Watch “The Ranger”

Chris, an Army Ranger veteran gives a powerful and emotional testimony of the trials he faced at home (after five combat tours), and how a personal tragedy saved his life.
Note: have a tissue nearby.


10 Stories of Chivalry and Compassion from the Battlefields of World War One (3)


The Funeral of The Red Baron

  When it came to the aerial battles of World War One, there were few sights that would inspire as much fear in British fighter pilots as the distinctive red Fokker DR-1 Dridecker, flown by Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen – the Red Baron. The feared pilot – whose unprecedented 80 kills puts him well beyond flying ace territory – started out serving in the trenches before he transferred to the German Air Force in 1915. By 1917, he was the commander of the elite Flying Circus. Read more

History of War Animals: PDSA Dickin Award


In Britain an award was created to honour those heroes of the animal kingdom who have carried out remarkable duties in the most desperate of times; the PDSA Dickin medal. Recognised as the animals’ Victoria Cross, 64 have been presented, 54 of those between 1943 and 1949. In total, 32 pigeons, 28 dogs, 3 horses and 1 cat have received a Dickin medal. Read more

In Love & War

It was the summer of 1940 in London, I was eighteen and doing a bit of dusting in our front parlour when I looked out of the window and saw the man of my dreams walk by, I watched him till he went round the corner out of sight, then about five minutes later he came back but this time he had a girl called ‘Angie’ on his arm. I knew her from school days and never liked her. The same thing happened several times but the Battle of Britain began and everything changed!
Mum and I had to run to a public air raid shelter when the warning went off. Sometimes we stayed all night but usually it was two or three hours till the all clear went, One night, we went to return home at about 2am but there was a barrier across our street due to an unexploded bomb so we were billeted in another house. Read more

10 Stories of Chivalry and Compassion from the Battlefields of World War One(8)

Image: Voigt T H, public domain)

War has changed a lot over the centuries, but one thing that hasn’t altered is its spirit. War is bloody and brutal, fought from the cold, muddy trenches, won and lost by men – and women – miles and miles away from their homes and their families. War is countless lives, extinguished in a heartbeat, buried in mass graves that are often forgotten. Many of those who die in war… their names and their faces are forgotten, too. But occasionally, there are moments on the darkest, bloodiest days that remind us even in war, there is still chivalry, there is still compassion. There is still humanity.

Read more

Soft Spots: A Marines Memoir of Combat and PTSD

click the book cover to link to a preview of Clint’s memoir

A powerful, haunting, provocative memoir of a Marine in Iraq—and his struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in a system trying to hide the damage done Marine Sergeant Clint Van Winkle flew to war on Valentine’s Day 2003. His battalion was among the first wave of troops that crossed into Iraq, and his first combat experience was the battle of Nasiriyah, followed by patrols throughout the country, house to house searches, and operations in the dangerous Baghdad slums.But after two tours of duty, certain images would not leave his memory—a fragmented mental movie of shooting a little girl; of scavenging parts from a destroyed, blood-spattered tank; of obliterating several Iraqi men hidden behind an ancient wall; and of mistakenly stepping on a “soft spot,” the remains of a Marine killed in combat. After his return home, Van Winkle sought help at a Veterans Administration facility, and so began a maddening journey through an indifferent system that promises to care for veterans, but in fact abandons many of them.From riveting scenes of combat violence, to the gallows humor of soldiers fighting a war that seems to make no sense, to moments of tenderness in a civilian life ravaged by flashbacks, rage, and doubt, Soft Spots reveals the mind of a soldier like no other recent memoir of the war that has consumed America.

Click the above image to read a preview of this book via Google Books

 By Clint Van Winkle

Afghanistan: Coffee, Rip Its, and Tobacco

This is an excerpt from an article I just found on, I got a giggle out of it, too. Enjoy!  #RipIts

By Mark Memmott

Graham Smith, a producer on All Things Considered, sends in another dispatch from Afghanistan. Graham, NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman and NPR video/photo journalist David Gilkey have been reporting from there for the past month.

In this report, Graham tells of their visit to Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan’s Farah Province, and a trip they made with Marines to the village of Gulistan: Read more

If You’re Reading This: Letters Home

Dedicated historian Sian Price spent three years travelling the world and reading through 30,000 heart-rending letters to compile the touching collection.

Heartfelt farewell: Second Lieutenant Eric Heaton, from East Sussex, wrote to his parent from the Battle of the Somme:

If I fall in battle then I have no regrets save for my loved ones I leave behind

Second Lieutenant Eric Heaton, age 20. Died: The Somme, 1916.

From his dugout, he wrote to his parents: ‘My darling Mother and Father, I am writing this on the eve of my first action. Read more

Memoirs & Diaries – The Diary of Thomas Fredrick Littler: 1914 & 1915

This post comprises the beginning of the wartime diaries of Thomas Fredrick Littler. I will post the rest in 2-3 posts. Enjoy!


The introduction below was penned by Fred’s descendent, Chris Littler.

