Untold Stories: Armed Forces Day and Stories of Military Heroism

“The highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is bearing arms.” —Gen. George S. Patton

Today, May 20, is Armed Forces Day 2023, part of Military Appreciation Month. To the millions who have served, or continue to serve, thank you—freedom is never free. Today I want to share some inspiring stories of U.S. military heroes.

Army hero Bennie G. Adkins’s story is so miraculous and spectacular that it almost seems impossible. Around two thousand North Vietnamese army troops attacked Camp A Shau on 9 March, 1966. The camp was housing at that time 17 American Special Forces soldiers, as well as around 400 South Vietnamese Civilian Irregular Defense Group. “Adkins, then a sergeant first class, killed as many as 175 of the enemy and received 18 wounds during the battle. He then led the wounded to an airstrip for evacuation while evading the enemy.” 

Captain John Callendar was cashiered from the Revolutionary Army for cowardice, but lived to become a hero of the American cause. Last year, I learned the story of John Callendar from a reenactor at George Washington’s Mt. Vernon. At the Battle of Bunker Hill, Callendar and his artillery company fled in panic from the British. He was court-martialed, removed of rank, and cashiered from the Revolutionary Army. But Callendar’s story didn’t end there. He humbly re-enlisted in the same artillery company which he had previously commanded. At the Battle of Long Island, the British and Hessians killed all the men around Callendar and then charged him with fixed bayonets. Callendar did not budge an inch. He continued to fire until he was captured by the British.

Air Force hero Daniel “Chappie” James Jr. was among the original Army Air Corps Tuskegee Airmen when he trained the famous “Red Tails” squadron. He saw his first combat during the Korean War. According to, “In the 8th TFW, he served under none other than then-Col. Robin Olds, including during Operation Bolo, the highest single MiG sweep ever. The duo were so successful, their men nicknamed the team ‘Blackman and Robin.’” Daniel “Chappie” James was the first black American to become a four-star general.

Admiral David Farragut was the Navy’s first full admiral. He became famous for his actions during the Civil War’s 1864 Battle of Mobile Bay, when he ignored Confederates mines and led his squadron of ships to victory with the famous words, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

We all know the famous image of the Marines raising the American flag on the blood-soaked soil of Iwo Jima during World War II, but few people know the names of the Marines in that photo. PFC Ira H. Hayes was a Pima Native American Indian, a U.S. Marine, and one of the men in the world-famous flag-raising photo. Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz said of the Iwo Jima conflict, “Among the Americans serving on Iwo island, uncommon valor was a common virtue.”

Read the full stories of these heroes, and many more, on Substack!

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Posted by CatSalgado32

Catherine Salgado is a columnist for The Rogue Review, a Writer for MRC Free Speech America, and writes her own Substack, Pro Deo et Libertate. She received the Andrew Breitbart MVP award for August 2021 from The Rogue Review for her journalism.

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