Storytelling America: Veteran Stories

Two Bullets Changed My Life - Gene Murphy
STA DAV Murphy 150One day Gene Murphy innocently stopped by the Selective Service Office to check the status of his student deferment, before he knew what hit him, at age 19, Gene Murphy would soon find himself in a place that would change his life forever - Vietnam.  In 1969 as a young Army sergeant Murphy was paralyzed by two gunshots to his right side just 30 days before he was scheduled to return home to the United States.  His injury would not only prevent him from ever walking again, but would set him on a long history of advocacy on behalf of disabled veterans.

Volk: I Couldn't Believe Someone Wanted to Kill Me!
DVolk 150Over 2.5 million Americans were drafted during the Vietnam War. To serve one's country in times of war is a sacrifice, but draftees of the Vietnam era had an altogether unique experience. Young men going about their normal lives, making plans for the future were suddenly jerked out of their cozy civilian existence and plunged into the craziness of Army life and war in a foreign land.

Old Guys & Their Airplanes - Bob Pardo:  Push Someone
Pardo Wayne 150On March 10, 1967, Bob Pardo was part of a four-ship mission to take out a target just north of Hanoi, North Vietnam. Going in, Earl Aman and Bob Houghton's F-4 Phantom took a mortal hit and what happened next is one of the most amazing stories you’ll ever experience.


Jim Kiley:  Stuck in a Hammock on the USS Laws
Kiley 150He just wanted to find a cool place to rest.  While cruising just north of the Phillipines on the USS Law in World War II, seaman Jim Kiley hung his hammock from the search lights of the forward stack.  Little did he know that’s where he’d be spending the next two days hanging on for life in a Pacific typhoon.


Stanley Christensen: Mr. Milquetoast or Captain America?
OmahaBeach 127My dad would refer to him as "Mr. Milquetoast".  In other words, "a timid, unassertive person who is easily dominated or intimidated". We all knew Stanley Christensen, a mechanic for the John Deere dealership, as a very quite and kind man. You know the type someone who "wouldn't hurt a flea". Well, apparently there weren't any fleas on Omaha Beach at about 6:10 am on June 6, 1944 when Stanley's foot hit the sand, just German soldiers armed to the teeth with machine guns and artillery.

The Uncle Buddy I Hardly Knew
Buddy BronzePin 200"The first thing I'm going to do when I get to heaven is to look up those German boys I killed during the war and tell them how sorry I am." That's one of the last things my Uncle Buddy said before he passed away in 1990.  He was a genuine war hero and I hardly knew it.  Discover what I learned.


It Ain’t All Onions & Radishes:  PFC Lingberg Purchases Engagement Ring
OR 150PFC Lingberg buys his girl a diamond ring on credit.  Terms – just until payday.  See what Aunt Josie thinks about it.