Veteran Stories

Civil War 1862 Diary Union

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Sgt. Henry W. Tisdale enlisted in Company I, Thirty-Fifth Regiment,Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry on July 10, 1862 at the age of 25. Sgt. Tisdale kept a very detailed diary of his service from 1662 t0 1865. His son and his sons wife typed and bound the diary in 1926. Please click on the picture and you will see the diary.

Civil War 1861 Diary Confederate

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Pvt. L. Leon of the Charlotte Grays, Company C, First North Carolina Regiment, recounted his service in the Confederacy from 1861, and titled it "Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier. Put. Leon copyright and published the diary in 1913. Please click on the picture and you can read his story.

Spanish-American War Diary 1898

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Pvt. George Edgar Cripps of the 34th Michigan Volunteer Infantry left Michigan in June of 1898 bound for Cuba.This diary is re-typed from the handwritten diary he left. You will greatly enjoy his account of time spent from Michigan to Cuba and back. Please click on the picture to read his diary.

First World War 11/11/1918

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Charles Normington was in Paris France and recounted in a letter to his mother the jubilation of the war being declared ended. Just click on the above picture and under "First-Hand Accounts" click on the letter from Paris 11 Nov 1918, to view his letter.

WWII "Loose Lips Sink Ships"

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Induction Center in Baltimore, Maryland 1942.  And actually all inductees were told especially 'what not to do', because "loose lips could sink ships'. So click on the picture and choose 'World War II' at top of site and choose the heading "loose lips sink ships', and get the whole story of induction education.

Korean War Diary entries 1951

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The Battle that started the Korean War and Trials and Tribulations are a few of the true events taken from many soldiers diaries during the Korean War years.

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The Story of Rick Rescorla, Vietnam Vet and 9/11 Hero

Retired Army Reserve Col. Cyril Richard "Rick" Rescorla, credited with saving many lives during 9/11

13 September 2019,article by Richard Sisk, Military.com

The late Army Col. Rick Rescorla, a legend in Vietnam who acted heroically as a civilian in the south tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, will receive the posthumous award of the Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation's second-highest civilian award after the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the president said this week.

"Rick earned the Silver Star and the Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam," President Donald Trump said at the Pentagon's 9/11 memorial ceremony Wednesday. " ... On the day of the attack, Rick died while leading countless others to safety. His selfless actions saved approximately 2,700 lives." 

"Today, I am honored to announce that I will soon be awarding the late Rick Rescorla the Presidential Citizens Medal for his extraordinary sacrifice," Trump added

More about Col. Rescorla

A photo of Rescorla as a grizzled lieutenant in Vietnam, moving forward with bayonet fixed during the horrific 1965 battle of Ia Drang in Vietnam, became one of the iconic images of the war.

The photo was used on the cover of the gripping account of the battle written by veteran United Press International correspondent Joe Galloway, with Army Lt. Gen. Harold Moore, in the book "We Were Soldiers Once ... And Young."

In the prologue, Galloway wrote: "This, then, is our testament and our tribute to 234 Americans who died beside us in Landing Zone X-Ray and Landing Zone Albany in the Valley of Death, 1965."

The book was made into the movie "We Were Soldiers," starring Mel Gibson in the role of Moore. Rescorla would later say he wouldn't see it.

"All the heroes are dead," he said.

There is a life-sized monument to Rescorla, modeled after the Vietnam photo, at the National Infantry Museum's Memorial Walk of Honor near Fort Benning, Georgia.

SOME STORIES YOU DON'T NORMALLY HEAR.........

Surprising Civil War Stories

a log hut company kitchen, 1864

1. One-third of the soldiers who fought for the Union Army were immigrants, and nearly one in 10 was African American.
The Union Army was a multicultural force—even a multinational one. We often hear about Irish soldiers (7.5 percent of the army), but the Union’s ranks included even more Germans (10 percent), who marched off in regiments such as the Steuben Volunteers. Other immigrant soldiers were French, Italian, Polish, English and Scottish. In fact, one in four regiments contained a majority of foreigners. Blacks were permitted to join the Union Army in 1863, and some scholars believe this infusion of soldiers may have turned the tide of the war.

