From the very start of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, I knew I was listening to one of the most meaningful, influential books I’ve experienced in my lifetime. I listened to it over the holidays while I was driving my daughter and her dog back to New Jersey and ever since then, I can’t stop […]
Posts by David Grogan:
Sometimes people are presented with options having life changing consequences. Such was the case with Sergeant Russell J. Wright, U.S. Army, when he received his draft notice in May of 1970. With the war in Vietnam winding down and protestors clamoring for draftees to flee to Canada, Russ could have evaded the draft and kept himself safe from a war that had already killed tens of thousands of Americans. Instead, he chose to do his duty and report for service because he knew it was the right thing to do. Now, looking back on his service in the jungles and rice paddies of South Vietnam over fifty years later, Russ is proud of his service and would do it all again. This is his story.
I was hesitant to commit to reading Last Hope Island by Lynne Olson when a neighbor recommended it, but finally decided to give it a try. Boy, am I glad I did! The book discusses how England opened its doors to the exiled governments of Norway, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Czechoslovakia, and Poland, after their countries […]
Master Chief Petty Officer Donald Gohman, U.S. Navy (Retired) – Keeping the Navy Flying During Three Wars
Master Chief Petty Officer Donald Gohman, U.S. Navy (Retired) is a humble man. When we began to talk, he told me his career was routine and he didn’t think he’d done anything special. Then he told me about how he helped keep planes flying from Henderson Field during the six-month long battle for Guadalcanal during World War II and kept carrier aircraft in fighting shape for missions over Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Needless to say, I was spellbound. Weaving in and out of peacetime and war, Don’s career is a thirty-year American history lesson taught at the individual level. I could not get enough of it, and I think you will share the same view. This is his story.
When you read a book by a new author, you never know what you are going to get. What I got with The Hawk Enigma was a thrilling ride from beginning to end. It had all the ingredients I love – international intrigue, action, ties to the military, amazing technology, and most of all, a […]
It’s easy to take for granted the freedoms we have because we live in a country isolated from its adversaries by two vast oceans. As a result, most of us live our lives unconcerned with the possibility of an invading foreign army. Many U.S. allies do not enjoy the same luxury, as they find themselves bordered by authoritarian regimes ready to cross their borders at the first sign of weakness. The U.S. has supported its allies since the end of World War II by sending forces to stand with them against would-be aggressors. Sergeant Thomas Lucken, U.S. Army, was one of those soldiers called to hold the line during the Cold War by spending over thirteen years overseas in South Korea and Germany as a Cavalry Scout. This is his story.
I couldn’t help but be intrigued by Reflections of Valour by James Elsener. Not only was it written by one of the veterans I’ve interviewed, but the story just seemed very real to me. It begins in 1988 when Brenda Kiley visits the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, with her family and sees the name of her […]
Chaplains in the military are a special breed. Not only do they assume the hardships of their own military service, including long family separations and deployments into combat zones, but they also try to lighten the burdens of the men and women they serve with by helping them carry their loads. Chaplain Lavern W. Gardai, U.S. Army (Retired), who served with the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in Vietnam and then went on to a distinguished twenty-eight-year Army career, knows these stresses all to well—he lived them firsthand. From ministering to the wounded, to surviving a deadly helicopter crash, he’s done it all. This is his story
Everyone faces adversity in life. How an individual deals with that adversity determines the course their life will follow. Specialist Ashley Hawkins, U.S. Army (Retired), has dealt with more than her share of adversity, yet she’s never let it define her. Instead, she confronts it head on and overcomes it, always looking toward a better future. This unwavering determination resulted in her being the first female soldier in U.S. history to be awarded the Bronze Star with a “V” for valor in combat. This is her story.
Photographs are like time capsules, forever freezing a moment in time. They provide us with a window into the past, documenting our history in a way the written word cannot. Yet for Sergeant Ron Haeberle, U.S. Army, a photograph he took on March 16, 1968, did more than just look back in time. It foretold the future—a future built on courage and survival and shining as a beacon of hope to all who see and understand it. Now, over fifty years after Ron’s Nikon camera captured the image, it serves as an inspiration for Ron in every aspect of his life. This is Ron’s story.