. . Despite having lived all over the world during his long Air Force career, you can still hear the Texas in Ben Wright’s voice. He grew up in Big Bend Country, as far west in West Texas as you can get. Now Ben and his wife live in Beaver, Pennsylvania,
. . Rick Witherell of Tionesta, Pennsylvania served in the Army at the end of the Cold War, but when his reserve unit was called up during the Gulf War, he deployed to Kuwait. Despite being the first day of spring 2014, it snowed the day we preserved the stories of
. . At the tail end of the Korean War, Lew Weingard left Erie, Pennsylvania and wanted to fly planes in the Air Force. But it was not meant to be. So, after getting his commission from the enlisted ranks he was sent to post-war Japan and served with the 9th
. . Eugene Torisky of Stow, Ohio served in the navy as a radioman during the 1950s, sailing on two different destroyers, the USS Turner (DDR-834) and the USS Fessenden (DER-142). Gene grew up in Pittsburgh, attended Catholic seminary school, but then decided against a life in service to the church.
. . Gary Schisler of Moon Township, Pennsylvania served in the United States Air Force from 1969 to 1999. Lt. Col. Schisler flew C-130 air transports throughout his career while on active duty and as a reserve pilot from 1982-1999. Growing up in a military family (Gary’s dad was a
. . 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
. . During the Cold War, Joe Michaels served as Navy yeoman. Because of his special ability to write in shorthand, he was often assigned to work with high ranking officers. He joined the Navy at 17 and became known as a “kiddie cruiser”–a special class of young recruit guaranteed
. . Like many other young men who left Pittsburgh during the steel industry’s final throes of the 1980s, Jesse Mercure enlisted in the US Army and found a career and home there. He spent twenty years on active duty and another four as an active reservist before hanging up his uniform.
. . Bill McLaughlin served two years active duty in the Army, and then four years reserve duty during the Cold War era 1950s. Like many Army soldiers of the time, he served in Germany as part of the frontline defense against a Soviet takeover of Europe. In summer of 2013,
. . Stephen Kisio Originally from Leetsdale, Pennsylvania, Steve Kisio enlisted in the Air Force and worked as an air traffic controller through the Korean Conflict, Cold War, and Vietnam era. He served in Okinawa and Da Nang. In Da Nang he worked with a Vietnamese controller and had to
. . Don Johnson Don Johnson, a second generation veteran, joined the Coast Guard on August 4, 1964, the same day President Lyndon B. Johnson announced that the USS Maddox had been fired on in the Gulf of Tonkin. Don was sent to Vietnam in 1967 and was stationed off
. . Gerald Goslak Gerald Goslak joined the Army at the old age of 22 and was promptly sent with his armored unit to a Cold War post near Munich, Germany. While there, he stood guard duty at an Army stockade which was once Dachau, the notorious death camp used
. . Larry Googins Larry Googins is a native of Portland, Maine, raised by his widowed mother and grandmother. As a kid, his family avidly followed the Korean War through radio reports. A decade later, news about Vietnam came by way of black and white television. “When I went to
. . During Rudy Golling’s long military career, he served first in the Army during WW II and then in the Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He retired from active duty in 1974, after thirty years of service. Air Force work is often technical and highly skilled; Rudy’s
. . Thomas Franus Thomas Franus of Ellwood City, Pennsylvania was almost out of the Army. One month to go and he’d be home for Christmas 1963, closing out an exhausting tour of duty with the Army’s elite Honor Guard in Washington DC. One month on an easy down slope.
. . Kevin Farkas During the Cold War, which officially lasted between 1945-1991, Kevin Farkas served as an avionics technician in the US Navy from 1983-1987. He was attached to an F-14 squadron (VF-74, “The Bedevilers”) that deployed with the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV 60). “When people ask me
. . Rick Erisman Rick Erisman of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania joined the navy, serving as a radioman from 1969 to 1973. As to why he enlisted in the service after graduating college in North Carolina he admits, “I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I did want to
. . Rosetta Burke After 220 years, the New York Army National Guard promoted its first female general—Pittsburgh native Rosetta Y. Burke. But Rosetta didn’t start her military career in 1962 as a soldier. After training at the Harlem School of Nursing (in New York City), she entered the Army