It takes courage to enlist in the military. Once you raise your right hand and take the oath to serve and defend the Constitution, you must go wherever the military says you are needed most. When the nation is at war, that need could very well be in a war zone where your life is at risk. Such is the case with Specialist Andrea Marshall, who enlisted in the Army in 2008. Four years later, she found herself assigned as a combat medic at a Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan. This is Andrea’s story.
Voices To Veterans
Let’s help veterans tell their stories. Maybe they worked in the mess halls serving chow, or helped load ordnance onto jets waiting their turn to launch on combat missions, or maybe they had to watch their friends get hit in an ambush or a firefight in a rice paddy in Vietnam. It’s time we hear what they have to say!
If you are a veteran, or you know a veteran you’d like to have considered, send an email to VoicesToVeterans@gmail.com with the name of the veteran, a short summary of his or her story, and a picture of the veteran in uniform if you have it. I’ll then select veterans from the nominations I receive and write-up their stories for the Voices to Veterans Spotlight. Every veteran whose story I feature will receive a free signed copy of my latest Steve Stilwell legal thriller, Sapphire Pavilion, which is dedicated to “Wounded Warriors and Vietnam War veterans, especially those heroes still waiting to come home.”
Sometimes in life we are presented with choices where the “right” choice is obvious. Sergeant Jim Elsener, U.S. Marine Corps, was given such a choice in January 1966. He could finish out his enlistment at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, having served in the Marines with honor, and return to civilian life in the Midwest. Or he could choose a course that promised many unknowns. Jim chose the latter, and as the poet Carl Sandburg so eloquently expressed, that choice has made all the difference. This is Jim’s story.
Destiny has a way of just happening, whether you want it to or not. Staff Sergeant Dean Moss, U.S. Air Force, knows that all too well. No matter how many times he tried to point his life in a particular direction, destiny kept bringing him back to where he was meant to be. He was destined to serve our country in Vietnam,
Some people have a knack for telling stories. When you listen, you can’t help but share in their excitement as they reveal an unexpected outcome or describe an event that made a difference in their lives or the lives of other people. Petty Officer Third Class Eugene Walker, U.S. Navy, has the storytelling gift.
Veterans influence and inspire us, often to follow in their footsteps. Such was the case with Command Chief Master Sergeant Dave Himmer, U.S. Air Force (retired), who looked up to his high school history teacher – a Marine in World War II – and said, “I want to be like him”. Although
Sometimes when you’ve got your heart set on something, that’s all you can see. Your focus can cause you to miss even better opportunities that might present themselves in unexpected ways. Staff Sergeant Howard Berger had that kind of focus in February of 1946, looking forward to going home from Austria after […]
One of the most common reasons young men and women join the military is to get an education. In fact, the post-World War II GI Bill changed America, making a college education available to millions of veterans who otherwise could not have afforded it. This new cadre of college graduates helped drive the U.S. economy, […]
For Sergeant Alice Gallop West, service to country and community did not end with her time in the Army—it began there. From working with the families of deployed soldiers, to giving victims and witnesses of crimes a voice in the military criminal justice system, Alice has worked tirelessly to help people and communities heal. At […]
True courage is rare. It only shows itself when a person is tested. For that reason, you can’t look at someone or listen to what they say about themselves to predict if they will be courageous. In fact, many courageous people won’t talk about their deeds because they don’t consider what they did anything special. They see their actions as simply doing their jobs. That’s why […]
The road through life is never straight and rarely fair. Some begin their journey with a supportive family and an adequate income, giving them a head start along their way. Others are not so fortunate, facing seemingly insurmountable hurdles that conspire to keep them from continuing. Yet they drive on, navigating around the hurdles until […]