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The Veterans Site is a meeting place for people who support veterans, our troops, and one another. We encourage you to share your story with a community that cares. It might be about your own homecoming, your family's experience, or even the story your great-grandfather told that's been passed down the generations.
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I was raised in a military family, and it had a direct effect on a large part of my adult life.
I served in three branches of the military during my total time in service, during good times and bad, but I do not have any real regrets. My main regret was that I did not stay on active duty all the way through.
I spent four years in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, and it was a very trying time, especially when the civilian public, especially those of "baby boomer" ages, did not appreciate the service of those persons who were in the military (even those who never saw duty in Vietnam. Just being in the military at that time carried a bad social stigma. That was my reasoning for leaving active duty after my four-year enlistment.
Following my time in the Air Force, I joined the Army National Guard unit in my home town. During the first 3 1/2 years, the unit was Military Police, and one of our special duties during that period was to provide security for Pope John Paul II during one of his visits to the United States. The unit changed over to Signal Corps during the last year of my time in the National Guard, and I served as a Secure Communications radio operator.
Finally, I joined the Navy and served for 16 1/2 years as a Cryptologic Technician (Naval Intelligence). It was very interesting and satisfying duty, and I did see a lot of the world, especially in the Pacific and Middle East areas. My best tour of duty during my naval career occurred when I was assigned to the National Security Agency, where I finally got to see first-hand what all my previous naval endeavors had resulted in. Nothing I can write about, for security reasons, but very interesting, nonetheless.
I felt that I made the right choice in my life, and I have often told people I know that the military is a good place to start to learn a career field.
I do not know a lot about my Uncle George, as he died defending our country on September 2, 1950 in Korea. What I do know is that he was a member of the 1st Airborne as an enlisted soldier and then while serving went from being enlisted to an officer. He was a captain when he was killed in action fighting the North Koreans. Although I do not know a lot about his military history he is my hero and I am very proud to be his nephew. If anyone knows more about my Uncle George Jones I would love to hear from you.
My husband started his military life in Nov 2003 after the job he was working shut down twice in one year. We were a young family with 2 small kids. He joined the army and got stationed at Ft Campbell, Ky which is where we stayed till 2010 when he was medically discharged due to an injury from his first deployment in 2005/2006 he was hit but not too bad from an IED. He then deployed in 2008/2009 to Afgan. Then came home and got out. He will forever be my HERO no matter what. Once a solider always a solider. I love you Raymond M Carr II (SSGT Carr 4th BDG Ft Campbell Ky)
My son has talked about joining the Army while he was in high school. I was scared, worried, and just sad about him doing this. I tried to talk him out of it, but he said that was what he wanted to do. When he turned 18 he went to MEPS, and after he graduated he left two months later for basics. I cried for hours after he left for Fort Benning. When I went to his Army graduation I was so proud of the man before me. He is now at his duty station in Texas, and we get to talk more now. I am still a scared mother, and I don't think that will ever change. Now I am a Army Mom and so proud of my son!
Growing up I was always proud of my heritage. My uncle was in the Oklahoma National Guard. My mothers dad was a navy veteran of WW2. My fathers dad fought in the trenches of WW1. I had ancestors in most of our nations wars, even some Cherokees who fought for this country when it was theirs. I married a girl whose military heritage was awe inspiring. Her father was on Iwo Jima and was one of 6 DeHaas brothers who were all in the military at one time in their lives. They took pride in tracing their ancestry back to Brig Gen JP DeHaas who fought in the Revolutionary War and in the French and Indian War prior to that. Also to Capt. Wm Shippen who was the first Marine KIA at the battle of Princeton in 1777. I was proud of both my family and my wife's family heritage. Then my wife and I had a son. Of course I raised him to be proud of his ancestors. Their sacrifice was instilled on his being. He called one day and said "I have to join..." I asked why. He said he could not allow his college friends go to Afghanistan while he enjoyed college life. I felt great pride in him. We watched as he graduated an infantryman at Ft Benning. And then as he told all who were dear to him 'Goodbye' when he deployed. I prayed for him as all the horrors of war touched his life. Then he came home. On veterans day, I asked him if I could put up a static display for his friend who was killed. Of course he said that it would be fine. He told me that when he came to see it, he had to have a good cry. He told me the thing that combat has changed for him is how real it is when someone says those two words....Welcome home
In late '06 early '07 I was 17 and still in high school, working at an IHOP, and talking to a recruiter at the time about joining the Army Reserves (grandmother has health problems and wanted to stay near by for her). I met a young man one night one my shift his name was Nathan and we got to talking while I took his order, he was in town for the weekend from Ft. Sill to visit his family. He quickly became my regular customer and a good friend. We would talk about the Army and what I should expect, or movies and video games things of the sort. Time came and went then I shipped for basic training at Ft. Jackson, then off to AIT at Aberdeen Proving grounds, when I got my cell phone privileges back he would talk with me still and help me when I was feeling down and missed home. I finally made it through and was ecstatic to let him know I would finally be coming home! When i finally got to baggage claim I saw my mom, and then out of the corner of my I i caught him there, and ran to give him a hug hello, they were the only ones to greet me. I found out later he had skipped out on seeing family and going to a concert he had looked forward to just to make sure I wasn't waiting alone for a ride when I got back. Now we are both out of the Army and December 4th we will have been married for 3 years and have 2 beautiful precious little girls. My husband finished his time as an E-3 Field artillery man and I finished as an E-4 Quartermaster and chemical equipment repair woman.
