Jul 4

Citizen Soldiers

Wednesday, July 4, 2018 12:01 AM


Uncle Sam

It’s time to celebrate civilians and the contributions they made to the American war effort!

support our troops

1. Clarissa “Clara” Harlowe Barton (Civil War)

clara barton

“I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it, and while our soldiers can stand and fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them.”

Clara Barton risked her life during the Civil War to bring aid and supplies to wounded soldiers. Initially, she collected and distributed supplies for the Union Army, but then decided to take a more active role. She began in Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1862 serving as an independent nurse. She earned the name: the “Angel of the Battlefield” for her extraordinary efforts during the war. In 1865, Clara worked for the War Department and helped reunite missing soldiers and their families. After the war she continued her work and founded the American Red Cross in 1881 and served as the head until 1904.

2. Charles S. Chaplin (World War I)

charlie chaplin

“You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.”

Charlie Chaplin utilized his fame and position of influence as he toured the United States during the Third Liberty Bond Campaign. The tour provided the Allies financial support during World War I. Additionally, Chaplin paid “out of pocket” to produce the short propaganda film, The Bond, then donated it to the government for fund-raising purposes.

3. William “Big Bill” Knudsen (World War II)

william knudsen

“A big corporation is more or less blamed for being big; it is only big because it gives service. If it doesn’t give service, it gets small faster than it grew big.”

“Big Bill” Knudsen, president of General Motors Corporation from 1937–40, headed GM’s transition from automobiles to armaments production for World War II. In 1941, Knudsen was appointed as head of the U.S. Office of Production Management and oversaw the direct production of war materials. Under Knudsen’s leadership, GM championed the war technology development effort with the V-1710 aircraft engine and the turbocharged V-12 engine, both were renowned as the most advanced aircraft engines employed during World War II.

4. Mary S. Ingraham (World War II)

mary ingraham

Excerpt from the original USO mission statement: “The purposes for which this corporation is formed are to aid in the defense program of the United States by serving the religious, spiritual, welfare and educational needs of the men and women in the armed forces and defense industries [and]… to contribute to the maintenance of morale in American communities…”

Mary Ingraham, the first woman to receive the prestigious Medal for Merit in 1946 (the highest Presidential award given to civilians for outstanding service related to the military), founded the United Service Organizations (USO) in 1941. In addition to her efforts to promote USO shows and entertainment for service members during the war, she served on the committee which selected the first women for officers’ training in the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps.

5. David Halberstam (Vietnam War)

david halberstam

“If you’re a reporter, the easiest thing in the world is to get a story. The hardest thing is to verify. The old sins were about getting something wrong, that was a cardinal sin. The new sin is to be boring.”

David Halberstam, a Vietnam War reporter for The New York Times and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 1964, is renowned for his work as an American journalist and historian. He produced eye-witness accounts and information about the realities of the war. Halberstam’s notable works include his account of the self-immolation of Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thích Quảng Đức, and debunking the claim by the Diệm regime that the Army of the Republic of Vietnam regular forces perpetrated the brutal raids on Buddhist temples during the Buddhist crisis. Both stories provided vital intelligence for protecting American interests abroad.

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