Carl Melcher Goes to Vietnam

I followed Papa and Glock back through the trenches to the bunker. We sat on the bunker roof under the bright sunlight. Below, the vast expanse of jungle shimmered in the growing heat. We ate quietly. Ted, the guy that met us earlier at the chopper pad, came over carrying a green patrol radio. A loud, staticky voice issued from it, saying something I couldn’t make out. Ted decreased the volume. He called over to the guys at the next bunker, “Friendlies on the way in.” Then he yelled to Papa, “I’ve got Ron on the horn right now. They’ll be coming up through the wire any minute, okay?” “Okay,” said Papa. He put down his plate and stood. We moved to the edge of the bunker and looked down to where the maze of barbed wire, mines and trip flares met the tangled green of the jungle. I could barely make out something moving through the greenery. Then bamboo crackled loudly and they emerged, hunched over, the green rucksacks high up on their backs like humps, weapons cradled in their arms. They plodded slowly up the winding path like a team of mules tethered together, three black guys, soul brothers they liked to be called, and a white guy bringing up the rear. One of the soul brothers carried an M-79 grenade launcher and another an M-16 rifle and the radio. The point man was very dark, and carried a sawed-off, automatic shotgun. The white guy carried the M-60 machine gun. All four of them had belted machine gun ammo X-ed across their chests like Mexican banditos. Papa yelled down to them. They looked up and waved feebly. I think they were too winded to yell or say anything. The dusty-colored guy lost his helmet as he leaned back to see us. He quickly grabbed it and laughed. The darker point man’s eyes were hidden behind a pair of wrap-around sunglasses.

The Yanks are Coming Over There: Anglo-Saxonism and American Involvement in the First World War

A closer look into the reasons for the involvement of the United States in the First World War.

"LOVE OUR VETS: Restoring Hope for Families of Veterans with PTSD"

Loved ones caught in the wake of the post-war battles of PTSD, you are not alone!

Whiteblooms

When we arrived at graves registration there was a row of bodies, all Marines. There was a body bag lying beside each body, but some of them were not in their bag. I could see the tag on the toe of one of the bodies. I saw some with unattached arms and legs lying beside them. I walked past, and immediately knew the meaning of death, and the reality of these people no longer being here.

Snapdragon: The World War II Exploits of Combat Photographer and Darby's Ranger Phil Stern

Two years before D-Day, U.S. Army "Darby's Rangers" were fighting the Germans in North Africa and SIcily. Described by Vanity Fair editor David Friend as the "Chronicler of Cool,” Brooklyn-born American photographer Phil Stern became the only photographer trained by the British commandos and attached to a Ranger unit, Darby's Rangers. While best remembered for his iconic images of James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and JFK's inauguration, his remarkable service during World War II as a combat photographer with Darby's Rangers has remained largely unknown. Until now.

The Other Side of Rock and War

One Man's Battle To Save His Life, His Career, His Country and The Orphans He Left Behind.

Mothers Over Nangarhar

MOTHERS OVER NANGARHAR is an unusual and powerful war narrative, focusing less on the front lines of combat and more on the home front, a perspective our American cultural canon has largely ignored after 222 years at war. In her stunning poetry debut, Pamela Hart concentrates on the fears and psychological battles suffered by parents, lovers and friends during a soldier’s absence and return home, if indeed there’s a return. With honest grit and compassionate imagination, Hart describes her own experience having a son overseas, incorporating lyric meditations, photography, news articles, support group meetings, family interviews, oral histories, and classic literature to construct a documentary-style narrative very much situated in the now. Blending reality with absurdism and guided openly by a Calvino kind of logic, Hart reveals to us a crucial American point of view.

1951: From Khaki to Air Force Blue

Lucy Leigh Simms became a woman in the Air Force in 1951, uncertain about what changes in her life to expect. She soon found out. The Air Force became a separate branch of the military in September 1947, and women were granted the right to serve permanently in the military the following June. Conscriptions and enlistments were low. Our country was at peace. That changed in June 1950 when a war that was not called a war erupted in Korea. Men and women were called upon to serve their country and help save South Korea from communistic North Korea. Deciding it was her patriotic duty, Lucy joined the Air Force. She received her basic training at old Kelly Air Field, not Lackland, which was overcrowded with men and had been investigated by the Senate. After basic training Lucy was sent to Lowry Air Force Base for technical training. At the completion of her technical training she was sent to James Connally Air Force Base in Waco, Texas, where she was the first WAF in the newly activated 3565th WAF squadron. Although the Air Force was fully integrated, there were airmen who felt it should remain an all-white Air Force. Having been born in the North, Lucy found segregation hard to accept and was involved in a few unpleasant incidents because of her convictions.

For Good Reason

Twenty years after young Daniel Mulvaney survived the Vietnam War, his memoir has made him a best-selling author. Danny’s newfound celebrity has also brought an unforeseen problem.

The Indestructible Man

Dixie Kiefer was a true World War II hero. He was the first man to fly an airplane off a ship at night, executive officer on the carrier USS Yorktown at the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, and skipper of USS Ticonderoga when she came under brutal attack by Japanese kamikaze planes.

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