The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

Five Years to Freedom: The True Story of a Vietnam POW by James N. Rowe

Five Years to Freedom: The True Story of a Vietnam POW by James N. Rowe

When Green Beret Lieutenant James N. Rowe was captured in 1963 in Vietnam, his life became an intensely grueling endeavor that few could have survived. Rowe had been in Vietnam for only three months when he was captured. Imprisoned in a Viet Cong POW camp in an area known as the Forest of Darkness, Rowe endured beri-beri, dysentery, and tropical fungus diseases. He suffered demoralizing psychological and physical torment. He experienced the loneliness and frustration of watching his friends...

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Call Sign Chaos by Jim Mattis

Call Sign Chaos by Jim Mattis

Call Sign Chaos is the account of Jim Mattis's storied career, from wide-ranging leadership roles in three wars to ultimately commanding a quarter of a million troops across the Middle East. Along the way, Mattis recounts his foundational experiences as a leader, extracting the lessons he has learned about the nature of warfighting and peacemaking, the importance of allies, and the strategic dilemmas - and short-sighted thinking - now facing our nation. He makes it clear why America must...

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Sgt Allen Rogers, U.S. Marine Corps (1967-1971)

Sgt Allen Rogers, U.S. Marine Corps (1967-1971)

Of all the military operations you participated in, including combat, humanitarian or peacekeeping operations, which of these made a lasting impact on you and why?:

I arrived in Vietnam in January 1969 as an aircraft electrician for CH-46 helicopters in HMM-265. I became a ‘door-gunner’ in February and started flying on combat missions. I flew combat missions for several months. On the sixth of August, I flew a total of 26 separate combat missions that hectic day. For that, and the fact that we had received enemy fire, I received my “Air Medal” and ‘earned’ my Combat Air Crew wings.

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LTC Gary Crowden, U.S. Army  (1969-1990)

LTC Gary Crowden, U.S. Army (1969-1990)

Of all your duty stations you were assigned to from your Military Service, which one(s) do you have fondest memories of and why?:

It was a bright sunny day in Vietnam, and the word was out, “Bob Hope is coming to town!” The troops had waited all year to see Bob Hope, Les Brown and his Band of Renown, and of course, the “Gold Diggers.” On the day that the Christmas Show was to be given, my Squadron Commander summoned me to his office and gave me a mission. As the unit’s adjutant, I was used to getting some bazaar tasks, but this one was out in left field. The mission, “Captain, take this Black Cavalry Hat and personally give it to Bob Hope and asked that he wear it on stage.” Simple right? Wrong.

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The Twins Platoons by Christy W. Sauro Jr.

The Twins Platoons by Christy W. Sauro Jr.

As a symbol of patriotism and public support during a time when anti-Vietnam war sentiments were growing, the Minnesota Twins baseball team and Marine Corps recruiters in the Minneapolis - St. Paul area came up with the idea of the team sponsoring a recruit platoon to be named the 'Twins Platoon." A letter sent out to area Marine recruits informed them they would be sworn in on TV at pregame ceremonies the night of June 28, 1967. Among those receiving the letter was the author, Christy Sauro...

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The Bigfoot of the Vietnam War

The Bigfoot of the Vietnam War

Paratrooper Gary Linderer deployed to Vietnam with the 101st Airborne and often went out into the jungle with a six-man Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol. During one patrol, he claimed to have encountered a creature with "deep set eyes on a prominent brow… five feet tall, with long muscular arms, walking upright with broad shoulders and a heavy torso." Linderer had no idea what he saw, but he wasn't the first American to report seeing an ape-like creature while out on patrol, and he definitely...

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Service Reflections of CMSgt Jerry Ball, U.S. Air Force (1961-1991)

Service Reflections of CMSgt Jerry Ball, U.S. Air Force (1961-1991)

I was born and raised in Myra, West Virginia. It was known for being the hometown of Brig. General Chuck Yeager. Yeager was a role model and hero to many in our local community. I joined the Chuck Yeager Civil Air Patrol Flight from 1957-1958 and was exposed to the drill and flight time in an L-17 aircraft. I had the opportunity to attend the CAP Summer Camp in 1957 at Clinton County AFB, Ohio, and experienced a flight in a C-119 Flying Boxcar. I left the summer camp with several hours of exposure to the Air Force Crash Fire Rescue Program, which steered me towards wanting to pursue crash-fire rescue. I took the Air Force entrance exam before graduating from high school. At that time, I was also working for $5 a day as a helper at an International Harvest Dealership, mostly attending to engine rebuilds and preparing vehicles for paint.

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Walk In My Combat Boots by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann

Walk In My Combat Boots by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann

James Patterson, the author of "Walk In My Combat Boots", is the worldwide, best-selling creator of the "Alex Cross" and "Michael Bennett" series of books. Matt Eversmann is a U.S. Army veteran who received the Bronze Star Medal with Valor for leading a team of Rangers in Somalia in 1993. His exploits were depicted in the 2001 film "Black Hawk Down". The two teamed up to create a touching, thoughtful book about the U.S. military, the people who join it, and veterans of three separate eras of...

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Gunnery Sgt. John Lee Canley, U.S. Marine Corps (1953-1981)

Gunnery Sgt. John Lee Canley, U.S. Marine Corps (1953-1981)

As 1967 turned to 1968, American forces had officially been fighting in Vietnam for years, and many believed the Vietnamese Tet holiday would pass uneventfully, as it had in years past. They were wrong. On January 31, 1968, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces launched an offensive across South Vietnam, targeting more than 100 towns and cities.  It was the largest operation from either side until that point in the war. Eighty thousand communist troops hoped to spark a mass uprising...

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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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