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.
U.S. Marine Corps
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
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
Welcome to Episode 6 of the Voices to Veterans podcast. This month features the story of Sergeant Richard “Dick” Sowinski, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the 1950’s.Everything about Dick’s story is timeless. When you look at his picture, you can’t tell if it was taken in the 1950s or the 2020s. The […]
Welcome to Episode 2 of the Voices to Veterans podcast. This month features the story of a trailblazing woman in the U.S. Marine Corps, 1st Lieutenant Iris Nigg Lundin. Iris was one of the first female officers in the Marine Corps in World War II and one of the first four women to earn her […]
When most of us are sixteen, our biggest worries are getting our drivers license or figuring out our date to the prom. When Staff Sergeant Jerry Ingram was sixteen, he was a combat tank commander with Company C of the 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marines, preparing to fight his way to victory across the Pacific […]
Natural leaders rise to the top, no matter where they start out. That’s why when the Marines recruited Richard “Dick” Sowinski, they knew they had a winner. They could not have been more right. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Dick graduated from West Tech High School in 1953. That fall he attended Kent State […]
When I met 1st Lieutenant Iris Nigg Lundin, U.S. Marine Corps, to talk to her about her experience as a female Marine Officer in World War II, she handed me her prized possession from her service – her Aerial Navigator Wings. “I was one of the first 4 women to get these wings,” she said […]