Surprise Facts of the Spanish American War 1898

“Colonel Roosevelt and his Rough Riders at the top of the hill they captured, Battle of San Juan

We remember the Maine, but we don’t understand it.
In January 1898, as tensions flared between Cuban revolutionaries and Spanish troops, the battleship USS Maine was sent to Havana to protect American interests and civilians there. On February 15 a massive explosion sank the vessel, killing 266 sailors. Sensationalist newspaper articles and advocates of war accused the Spanish of destroying the ship, and a naval inquiry soon concluded that a mine had caused the disaster. With the rallying cry “Remember the Maine!” galvanizing Americans, President William McKinley reluctantly signed a resolution supporting Cuban independence and threatening Spain with military action. Today, however, experts generally doubt the Spanish had a hand in Maine’s demise. Though we may never know for sure what unleashed the tragedy that helped spark a war, recent investigations have implicated the ship’s design, ammunition storage and coal bunker.

CRAZY STORIES FROM WWII

To carry out Operation Mincemeat, the British acquired the cadaver of homeless man Glyndwr Michael,

In 1943, British intelligence was asked to help conceal Allied intentions of invading Sicily that summer. Germany and the Allies were involved in a high stakes deception/ guessing game to determine just exactly where the first European attack would occur. British intelligence officers came up with the idea of Operation Mincemeat, a plan to disseminate false information by allowing the Germans to "accidentally" discover faked top secret documents.  

To carry out Operation Mincemeat, the British acquired the cadaver of homeless man Glyndwr Michael, transforming him into "Major William Martin." By the time a submarine crew pushed Michael/Martin's body gently into the water off the coast of Spain, he was handcuffed to a briefcase stuffed with falsified military documents and mundane items.

Secret WWII Weapons

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If the Germans had finished building it, the 1,000-ton Ratte would have been the largest conventional tank ever built. The Nazis envisioned the Ratte as a kind of battleship for land, literally. Its massive 283 mm cannon was to be taken directly off the deck of a Scharnhorst-class battleship, and would have been capable of hammering hard targets up to 17 miles away. 

With armor 14.2 inches thick in some places, the Ratte would have been almost invulnerable to all but the biggest bombs in the Allied arsenal.

Korean War Facts we may not have known

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10 Facts About the Korean War

Over six decades later, we are no closer to a peaceful ending of the conflict.

1. The North Koreans captured an American general.

A month after the Korean War broke out, Major General William F. Dean, commander of 24th Infantry Division, was separated from his forces in Taejon while trying to help wounded soldiers. While out seeking water for a particularly injured G.I., he fell down a cliff and was knocked unconscious. He would be isolated in the mountains for the next 36 days, losing 80 pounds in addition to the broken shoulder and head wound he had sustained. When two South Koreans found him, they pretended to lead him to safety, but in fact brought him to a North Korean ambush site. Though Dean tried to fight his captors, he was down to 130 pounds and too weak to resist for long. He was taken prisoner on August 25, 1950, and remained prisoner until the end of the war.

What we didn't know about the Vietnam War

Australian Soldiers in Vietnam

The Americans weren’t alone

Many people mistakenly believe — much like the comical ‘coalition of the willing’ in Iraq in 2003 — that the Americans acted unilaterally in Vietnam. In fact, New Zealand, Australia, Cambodia, Laos and South Korea all contributed significant numbers of troops to the war.

The Americans used people sniffers

Everyone knows about the defoliant, Agent Orange, because of the horrible birth defects it caused, but not many people know people sniffers — known as Operation Snoopy. Northern troops on the Ho Chi Minh Trail were notoriously difficult to find, so the Americans used sensors to detect effluents of human sweat and urine. While they frequently turned up false results, leading to attacks on civilians and cattle, they did prove to be somewhat effective. Though, the North Vietnamese Army eventually learned to hang buckets of mud mixed with urine from trees to throw off the sensors.

