The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

PV2 Robert Duvall, U.S. Army (1953 – 1954)

PV2 Robert Duvall, U.S. Army (1953 – 1954)

Robert Duvall is best known for his 70-plus years in Hollywood, playing such iconic military roles as Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore in "Apocalypse Now," Maj. Frank Burns in "M*A*S*H" and Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower in the TV miniseries "Ike: The War Years." But did you know that before his acting career took off, Robert Duvall served in the Army, shortly after the end of the Korean War?  Robert Duvall’s Early Life Actor and filmmaker Robert Duvall was born in San Diego, but grew up a Navy brat — an...

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Service Reflections of SSG Peter Olsen, U.S. Army (1967-1973)

Service Reflections of SSG Peter Olsen, U.S. Army (1967-1973)

Too much partying, and it turned out a 1.2 GPA would not keep me from being drafted. So I volunteered for the draft. Once I got back from Vietnam, I actually received 2 degrees and maintained a 3.7 GPA while working full time as a police officer. Funny story – After I left school to volunteer for the draft, I thought it would be a quick process. Not so. The first month my draft board did not meet for some reason. The second month the draft board did not take up my request. The third month a draft board member died of old age – no meeting. In the 4th month, the draft board finally met and acted on my request but did not approve it until the 5th month.

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Service Reflections of TSgt Marion Cochran, Jr., U.S. Air Force (1970-1981)

Service Reflections of TSgt Marion Cochran, Jr., U.S. Air Force (1970-1981)

I was graduating from high school in 1968, and the conflict in Vietnam was going on. I had a fairly low number in the lottery and knew I would get drafted. I didn’t want to go to Vietnam, so I picked the Air Force instead of the Army and began talking to an Air Force recruiter. My Dad was an MP in the Army in WW2, and I thought I’d like to get into the Security Police field. Every time the recruiter would get a slot, I’d put him off because I was working my 1st job out of high school and was enjoying it. Then one day, while I was at work, my Brother, who is 10 years younger than me, called and said I had a letter. I asked what it said, and he started out, stumbling over a couple of words since he was learning to read, “Greetings, you are hereby ordered…” I said that’s enough. I told my boss I had to get off. Drove up to the Air Force recruiter’s office and said, ” Please, please, get me in.” I joined the AF 2 days before I was supposed to go into the Army.

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MajGen. Keith L. Ware, U.S. Army (1941–1968)

MajGen. Keith L. Ware, U.S. Army (1941–1968)

MajGen Keith Lincoln Ware was born in Denver on November 23, 1915. His military career began on July 9, 1941, when he undertook his basic training at Camp Roberts, California, following his induction into the Army under the Selective Service Act. He attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry on July 18, 1942. Keith Lincoln Ware Was Awarded the Medal of Honor Assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, he sailed on October 22,...

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Distinguished Military Unit: American Forces Network (AFRTS)

Distinguished Military Unit: American Forces Network (AFRTS)

In 1984, the first commercially available DynaTAC audio-only cell phone cost just short of $4,000, with each call billed at 45 cents per minute. Forty years later, anyone in uniform accesses audio-visual news from thousands of sources using a personal cell phone throughout the world, wherever a signal and transmission tower can reach. Yet, for eighty years, the most reliable military broadcast remains the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS). AFN Was Founded in 1942 as the Armed...

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The Patient Was Vietcong by Dr. Lawrence H. Climo

The Patient Was Vietcong by Dr. Lawrence H. Climo

Thousands of books about Vietnam have been printed. Nearly all of them are memoirs, authored by those who experienced what is scripted. A few are fiction, occasionally written by someone who was in Vietnam at the time of the war while others are creations of fertile minds. Some have been made into Hollywood movies. What makes "The Patient was Vietcong" different than the standard Vietnam War narrative of books and movies and all those memoirs? Because it is about a healer whose remarkable and...

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Heroes From the Wall by John Douglas Foster

Heroes From the Wall by John Douglas Foster

When the author John Douglas Foster was wounded while serving in Vietnam during the 1968 Tet Offensive, he received more than a piece of metal in his body - haunting memories of comrades opened his soul in a quest to learn more about those who didn't return. Sketching a fascinating portrait of the lives of those who fought and died valiantly, Foster pens a riveting and gut-wrenching read in Heroes from the Wall, ensuring that these heroes will never be forgotten by future generation who didn't...

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AFN Patrick Leonard Sajdak (Pat Sajak), U.S. Army (1968-1969)

AFN Patrick Leonard Sajdak (Pat Sajak), U.S. Army (1968-1969)

Pat Sajak, best known as the longtime host of the “Wheel of Fortune,” has held many jobs. Early in his career, Sajak was a weatherman, talk show host, and DJ. Wheel of Fortune, which debuted in 1975, became the longest-running syndicated game show on American television, turning Sajak and his co-host, Vanna White, into pop-culture icons. But not many know that before his showbiz career began, Sajak served our country in the military during the Vietnam War.  Pat Sajak’s Early Life On...

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We’ll All Die As Marines by Colonel Jim Bathurst

We’ll All Die As Marines by Colonel Jim Bathurst

For seventeen-year-old high school dropout Jim Bathurst, the Marine Corps reputation for making men out of boys was something he desperately needed when he enlisted in March of 1958. What began as a four-year hitch lasted nearly thirty-six years and included an interesting assortment of duty stations and assignments as both enlisted and officer. We'll All Die As Marines narrates a story about a young, free-spirited kid from Dundalk, Maryland, and how the Corps captured his body, mind, and...

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Hidden Army by Lawrence Rock

Hidden Army by Lawrence Rock

According to Pentagon records, nearly four million personnel served in and around Vietnam; most in Vietnam, others on flight bases in Thailand and ships in adjacent South China Sea. Of those 3,917,400 million men and women ordered to the Southeast Asia Theater, ninety percent were not sent there to fight. They were there to support the ten percent who were. Support troops included pilots, sailors, medics, nurses, cooks, clerks, drivers, engineers, communications people, military police, and...

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