Introduction by Chris Littler

Fred Littler joined the Cheshire Regiment shortly after his 17th birthday in 1914.  He trained in Aberystwyth, Cambridge, Northampton and Norwich, before beginning work at Siddley Deasy in Coventry. Read more

In Afghanistan, U.S platoon’s tranquil morning shattered by blast

Bombs explode every day in the country, and are preponderant in the Arghandab Valley, where the platoon is based. But for one sergeant, this one was personal and quite memorable.
June 06, 2010|By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Jilga, Afghanistan — Sgt. Tait Terzo was manning the patrol point just after dawn Saturday with his bomb-sniffing dog, Urmel, an eager Belgian Malinois whose job was to warn the U.S. soldiers behind him if he caught a whiff of explosives.

Sgt. Steve Peterson, a few paces behind, decided to inspect a pile of cow manure beside a dirt wall. Insurgents have hidden bombs in stranger places. Read more

Back From Combat, The Battles of Home…Now What (Chapter 3)

Here are the last entries of  SGT Chainey blog, dated January 30, 2011.

I hope all is well with him.

Chapter three has some length to it, so there’s plenty to read. 


I’m still working on chapter 4,  there has also been changes in the first 3 chapters and they will be posted soon. (30 January 2011).

Chapter 3

December 9, 2010

From the first they told us we will be deploying, time seemed to just fly. We started a lot of training at the Hood, and did a month at Fort Irwin, Ca. That trained us in all areas of combat, war games helps in many ways to prepare you. But knowing if you are killed in the game, you just get recycled and start over. Being my first deployment saying goodbye was pretty hard, and very trying. And having young children also makes it difficult, because the really don’t understand where mom or dad is going. When we say goodbye it has a different meaning, which can really mean goodbye, for good. Read more

The Dogs of War–Photo Journal

Photograph by Adam Ferguson Army Staff Sgt. Terry Young and his German shepherd, Wero, search for explosives at a checkpoint in Kandahar, Afghanistan. More than 500 U.S. military working dogs are deployed worldwide at any given time.

Out in front of America’s troops, combat canines and their handlers lead the way onto the most dangerous battlefields on Earth.


Photograph by Adam Ferguson In Afghanistan a helicopter transports an IED-detecting Belgian Malinois named Oopey, sitting next to his handler, Air Force Staff Sgt. Jonathan Bourgeois.

Photograph by Adam Ferguson Army Staff Sgt. Jason Cartwright bonds with his Labrador retriever, Isaac, during a mission to disrupt a Taliban supply route. Dogs are very sensitive to their handlers’ emotions. Says Jay Crafter, a trainer for the military, “If you’re having a bad day, your dog is going to have a bad day.”

Photograph by Adam Ferguson Sergeant Bourgeois clips Oopey’s toenails before a mission in Afghanistan. Handlers care for their dogs’ every need, learning canine CPR as well as how to spot canine post-traumatic stress disorder, which afflicts some 5 percent of deployed dogs.

Photograph by Adam Ferguson Marine Cpl. John Dolezal poses with Cchaz, a Belgian Malinois, at Twentynine Palms in California. Dogs bred at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, the military’s primary canine facility, are given names that begin with a double letter.

Photograph by Adam Ferguson Sergeant Cartwright has Isaac sniff for weapons and explosives in a basement in Kandahar. A dog is trained to sit or lie down and not bark when it locates a target scent. The handler rewards the dog by letting it chew on its toy.


See more at: National Geographic

hover over images for caption. 

War Dogs: The Aussie Dog Who Lost Her Way

Rebecca Frankel
Chief Canine Correspondent

On a late September afternoon in 2008, a convoy of allied forces — U.S., Australian, and members of the Afghan National Army — patrolling the remote valley in the Oruzgan, Afghanistan was ambushed by the Taliban. It was a carefully planned attack by “a numerically superior, well-sited and prepared insurgent force.” When the battle was over many were wounded and one member of the Australian unit was missing — Sabi, the Special Forces explosives detection dog. Read more

War Stories, Steel Pot Pouri II: True Love

Vietnam War

In this story, Dan Schlecht, a D Company medic in early 1969 with the 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 50th Infantry, removes his steel pot to explain his love affair with the often unappreciated Helmet, Combat, M1 with the plastic Liner, Helmet , M1, commonly known as the “steel pot” or much worse.

A photograph of Dan’s helmet

I always wore a helmet in Nam. Why????? Mainly because my head is BIG (We call it a Schlecht head.). The helmet covered it well as long as I adjusted the helmet liner to the almost largest size. ( I have seen a few bigger.) My neck is large and able to carry the extra weight. It felt good, comfortable, and made me feel safe. DOC WAS A DORK but I didn’t sense any peer pressure being the only enlisted man (or one of few) that wore a helmet. I never had a Boonie Hat but was asked many times, “Why Not”? Read more

Vietnam War Stories: Veterans of the war tell their side of the story

English: U.S. army troops taking a break while...
English: U.S. army troops taking a break while on patrol during the Vietnam War (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“You have put together a very powerful, honest, gut-wrenching portrayal of the Vietnam veteran and let us tell it in our own words.” — Howard Sherpe, Vietnam veteran

I highly recommend this!

Telling emotional stories that haven’t been heard before, Vietnam War veterans recount their experiences in this one-hour television documentary. Vietnam War Stories presents a portrait of the war told entirely from the perspective of veterans, who reflect on their memories of the conflict from five decades ago. For many service members, these experiences still feel like they happened yesterday. Members of the U.S. Army’s 23rd Division share a moment of camaraderie in the field in 1969.Members of the U.S. Army’s 23rd Division share a moment of camaraderie in the field in 1969. Read more