Stories in Serve that you’ll love, handpicked by our team.
The Forgotten Role of Africa in World War I
When we think about World War I (assuming we think of it at all), we immediately think of the bloody trench warfare of the Western Front in Europe. Sometimes the focus falls on the Russian theater of the war, but only insofar as it led to the Russian Revolution. Even more rarely, our attention will turn to the war in the Middle East, usually following the release of films like Lawrence of Arabia or Gallipoli. What we never think of, and what few historians ever mention, is Africa.
Daughter of War
We've all heard about the life-long effects that war can have on human life. Effects of war can include mass destruction of cities and long lasting effects on a country's economy. Citizens can turn into refugees and there are possibly mass killings of men, woman and children alike. The disastrous effect it has can last for lifetimes and even centuries.
5 Lessons The Army Taught Me About Life
Joining the military taught me a lot about life. I feel wiser beyond my years and friends with their degrees. I absolutely value education, but a lot of the degrees seem like useless, debt building degrees.
My First Submarine Watch
This was it. I was finally a useful member of the crew. Earlier that morning, I had finally qualified to stand the Shutdown Roving Watch. Our boat was in the shipyard, which meant the engine room was shut down, but someone still needed to walk around every hour and check on different machines and temperatures and pressures. Enter the Shutdown Roving Watch, or SRW, or roving watch as it was spoken. This is the guy that wanders the depths of the engine room with a clipboard and flashlight, writing down the same set of numbers each hour, bored out of his mind. During the day there are plenty of crew members to chop it up with, shipyard workers to yell at, and commotion to keep us busy, but at night, there’s nobody. Three guys look after panels in the maneuvering room, one of which takes the occasional trip down into the engine room, and every few hours one of the supervisors will take a tour of the space and review the clipboard, but that’s it. It’s an important job, sure, but only on the rare occasion that something goes wrong. Otherwise, it’s a lonely way to spend a day, switching off with other watchstanders every few hours.
A Codebreaker From Bletchley Park
When my mother-in-law told me that one of her friends used to be a Naval Wren, she suggested I could interview her for a military history magazine. So we arranged a time and went to see Nancy at her home, where she’d placed a collection of her wartime memorabilia on a table for me to see.
Stripes and Bars to Stars
In the hip hop genre, rappers often describe how they’ve earned stripes, and sometimes in the next breath say they’re five star generals. This is true, but only with conditions. Someone who transitions from the enlisted ranks to becoming an officer is known as a mustang, and it takes decades for officers to achieve general status.
The US Airman Who Sacrificed His Life to Save a Small English Town
13 November 1943. It was around 8 am in the sleepy town of Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, England, when 11-year-old Maureen was awakened by the roaring engines of a B-17 bomber which came uncomfortably close to the roof of her house.
As a young Marine, I was both excited & nervous to go to another country. Of course, as a member of the armed forces, there is a potential for being put in a dangerous environment which heightens the anxiety. Okinawa, Japan, was ordered to be my home for the next three years of my life. While going to a tropical island seems like a paradise, this was not a vacation but a workplace. We were allowed time to enjoy the island on our off time while still adhering to specific guidelines. "You are an ambassador!" was drilled into our heads from before leaving to go overseas. During this allotted free time, there seemed to be some tensions between the Okinawans & U.S military in some places. Others knew that the American army had money which made them all the friendlier. Until now, I did not fully understand these tensions. After reading multiple historical accounts, literature and speaking with some of the locals, I understood the impact of some of the past atrocities. This is why I chose to write about my time in Okinawa versus my other travels. My time spent overseas was the most intense cultural change I've experienced yet. With that, I also found it necessary to raise a bit of awareness regarding cross-cultural experiences.
Memorial Day in Canton, Georgia
About a year and a half ago, I rode through Canton, Georgia with a friend and neighbor on our way to Old Car City. As we were about to pass the Georgia National Cemetery on Hwy 20, he asked if I minded taking a brief detour. Knowing he was a Vietnam Veteran and wanting to see this relatively new memorial, I gladly complied. The entrance road wound through about a mile of wild and natural forest before you come to the second, and real, entrance to the cemetery. A large ornate marble wall and wrought iron gate flanked with American flags greets you as you enter the hallowed grounds.
“Why is she the one doing this? She isn’t even wearing a proper uniform!” The Girl Scout mother didn’t care that Megan and I were near enough to hear her snarky comments.
In 1920, Poland Saved Europe from the Soviets
With the defeat of the German and Austro-Hungarian Empire in the First World War and the collapse of the Russian Empire in the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, the 3 forces occupied Poland since 1795 were extinguished.
Phantoms of the Seas
“Conn, Sonar, we have a surface contact! Designate Sierra Six-One!” The Captain, a trim man with curly blonde hair and grey-blue eyes looked up from the navigation chart at the announcement over the 1MC intercom. He reached for the handset dangling from the low ceiling and keyed it.