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My Time in Uniform

Vietnam veteran is finally home

Vietnam veteran is finally home

I was born in Waukon, Iowa, and graduated from high school in my hometown of Lansing, Iowa. After completing air conditioning school in Eau Claire, Wisc., I enlisted in the U.S. Navy on May 7, 1969. Upon completion of basic training in San Diego, I reported for duty aboard USS Theodore E. Chandler {DD717}, a destroyer stationed in Long Beach, Calif., on Aug. 5, 1969. Chandler would be my home for the next four years. The ship left Long Beach en route to Vietnam on Sept. 26, 1969. Our deployments were about seven months long. While in the combat zone we received tax-free combat pay.

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Gardening in the South Pacific during WWII

Gardening in the South Pacific during WWII

By William Sabel I was instrumental in introducing watermelons to the natives on a lonely South Pacific island during World War II. My mission was to establish a vegetable farm in the Solomons on the island of Kolombangara for the express purpose of furnishing fresh garden produce for the base hospital at Munda. It came about in this way: Prior to my induction into the Army in April 14, 1941, I was a poultry farmer and always interested in gardening.

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60th anniversary of Korean War armistice

60th anniversary of Korean War armistice

July 27 is a day when there will be no parades, no picnics, no speeches and no flags displayed. But to a very special group of people who served and fought for America, July 27, 1953, is the day that the Korean War ended. Those families who lost a loved one in that far-off country will not celebrate, but remember the prayers, pain and tears shed for their loved ones lost so long ago. Many of you who are reading this may not have been born at the time of the Korean War. You will rightly think that 60 years is a long time ago. In Korea, I fought in a war in which I was wounded.

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WWII intell vet remembers bright spot after Operation Dragoon

WWII intell vet remembers bright spot after Operation Dragoon

As an aerial photo interpreter with the Army Air Corps, we had been photographing southern France for weeks, so we had known what was coming when we were ordered to move on Aug. 10, 1944. That Aug. 15, southern France was invaded with Operation Dragoon: paratroopers, vessels and combat ships, American, British and French troops, commandos and rangers. Prime Minister Winston Churchill was there observing the landings. Our job was to transfer information found in our aerial photographs to the ground troops and planes.

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After almost 70 years, Merchant Marine finally honored at national memorial

After almost 70 years, Merchant Marine finally honored at national memorial

Nearly seven decades after James Van Splunder decided to join the Merchant Marines rather than be drafted by the Army, he journeyed from his home in Holland, N.Y., to Washington, D.C., to lay a wreath on the World War II Memorial in a special ceremony dedicated to those veterans who gave their lives. Overlooking the fountains, the arches and granite of the memorial, in the shadow of the Washington Monument and of hindsight, it’s easy to follow the trajectory backward, but at age 19, Van Splunder was just a kid making a decision like any other. “Well, you know, when you’re young your expe

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WWII vet spends his service in the water, trains as substitute Frogman

When Navy SEALs took down Osama bin Laden, Ernest G. Sealo, a former servicemember in the Army was reminded of his time as a substitute Navy Frogman, which the SEALs descend from. Near the end of World War II, Sealo was a soldier stationed in Calcutta, when India was still under British domination. There, a monthly newspaper announced a swimming competition. It would be in Agra, near the Taj Mahal. As a former member of the Harlem YMCA and his high school swim team, Sealo decided to participate.

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Couple torn apart during war reunites more than 50 years later

Couple torn apart during war reunites more than 50 years later

When Bill Angle was flicking through the newspaper after his wife’s death, he was surprised to notice one obituary: his high school sweetheart’s husband. After steeling his nerves for two days, he called Carolyn, the girl he had met at an outdoor film more than 50 years before. “She was a very beautiful brunette and wasn’t very big. She was the small sort,” Bill said. He asked someone who she was, introduced himself, and offered her a ride home. “And that’s how it started,” he said. That was 1941.

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Lt. Col. David Kramer, West Point (1988-1992), U.S. Army (1992-present)

Lt. Col. David Kramer, West Point (1988-1992), U.S. Army (1992-present)

Lt. Col. David Kramer was born in Moline, Ill. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics, and proceeded to Fort Rucker for initial entry rotary wing training in the UH-1 Huey. After graduating from flight school as an AH-1F Cobra pilot, he reported to Korea in November 1993, and was assigned to 1-2 Aviation Regiment (Attack) (2d Infantry Division). There he served as an attack platoon leader in B Company and then as a battalion assistant S3 operations officer.

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WWII veteran serves country through commemorating family, other servicemembers

WWII veteran serves country through commemorating family, other servicemembers

After my six weeks training at Hunter College in Bronx, N.Y., I was assigned to U.S. Navy Communications in Washington, D.C., through WAVES. I worked alongside the reflection pool near the Lincoln Memorial as a yeoman third class. Later the rating was changed to Specialist Q and I was honorably discharged Specialist Q first class. I remember so well after my service, in December 1945, the first thing I did was to join the American Legion, a Jane Delano post, in Hartford, Conn. I still have my 1946 membership card after 67 years. It was an all women’s veteran post.

