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Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project

For a soldier at war, access to one's nearest and dearest usually means maddeningly slow mail or brief long-distance phone conversations. Those servicemen and women closest at hand become the most reliable daily source of camaraderie and comfort. Swapping a good joke, commiserating over grub, sharing letters and goodies from home, crying over loneliness and lost loves, and saving each other from on- and off-duty treacheries are among the memories that war buddies evoke.

Featured Story: Walter Morris
Image of Walter Morris

"We had a fine group of men...focused..on proving that colored troops were no different than white troops."

Facing enemies as insidious as those attacking his country, Walter Morris deftly turned every disadvantage into a plus in his World War II-era experiences. He was turned out of Officer Candidate School and assigned to head a service unit of African American soldiers, whom he transformed into the army’s first all-black battalion of paratroopers. Morris eventually got his stripes, earning the respect of both his men and his white superior officers, who admired his tenacity in the face of obstacles that had defeated many other soldiers before him.

Go to Violet Hill Gordon's StoryGo and experience
Walter Morris' story
Experience more Stories of Buddies more stories

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother."          -- William Shakespeare

Chuck Hagel - story

"How did I feel through all of this? Scared to death, naturally..."

Margaret Henry Fleming's story

Henry J. Willayto

"'If you break our rules, we will kill you or we will do something worse.' They did something worse...."

Henry J. Wilayto's story

Robert L. Richstatter

"The General said, 'Try Scotch'..."

Robert L. Richstatter's story

Nathaniel G. Raley

"I hated to face the reality that I was about to undergo a drastic change in my 'life style.'"

Nathaniel G. Raley's story

Donald Richard Peppard

"We could hear the screams from down the passageway ..."

Donald Richard Peppard's story

Paul Alexander Steppe

"I believe I was becoming experienced too fast in the ways of the war..."

Paul Alexander Steppe Jr.'s story

Photo by Robert Lee Olen

"Take all you want but eat all you take."

Robert Lee Olen's story

Rod Hinsch

"...Is this going to be my day to come back?"

Thomas H. Hodge's story

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  March 17, 2005
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