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.
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.
Lieutenant Commander Alfred “Ski” Sokolowski, U.S. Navy (Retired), has experienced much over the last ninety-nine years. He had a front row seat in World War II as his ships plowed the North Atlantic, protecting convoys from German submarines. He fought on a destroyer in the Pacific, helping recapture islands lost to Japan at the start of the war, and then joined the fight again just five years later in the Korean War sailing off the coast of North Korea. As if that wasn’t enough, he took on the dangerous job of explosive ordnance disposal and managed weapons logistics in the western Pacific. He didn’t just watch U.S. history from a distance—he lived it over the course of thirty years. This is his story.
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.
Welcome to Episode 22 of the Voices to Veterans podcast. This episode features the story of Petty Officer Second Class Arnold Fernandes, U.S. Coast Guard.Arnold’s service spanned two wars, World War II and the Korean War, and two services, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy. In World War II, Arnold served in one […]
Welcome to Episode 18 of the Voices to Veterans podcast. This episode features the story of Sergeant Paul Schuler, U.S. Army.I love Paul’s story because it’s a story of unlocking potential. At Basic Training, Paul was selected to be his Platoon Guide with four squad leaders reporting to him. In describing his selection, Paul notes […]
Welcome to Episode 17 of the Voices to Veterans podcast. This episode features the story of Airman Ronnie Turner-Winston, U.S. Air Force.Ronnie has an engaging and humorous story. She enlisted in the Air Force with no prior exposure to the military or idea of what to expect. As a result, her Basic Training got off […]
Welcome to Episode 15 of the Voices to Veterans podcast. This episode features the story of Staff Sergeant Samuel D. High, U.S. Army.Sam joined the Army Reserve after graduating from North Little Rock High School because he saw storm clouds on the horizon in Southeast Asia and wanted to do his part. After his unit […]
Welcome to Episode 14 of the Voices to Veterans podcast. This episode features the story of Tech Sergeant Susie Goebel, U.S. Air Force (Retired). Susie joined the Air Force in 1980, following in her father’s footsteps. She went to boot camp just four years after women were able to enlist on the same basis as […]
Welcome to Episode 11 of the Voices to Veterans podcast. This episode features the story of Staff Sergeant Jerry Ingram, U.S. Marine Corps.
Enlisting in 1942 and lying about his age, Jerry soon found himself driving tanks in the island-hopping war against Japan in 1944. After participating in