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Remember Them: Memorial Day 2013

Remember Them:  Memorial Day 2013

Memorial Day 2013 Those who gave us this day are gone. They rest forever since that day the honor guard fired the rifles and the bugler blew taps over them. Those Veterans that remain wait for that day. The responsibility of remembering the fallen is not only the duty of our American Legions, VFW Posts or any Veterans organization, but of all of us. We have to give to all those Veterans who are no longer with us, and those Veterans still living, all the praise and honor they earned. This is what today, Memorial Day, represents.

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From Camp Pendleton to interesting ships to Honor Guard

From Camp Pendleton to interesting ships to Honor Guard

I was a young FMF Navy Hospital Corpsman assigned to the 1/9 C in 1981 and transferred to the 1/3 A. And I proudly served. I was told by my recruiter "Navy hospitals on the beach with pretty nurses." Ha! Being an ex/former Marine I should have known better ... YEP! That's correct my first tour was USMC 1978 at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, Calif. And boy did I have a blast, especially trying to find my barracks at last call. Between the Corps and the Navy I served on some interesting ships.

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As I remember Vietnam

Landed at Ben Hua. Dispersed from Long Bien. Helicopter to Phu Loi. Fixed engines, helped at a Vietnamese school, stood a lot of guard duty, rode in a lot of different helicopters. Helped rescue three young men in the dark in a heavy VC area. No rockets or mortars had my name on them, so I went home.

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U.S. Navy, 1964-1968, US. Newport News (CA-148)

U.S. Navy, 1964-1968,  US. Newport News (CA-148)

Best years serving my country. After electrician "A" school to my duty station on News. I don't regret one minute of service and I would do it again. It was the most beautiful ship in the fleet. Bill Elliott, EM/2C

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Missles, bombers and tankers, oh my!

Missles, bombers and tankers, oh my!

I saw my first Minuteman missiles when I was stationed at F.E. Warren. After less than a year, I was reassigned and found myself loading up B-52D bombers and KC-135 tankers all by myself at times, while only weighing 99.8 pounds. Many thought I couldn't do it, but I did.

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How the world outside Pennsylvania changed me

How the world outside Pennsylvania changed me

Growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania, you learn early on that freedom is not free. Being part of a family that has served their country with distinction all the way back to the Spanish-American War, leaving my mark was very hard to do. So I decided when I was 17 that I would join the Army Reserves, and after two years of doing this I decided the fast lane was where I needed to be and went on active duty. I served with pride, in stateside assignments as well as two overseas assignments.

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All I did was type

All I did was type

I think we all remember the day we raised our right hand and took our oath. After turning 18, I enlisted in the U.S. Army on Feb. 20, 1975 and left for Fort McClellan, Ala. As a 71L - Admin Specialist, I didn't do anything extraordinary or heroic. I just typed and answered the telephone, and was stationed at Fort Bliss and with the 71st Signal Battalion (Provisional) in Okinawa. However, I was proud to have served in some way. I have been a member of the William W. Fahey American Legion Post 491 in Kennett Square, Pa., for about 17 years now.

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How one cadet found ‘boldness,’ dealt with discrimination during World War II

On June 7, 1942, 12 other blacks and I in the Ft. Worth-Dallas area volunteered to be among the first black apprentice seamen in the U.S. Coast Guard. We were sworn in at the old Texas Electric Building, and as we crossed Burnett Park, a passerby’s voice rang out, “Suckers.” That echo stayed with me for a long time. From the beginning, our racial status was in conflict with stated and democratic principles and goals. My trip to New York was in a segregated coach, and I was forced to eat in a segregated section of the dining room, where incidentally my neighbor was a waiter.

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Robert Burton Eisenberg, Oct. 12, 1944 - June 8, 1967

Robert Burton Eisenberg, Oct. 12, 1944 - June 8, 1967

We are indebted to Theodore (Ted) J. Plante for this photograph. Bob Eisenberg and his best friend, Ted Plante, enlisted in the Navy together in February 1964, about 18 months after their graduation from high school. After boot camp together, Bob went to CT school and Ted went to ET school. The two stayed in frequent touch and coordinated leave together just before Bob's assignment to USS Liberty. During that leave, Bob bought his dream car, a 1967 Pontiac Grand Prix convertible, and the two double-dated until they returned to their respective duty stations.

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Ronnie Jordon Campbell, Nov. 4, 1942 - June 8, 1967

Ronnie Jordon Campbell, Nov. 4, 1942 - June 8, 1967

Eulogy by his daughter Deborah: Who was Ronnie Campbell? That is what my uncle Mike told me to find out. "Just the basic information," he said. His date of birth, where he grew up, his parents' names, etc. Sounds like an easy enough task, doesn't it? After all, this was the man who brought me life. But that question, "Who was Ronnie Campbell?", has always been a mystery to me. I never had the opportunity to know this man, never gazed up into his kind loving eyes, never heard the gentleness of his voice as he told me he loved me, and never felt the warmth of his arms as he held me.

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