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He volunteered for WWII so his family wouldn't be interned

Kenneth Higashi was assigned to the 442nd Combat Team

Sept.1, 2019

Jim Holland, Rapid City Journal


SPEARFISH, S.D. — Kenneth Higashi sat at attention, only his use of a wheelchair keeping him from rising to receive France’s highest civil and military distinction, the Legion of Honor, before grateful family, friends and neighbors.

Higashi, 97, a second-generation Japanese-American man from Spearfish, sat stoically as Guillaume Lacroix, consul general of France for the Midwest, pinned the Chevalier De La Legion D’Honneur on his sweater on behalf of the French Republic.

"A debt that France owes America's greatest generation for their service in World War II is a debt that the French people will never be able to repay in full," Lacroix said. "The French people will never, ever forget the sacrifice of Mr. Higashi, of all the men and women who served in Europe for their country, but also for my country."

2nd Generation Japanese-American receives Frances highest Military distinction, "Legion of Honor"

Japanese-American families, particularly those on the West Coast, were forced to uproot their lives, ordered to give up their homes and businesses, and forced into relocation centers or internment camps.Government officials also visited the Higashi family in Spearfish and ordered them to give up their shotgun and radio.

They told Kenneth and his older brother, Clarence, that their family could avoid being moved to a camp if one of them enlisted in the military. 

Kenneth volunteered.

"He thought it better that his brother stay and work as a mechanic to provide for their family," Master of Ceremonies Gregory Dias said.

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White Feather: The Most Feared,Fearless Sniper in Vietnam

Additional Information

An American hero can be a complex beast. In some cases the title is controversial, particularly when it comes to military service.

Carlos Hathcock is one of those heroes. He served his country with distinction during the Vietnam War (1955 – 75) across 2 tours. Yet he did that as a sniper, a role which had a controversial reputation even among military ranks.

A 1987 profile in The Washington Post sums up the attitude, writing that the sniper was “an affront to the Gary Cooper mentality, the idea that in ‘High Noon’ — or America — the sheriff never draws first.”

Learn More

“Hathcock, who had done everything asked of him and more, felt unfairly stigmatized. ‘I was simply doing my job,’ he says. ‘I was just doing what they told me to do. Maybe being a sniper is something that only another sniper really can understand.’”

By the time he came home for good — and still a young man at 27 — he had 93 confirmed kills under his belt, with many more unverified. His marksmanship was beyond doubt, and in some respects Hathcock sounded like something out of a movie.

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He recorded 437 WWII Veterans' Stories & is now retiring

15 September 2019 article by Ron Devlin, Reading Eagle, Pa.

READING, Pa. -- You won't find a book entitled "The History of World War II" by Larry Miller.

But Miller, 73, a retired Reading management consultant, is every bit a historian as Tom Brokaw, author of "The Greatest Generation."

Quietly, without fanfare, Miller has interviewed 437 veterans of World War II in the last eight years.

The video-taped interviews are on file at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

Working out of a tiny office at his north Reading home, Miller has recorded what might be called "A History of World War II From the Bottom Up."

In meticulous, first person fashion, he has crafted a vision of the war from the soldiers, sailors and Marines who fought it.

In Miller's recordings, GIs tell their stories in their own words.

"I'd tell them," he recalls, "just tell your story in a way your grandchildren can listen to."

No Heroes Present

One characteristic that all World War II vets shared, Miller found, was humility.

Even when having performed outstanding deeds, he said, they disliked being called heroes.

They were just doing their job, they'd tell him. The real heroes were the ones who didn't make it home.

"Most of them were very humble and did not want a fuss made over them," Miller said. "They almost despised the word hero."

In interviews that lasted up to two hours, Miller listened with wonder to often compelling stories of personal sacrifice. Often, he'd wonder what he would have done had he been in their shoes.

He always ended the interview the same way: "Thank you for your service."

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Veteran's Pokemon battles help him fight back after TBI

WOW ! The power of video games

Learn More

To find out more of this compelling story about the battle over TBI, just click this link to get the whole story

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I refuse to die in here:the marine now fighting deportation

Sat. 7 September 2019 by Sam Levin, Journalist 'The Guardian' +UPDATE****HE WAS DEPORTED+

UPDATE:   OCTOBER 24, 2019 BY ROXANA KOPETMAN

U. S. Marine combat veteran Jose Segovia Benitez was DEPORTED Tuesday night Oct. 22, to El Salvador (where he was 3 years old when his parents came to the US, and has never been back).


