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.
Welcome to Episode 36 of the Voices to Veterans podcast. This episode features the story of Private First Class Oscar W. Green, U.S. Army. While I love all the veterans’ stories I’ve done, Oscar’s is one of my all-time favorites. His story is both a war story and a love story – it’s about a […]
Welcome to Episode 34 of the Voices to Veterans podcast. This episode features the story of Sergeant Kenny L. Esmond, U.S. Army.Kenny spent harrowing evenings standing perimeter guard duty at Phu Bai and Fire Base Bastogne near Hue City in the Republic of South Vietnam during 1970 and 1971. Holding his position with enemy rocket-propelled […]
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.
Welcome to Episode 29 of the Voices to Veterans podcast. This episode features the story of 1st Lieutenant Henry Lowenstern, U.S. Army.Henry served in the Army during World War II and has a truly amazing story. He and his family escaped from persecution in Nazi Germany in 1937 and came to the United States. Henry […]
Welcome to Episode 27 of the Voices to Veterans podcast. This episode features the story of Private First Class Robert F. Burgess, U.S. Army. Bob Burgess has always been someone who’s lived life on his own terms. From enlisting in the Army rather than waiting to be drafted, to experiencing all that living in post-war […]
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 24 of the Voices to Veterans podcast. This episode features the story of Specialist Jack Murphy, U.S. Army.Twenty-five years after patrolling the rice paddies of the Mekong Delta and the triple-canopy jungles of Vietnam, the moment of inspiration Jack had been waiting for finally arrived. He picked up his guitar and composed […]
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.