My Dad never went to church with us but he believed.
During World War II, he and his fellow soldiers in Germany were surprised by a long lasting mortar attack as they were traveling. They jumped out of their vehicles and found protection in some nearby ditches. They were there, pinned down for hours.
Unfortunately, those ditches were filled with varying levels of rain water and it was wintertime, so they became wet and really cold. Most likely hypothermic. The attack rained on so they had to stay where they were and defend their position.Some men chanced getting out of the ditches so they wouldn't freeze to death, he doesn't think they made it.
Then there was the period of silence where fear grew. He lit a ciggarette. His thoughts were of family back home; he prayed fervently that he could see his mother one last time.He was scared to death he wouldn't make it. He was shivering so bad from the cold and being wet. Getting out of the pit was a death sentence. Staying in the pit was similar.
He started to pray. Over and over again he prayed , "Just let me see my Mother one last time."
A period of time passed that he can't recall and he sort of "came to."
He was still crouched in the cold wet water, his ciggarette had burnt down but the ashes were still attached and he said he felt so warm. He looked down and most of him was dry. He swore Mother Mary placed her arms on him, provided comfort and kept him safe and warm.
He teared up the two times I heard him relate that story and he didn't share it with anyone - it was far too special an experience.
Miracles do happen.
I have had 3 sons, (28 yrs, 23 yrs and 4 yrs) in US Navy, 2 sons-in-law,(1 Air Force 1 Army Ranger) 6 grandchildren (2 in Army, 1 in Navy 3 in Coast Guard) and a brother (in Korean war). I am so proud of all of them and, they are still giving by belonging to the Patriot Guard and helping other veterans whenever they can, as well as most of them in active service now.
On March 23, 2014, Marilyn Olson of Bigfork, Montana will be participating in the 24th Annual Bataan Memorial Death March; a challenging 26.2 mile march through the high desert terrain of White Sands Missile Range in combat boots to honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health and, in many cases, their very lives. But her efforts go beyond just that; honoring four US Marines who sacrificed their very lives during her son's deployment to Afghanistan last year and to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project to support those who returned with both visible and invisible scars of war.
Marilyn is the mother of three active duty US Marines; two sons and a daughter. In 2012, her oldest Marine served during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF 112) with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines. She was on the phone with her son when Marines called out "River City" and the phone went dead. They lost four Marines during Operation Jaws in the Sangin Valley of Helmand Province; her son's squad was one of the initial forces. She has since made it her mission to honor those four US Marines who lost their lives during that operation. She has been blessed to have her travel expenses from Montana to New Mexico paid for by her son's local VFW Post 4042, the Flathead Marines, her local Ladies Auxilliary and many hometown supporters. She has been training all summer; running distances from 5k to half marathons and rucking with a 20# pack in combat boots.
Social Services Director by day, Marilyn spends her time off dedicated to honoring military members. She also works with Montana Wounded Warriors, an all volunteer organization that provides all expense paid hunting & fishing opportunities to Montana vets of the Iraq & Afghanistan wars.
Dad - Colonel E. Dale Boggie, United States Air Force, Retired.
Dad got orders to Viet Nam; so Mom (Sharon), my sister and I moved to Wrightwood, a small San Bernardino mountain town from Lompoc where dad was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base. We moved into a cozy cabin in the woods next to a German woman who taught me to make baked apples, and we spent time exploring the woods around us, swimming at the Burns' pool in the summer, and part of school in the winter was skiing. Benefit of living in a ski town.
Mom and Dad made it a memorable time in our lives - focusing on adventures - hiding their own fears and heartache.
Every week we looked forward to the mail – getting a cassette tape from Dad! They were always so exciting! He would tell stories of his adventures, the country and people with local music or sounds in the background. We felt we were in the middle of the jungle. It was so exotic.
We couldn’t wait to record our tape telling him of our adventures, singing and playing our instruments.
We felt so connected and I could imagine him sitting with his scotch smoking a cigar and chuckling, probably with a tear in his eye.
He came home on leave at Christmas. My sister dressed like Santa Claus and I was a reindeer using a doll crib as our sleigh coming down the stairs Christmas morning. Mom and Dad had a treasure hunt with new clues at each stop. We tromped all over the woods ending at the German neighbors' shed - 4 brand new Sears 3-speed bikes!
The day he left, we thought the snow would keep him home. As we watched them drive away in our white station wagon, that was the only time I felt sadness that year.
Mom & Dad kept our childhood innocent and magical and continue that with our kids. I think we will make a cassette for them this Christmas!