The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

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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SSG Wilson Watson, U.S. Army (1942-1966)

SSG Wilson Watson, U.S. Army (1942-1966)

Within the ranks of the military, there exists a certain rivalry between those who serve on the front lines and those who serve in the rear with the gear. While all jobs contribute to putting Americans in the fight, the Marines have long prized their beloved infantry above all. In modern terms, it is referred to as the "grunt versus POG debate" with POG referring to "persons other than grunts." In Vietnam, one might have heard the term REMF. Whatever one might call those in the rear, it would...

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The History of Bob Hope USO Shows

The History of Bob Hope USO Shows

Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with the USO knows a little about the history of Bob Hope’ USO shows. Since 1941, the United Service Organizations has provided support to the service members of the United States military. At all stages of a service member’s active duty and even beyond, USO volunteers are ready to provide support.  At enlistmentOn deploymentWith their familiesAway from homeWhen injured in serviceReturning to civilian life The History of Bob Hope USO Shows Bob Hope’s USO...

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Col Ola Lee Mize, U.S. Army (1950-1981)

Col Ola Lee Mize, U.S. Army (1950-1981)

Ola Lee Mize was born August 28, 1931, in Albertville, Alabama as the son of a sharecropper. He was forced to leave school after just the ninth grade to help his family put food on the table, as was very common throughout the United States in that era. Mize's Military Service Mize tried several times to enlist in the Army but was rejected for being too light at just 120 pounds. He finally got in when his mother signed an affidavit to affirm his age since a tornado had destroyed all his town's...

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Service Reflections of ET2 Michael Brown, U.S. Navy (1963-1967)

Service Reflections of ET2 Michael Brown, U.S. Navy (1963-1967)

Three members of my family served in the US Navy. Two graduated from Annapolis in the early 1920s. One served as a Destroyer Captain up until the war began. He told me sea stories of in 1941, tracking German submarines off the coast of Africa as part of the Lend-Lease Program with Great Britain. The other one was discharged from the service as soon as he graduated because the US fleet was gearing down in the post-WW1 era due to more Dems in power, which was always their first way to save money. Their little brother served on USS West Point AP-23, carrying troops to Europe. He attended boot camp in Idaho and then served as a helmsman on Atlantic crossings in U-Boat-infested waters. I think he attended Quartermaster School in Idaho.

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Death In The Highlands by Keith Saliba

Death In The Highlands by Keith Saliba

Keith Saliba's book's real-life setting is an isolated, heavily fortified frontier outpost In Vietnam's West-Central Highlands near the Cambodian border and the Ho Chi Minh trail, the main conduit for troops and supplies from North Vietnam. "It was a 20th-century version of the Wild West frontier fortress," Saliba said, in territory Army Special Forces soldiers called "Indian Country"-remote, dangerous. In October 1965, the camp at Plei Me was guarded by a 12-man American Army Special Forces...

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Service Reflections of SGT Eric Andonian, U.S. Army (1992-2001)

Service Reflections of SGT Eric Andonian, U.S. Army (1992-2001)

Influencer #1: The military always fascinated me; my dad grew up in Tehran, Iran (an Armenian), and he served in the Persian Army (Iran, 1941).

He was a very proud American and loved this country, and I remember him taking us to Long Beach harbor (California) to see an aircraft carrier (the 1960s). That was an amazing experience (I can still visualize those torpedoes)!

Influencer #2: We lived through the hushed horror of Vietnam, and I think my parents kind of shielded us from it. I don’t remember ever seeing it on TV or talking about it. When I turned 18 (1978), my mom actually hesitated (slightly) when I jokingly questioned signing up for Selective Service registration. She talked about my staying with my friend in Canada if the next war was FUBAR like Vietnam. That surprised me because she strongly supported our nation and its laws.

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Vietnam and Beyond: Veteran Reflections by Jenny La Sala And Jim Markson

Vietnam and Beyond: Veteran Reflections by Jenny La Sala And Jim Markson

Those who have fought on a battlefield often describe it as a combination of extreme excitement and gut-wrenching terror. It's also a huge assault to the emotions that can leave permanent mental health damage. Today, that condition is called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the past, it has been known as battle fatigue (WWI) and shell shock (WWII).  This well-styled, organized, and powerfully written book is a compilation of first-hand accounts by warriors who suffer some aspects of...

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Service Reflections of LTC Edward Shyloski, U.S. Army (1966-2003)

Service Reflections of LTC Edward Shyloski, U.S. Army (1966-2003)

My father was a WWII vet who admired his country and the Army. I wanted to follow in his footsteps and have never been sorry to do so. My daughter followed mine and became a 4th Inf Division Aviation Company Commander with three sets of wings on her chest, i.e., Aviator, Jump, and Air Assault.

I attended her taking command at Fort Hood, and her 4th Inf Brigade Commander made a big deal of our heritage of serving the Army through three generations and supporting the 4th Infantry in Vietnam. My daughter’s husband, Andrew Morgado, is now becoming CoS of 8 Army 1 August 2020. We will see what our 4 grandkids do!

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Service Reflections of BM2 Wendell Affield, U.S. Navy (1965-1969)

Service Reflections of BM2 Wendell Affield, U.S. Navy (1965-1969)

I enlisted soon after I turned 17. When I was 12, my mother was committed to a mental hospital. By sixteen, I had been through five foster homes. Spring 1964, I left, rode the rails, and lived in hobo camps in the northwest. An excerpt from my Vietnam War memoir “MUDDY JUNGLE RIVERS.”

That autumn, I returned to high school and stared out the windows? Had I lost all interest? Chinese dynasties, algebra equations, disassembled big blocks, and dissected frogs had no chance against the open spaces and freedom I’d discovered the past summer.

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