Jose Segovia Benitez survived two tours of duty with the US Marine Corps, a bomb blast, and a traumatic brain injury.

But the US is not helping him recover. On the contrary, the government may be leading him to his death.

Segovia is currently imprisoned at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) detention center in Adelanto, California where he says he is being denied critical medical and mental health care. The 38-year-old veteran is facing deportation to El Salvador, a country he left when he was three years old and where his loved ones fear he could be killed.

“I’m not going to die here. I refuse to die here,” Segovia said on a recent morning, wearing a red jail uniform and seated in a cramped room with no windows to the outside.

During his 21 months of detention in the southern California facility, Ice has failed to provide adequate care for Segovia’s serious heart condition, denied him proper treatment for his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and repeatedly placed him in isolation, according to the former marine and his lawyers. The consequences, they fear, could be fatal.

Segovia is one of fifteen current detainees who filed a federal lawsuit against Ice last month alleging medical neglect and horrific conditions that rise to the level of “torture”. He is also one of the estimated thousands of veterans who have faced deportation over the years despite their service to the country.

Life after war:'I tried to seek help'

Segovia, who became a legal permanent resident soon after arriving in the US as a child, became interested in the military at a very young age.

Jose Segovia Benitez enlisted in the US Marine Corps one week after graduating high school.

Raised in Long Beach, a city just south of Los Angeles, he has early memories of playing with toy soldiers. In high school, he was different from his peers and drawn to the discipline of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, a US Army program for students.

At age 18 in 1999, one week after he graduated high school, he enlisted in the marines.

“I joined not to go to war, because nobody ever signs up for that,” he said.

But then war happened.

He was deployed as part of the initial Iraq invasion in 2003, ultimately completing two tours of duty.

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Deported Army Veteran returns to US in Bid to become Citizen

September 25, 2019 By: Sophia Tareen, The Associated Press

Perez is among several deported military members who have been recently pardoned by Democratic governors. His case has received wide support, including from including from Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, a veteran who said Tuesday that Perez should never been deported in the first place. 

Perez was born in Mexico, but his family immigrated when he was a young child. His parents are naturalized U.S. citizens and his two children were born in the U.S. 

He joined the Army in 2002 and served in Afghanistan where he suffered a brain injury and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. 

It was the disorder, which caused crippling anxiety, that led him to the drug charge, according to Bergin. Perez wasn’t able to immediately get medical care through a federal Veterans Administration hospital, so he turned to drugs.

An Army veteran who was deported to Mexico in 2018 arrived back in Chicago, his boyhood hometown

The 41-year-old Perez has a green card as a permanent U.S. resident, but after serving time for a 2008 non-violent drug conviction was deported last year. Then last month, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a pardon , erasing the conviction and reviving Perez’s chances to become a citizen.

"Last Draftee Retires"

The last Active Duty, enlisted draftee retires!!!!

You have to hear his story.

War Stories: the last draftee

Command Sergeant Major, Jeff Mellinger, shown here serving duty in Afghanistan. He was the last draftee during the Vietnam War.

D-Day Veteran shares his Story with Future Generations

70 years ago, Charlie Wilson was on Utah Beach with the 4th Divisions' landing to take France. Hear how he tells his story to the Children.

A Moment of TRUTH

Just 'thanking and recognizing' the service our men and women gave this country is Powerful Medicine! Please thank our Veterans when you see them.

Sgt. Barry Sadler on the Jimmy Dean Show

Sgt. Sadler wrote a very popular song about his experiences during the Vietnam War, "The Ballad of the Green 


Don't Fall Asleep in the Military!!

There are several really good 'comments' on this video: "no matter what the country and army, soldiers forever are gonna prank their mates while sleeping";

"You know whats great about being in the Military? Everything"

EBV = Entrepreneurship Bootcamp For Veterans

Several Colleges and Universities and Small Business Development Programs offer this assistance/course for Veterans hoping to start their own business.