went in knowing that my number would be called. The funny thing is after I enlisted, the draft was abolished, but it was the best decision I ever made. My family’s history was Army, and I really wanted to change the paradigm, so I went into the Navy.

Those along the way influenced me, like BM1 Mundell, who retired as either a BMCS or BMCM, as he could see something in me that others at the time could not. Also, SMSN Booker T. Arradondo and SN Cap Tasali were with me on my first unit, the USS Tripoli (LPH-10). SMSN Arradondo challenged me at all times to be the best I could be while we were together at our watch station. SN Tasali was always even-tempered, quiet, and a kind shipmate and I learned a lot from him as well. Later in my career, our paths crossed again along my military journey.

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