Stories in Serve that you’ll love, handpicked by our team.
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.
The Elusive Merlot
The soldier rubbed his hands together as he stepped out into the crisp, autumn air. The blue hour had just receded, and night had fallen. Smoke from the barrel fires wafted past him in thick clumps. Street lamps lit the path ahead of him, the path that would take him through the cracked concrete streets of Gospic. He turned left of the barracks, tucking his chin into his jacket collar, and then made his way past the football field, the crumbling apartment blocks and finally the government building that stood tall on the corner, unaware of its insignificance in the grand scheme of the world. He nodded to passing locals, parents of friends he had known since high school, relatives he actively avoided interacting with unless he was forced to at family engagements.
A Love Letter to the Wild Women of World War Two
Mariya Vasilievna Oktyabrskaya - "The Fighting Girlfriend" How would you avenge the death of your husband who was killed in action while fighting the Nazis in World War Two? Sell all of your possessions, buy a T-34 Tank, donate it to the war effort, and request that you drive it of course. This is exactly what Mariya Oktyabrskaya did once she learned of her husband's untimely death, two years after it happened. Once Mariya sold all of her possessions she still didn't have enough to buy a tank, so she took up embroidery to make up the last bit of change she needed for two months, totaling ₽50,000 rubles (Over $100,000 USD in today's money.) After collecting this money she sent a telegram to the Kremlin, addressed to Joseph Stalin himself. Of which Joseph Stalin actually replied to her: "Thank you Maria Vasilievna, for your concern for the armored forces of the Red Army. Your wish will be granted, please accept my greetings. Supreme Commander-in-Chief. Joseph Stalin."
The Surly Bonds that Bind Us
Present Day Southampton College, South Meeting Room To the untrained eye, the man walking across the small stage carried an air of quiescent unworthiness rather than one of significance. As he walked people turned to stare, wondering and whispering quietly as they tried to remember where they had seen him before. Yet not only were the attendees ignorant as to his identity they were equally unaware of why exactly they had been invited (bribed really given the free booze) to the event in the first place.
April 5, 1945 Cpl. Lance Johnson, Pfc. Josh Dickerson, Pvt. Terry Parker and Pvt. Gary Daniels was sitting outside the office of Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor, who is in charge of finding Nazi treasure, that was looted during the German occupation of Western Europe from 1940 to 1945.
The Captain's Book
Lauren watched Kathy’s shoulders grow more rigid as she stared out the window above the kitchen sink. Finally she turned back to the others, her thin, red lips turned down in distaste, her red, acrylic nails tapping ceaselessly against the porcelain mug in her hand. “Something needs to be done. For two bits I’d go out there and settle this myself,” she barked.
First of all, if you’re not in the Army or familiar with the term battle buddy, this is what it is defined as: A battle buddy is a partner assigned to a soldier in the United States Army. Each battle buddy is expected to assist his or her partner both in and out of combat. The concept of battle buddies is introduced to each service member upon arrival to Basic Training. Life as an individual disappears in the most uncomfortable, comforting way.
3 Obscure Novels of the World Wars
Some of the most turbulent times in modern history have been the world wars lasting from 1914 through to 1918 and then again from 1939 through to 1945. Many authors have written novels set in or about this time - both fiction and non-fiction. Some of the most famous including "The Book Thief" by Marcus Zusack (fiction), "Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank (non-fiction) and even "All Quiet on the Western Front" by EM Remarque (semi-autobiographical).