Everyone understands soldiers follow orders. They must or their military organizations will devolve into chaos and fail. What makes the U.S. military unique, however, is it expects its soldiers to think and take the initiative, seizing opportunities that might otherwise be lost. Such was the case with Sergeant Harold P. Jantz, U.S. Army. When a far superior enemy force engaged his platoon during the Vietnam War, he charged into the fray and brought to bear the necessary firepower to defeat his foe. Without his quick thinking and forceful action, his entire platoon might have been destroyed. In the aftermath, he left no U.S. soldier behind. The events of that day were the defining moments of his life, molding him into the man he is today. This is his story.
Posts by David Grogan:
Those who come to America seeking a better life have a long and distinguished history of serving our country. Beginning with the Revolutionary War and continuing in every war since, immigrants have served in every branch of our Armed Forces, willingly putting their lives on the line for their adopted home. Aviation Machinist Mate Third Class Ignacio Rodriguez continued that proud tradition, enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1964. He flew as an aircrewman on EC-121 Super Constellations hunting hurricanes in the skies over the Western Pacific and operating out of Da Nang and Chu Lai during the Vietnam War. He earned his U.S. citizenship the hard way – by serving our country during time of war. This is his story.
I thought it time I review something contemporary, so this month I listened to Spare, narrated by the author, Prince Harry. I have always admired Prince Harry because of his military service in Afghanistan. When I was assigned in Bahrain in 2007-2008, I remember Prince Harry departing Afghanistan because his presence endangered his unit – he […]
Much has changed on Navy ships over the centuries – sail converted to steam, steel replaced wood, and missiles supplemented guns, just to name a few. Yet with all these changes, fundamental truths remain. Navy ships carry the U.S. flag to the four corners of the globe, serving as ambassadors in the countries they visit and as strong reminders of U.S. military power and resolve. Navy ships also require a team of special people pulling together to accomplish the ship’s mission, enduring the perils of the sea, the long separations from family, and the risks associated with war. Captain Jack E. Helmann, U.S. Navy (Retired), knows these challenges all too well, having served on five Navy destroyers over the course of his twenty-four-year Navy career. He also knows the strains and responsibilities of command, having been the Commanding Officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Berkeley (DDG-15) for over two years. This is his story.
It’s an age-old question, does art reflect life or does life reflect art? In the case of Specialist Eric Ferguson, U.S. Army, one would have to say the latter. Eric has always drawn inspiration from the stories and larger-than-life heroes depicted on the silver screen. They inspired him to join the Army and be bold when choosing his warfare branch. They gave him insight and strength to deal with the difficult situations he faced in training and while part of the Operation Desert Storm mobile assault force in Iraq. Finally, they helped him understand and deal with the Gulf War’s aftermath. Now it is time for Eric’s story to do the same for others. This is his story.
It takes a special person to endure a long career in the military. Wartime deployments, long family separations with missed birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, and the strain of command compete against the strong sense of duty, camaraderie, and public service officers feel as they decide whether to continue in the military or leave to pursue a civilian career. Colonel Tom Thompson, U.S. Army (Retired), experienced all these factors and more as he navigated his twenty-six-year career in the Army that included two combat deployments to Vietnam. Throughout it all, he balanced duty and family as best he could to make both sides win. This is his story.
I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything by Ernest Hemingway before, so I thought it was about time to try. Without doing any research into any of his works, I selected A Farewell to Arms because it was a title I recognized. All I knew was it had something to do with World War I. […]
When people think of Navy lawyers, the image of courtrooms and court-martials comes to mind, conjured up from movies like The Caine Mutiny and A Few Good Men. Although those images are accurate as far as they go, they paint but a small part of the picture. No career illustrates that better than that of Commander Tom Jones, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Navy (Retired). Tom left the courtroom behind early in his career to serve with the Navy SEALs in Iraq, charting the course for all future Navy attorneys embedded with special operations units. Where others might see roadblocks, Tom saw opportunities. Throughout his distinguished twenty-year Navy career, he never avoided challenges – he embraced them. This is his story.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I love spy novels. As far as I’m concerned, nothing tops spy novels exploring the cat and mouse games U.S., British, and Soviet agents played at the height of the Cold War. Throw in some legitimate history – another subject I love to read about – […]
Major Sandy Richardson, U.S. Air Force (Retired) – From Dream to Reality, Flying with the Air Force for 20 Years
Some people dream and that is as far as it goes. Others follow through and take action, always keeping their eyes on the ultimate objective. Ever since Major Sandy Richardson, U.S. Air Force, was a boy with his father watching planes take off and land in Louisiana, he dreamed of becoming a pilot. Now he can look back at his fifty-year career of flying and training others to fly and say with pride, “I lived my dream.” This is his story.