. . Christopher Sekula: In My Own Words from Veterans Breakfast Club on Vimeo.
. . John Schweich of Beaver, Pennsylvania served in Vietnam as an army intelligence officer. He later served with the CIA as a civilian and retired from the Army Reserves as a lieutenant colonel. One of the most profound problems we faced in Vietnam, John recalls, is that military and political
. . Pittsburgh’s James Scanlon and his twin brother Gene first served in the Army Air Corps during WW II, and then they were transferred to the regular Army. A letter from the White House, prompted by a concerned Mrs. Scanlon, ordered the Army to keep the enlisted Scanlon boys together.
. . Originally from Washington, Pennsylvania, Ivan J. Sargent was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. He served with the well known, 3rd Infantry Division, 15th Infantry Regiment, Easy Company–an outfit dating back to the Civil War and formerly commanded by some of America’s greatest generals, including Dwight Eisenhower, George
. . Bob Rupert of Clinton, Pennsylvania was working as an aircraft mechanic for a major airline when he was called up during the Vietnam War. It was a good job. He was a well trained technician. But the army needed infantrymen in 1968. Not long after landing in Vietnam and
. . Herman Rosner entered the US Army in April 1941 and joined G Company, 68th Coast Artillery as an AA gunner. He fought in Italy, where brutal winters and limited supplies made things “rough for a while.” He recalls, “We were losing a lot of men…you wonder sometimes, ‘it’s going
. . During WW II, Robert J. Rose of New Brighton, PA served as a cannoneer with Battery “A” of the 574th AAA Auto Weapons Battalion, 13th Armored Division. Patton’s Army. After landing in France, he and his unit moved across Europe towards a particularly stubborn German entrenchment known as The Bulge.
. . During the Vietnam War in the mid 1960s, Jonathan B. Robison was a self-described conscientious objector and peace activist. But he joined the Army National Guard anyway, serving in the Reserves for over six years but never on active duty. Despite serving honorably and at the ready should the
. . Ralph L. Riter, 91, of Connellsville, Pennsylvania was drafted into the army in April of 1943, and he served with the 46th Field Artillery Battalion from Normandy to Nuremberg. Like many others GIs who actually served under George Patton, Ralph didn’t think too highly of the brash-mouthed general. But
. . Francis Rifugiato joined the Army ROTC’s enlisted reserve corps while a music student at Duquesne University because he assumed the war would be over by the time he graduated. He was ordered to report to active duty in 1943. “I went from learning how to play clarinet in a
. . “War is hell. Everbody loses, and nobody wins.” Robert Riethmiller shared that sentiment freely, but if you asked him about his experience on the Pacific Islands during World War II, he’d be less likely to talk about the brutal parts of his experience than he would something that would
. . Bernard Pular of Tionesta, Pennsylvania served in the Army during the Korean War. On a routine mission one day he engaged the enemy—Koreans, Chinese—it didn’t matter. They were trying to kill him, so he returned the gesture. That’s when “The Pollack”—as his men called him—was cut down by a
. . Blairsville’s Joseph (Guerrino) Prola, 95, was twice drafted during WW II. In medic training the young recruit was asked what he’d do if saw someone with their arm or leg blown off. “I don’t know what I’d do,” he stammered. “I’d be flabbergasted.” Just months later when the Germans
. . George Priatko served with the Army’s 25th Infantry Division in the Pacific Theater during WW II. Their well-known shoulder patch–the “electric strawberry” –is still recognizable today, although the unit is best known as “Tropic Lightning.” During liberation of the Philippines, the 25th fought for 165 days without rest–a fact
. . During WWII, Guy Prestia of Ellwood City, Pennsylvania was among the first Army troops to reach Europe through North Africa, Sicily, Salerno, and Anzio. From June 1943 through Allied Occupation, Guy served with the 45th Infantry Division, a unit formed out of the Oklahoma Army National Guard from the
. . After kicking around for a couple of years after high school, Ron Potter decided to join the Army and get his military service over and done with. It was the dawn of the 60s, the height of the Cold War, and the Soviets were giving the US a hard
. . During the Cold War, Hal Plusa served as an intelligence officer in the Army. He received his commission from Duquesne University’s ROTC program. During the 1970s and 1980s, Hal served two tours of duty in Germany defending the Cold War’s hottest zones in Europe. The Veterans of Whitehall