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Author: Kevin M. Hymel, Historian
108 found

Visiting Vietnam Veteran Recalls Action that Earned Him the Medal of Honor

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 3/29/2024

Medal of Honor recipient Col. Walter Joseph Marm, Jr. recently visited Arlington National Cemetery to participate in an Army Full Honors Wreath Ceremony in recognition of Medal of Honor Day. After laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, he reflected on his combat actions in Vietnam, for which he received the medal.

Ghost Army Soldiers receive Congressional Gold Medal

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 3/27/2024

During World War II, the U.S. Army deployed a special unit to help defeat Nazi Germany. Col. Harry Reeder’s 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, better known as the “Ghost Army,” made up of artists and technicians, fooled the Germans into thinking the American Army was strong where it was weak. The top-secret unit employed inflatable tanks, fake radio communications and decoy unit markings to keep the enemy guessing.

Tomb Guard Earns Badge After His Final Watch

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 3/27/2024

Conducting a final walk at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a high honor for a Tomb Guard of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), as is earning the Tomb Guard Identification Badge. However, to do both on the same day is a rare event. That’s just what happened to Staff Sgt. Thomas Tavenner on March 11, 2024.

Coast Guard Officer Wears Her Inspiration

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 3/19/2024

When Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Alexandra Miller came to Arlington National Cemetery on March 8, 2024, she brought with her 104 students from the United States Senate Youth Program to see the changing of the guard and to lay a wreath. But she brought something just for herself, not typically seen by others.

Senate Youth Program Student Leaders from Across the Country Visit the Nation's Hallowed Grounds

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 3/19/2024

More than 100 high school students from the U.S. Senate Youth Program came to Arlington National Cemetery on March 8, 2024, to honor the nation’s fallen and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The program is a week-long scholarship and educational experience sponsored by the U.S. Senate for outstanding high school students and provides an in-depth view of the Senate and the federal government. The program selects two students from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity. Seventeen military officers escorted the students to the cemetery. 

Family Honors Ten Year Anniversary of Couple Buried at ANC

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 3/15/2024

On a cold, rainy day on March 9, 2024, twenty people gathered to remember the tenth anniversary of the burial of U.S. Army Spc5 Wyley Wright Jr. and his wife, Ouida Fay Wright, at Arlington National Cemetery.

Their burial together in Section 59 on March 9, 2014, brought together two people who had been separated in death for more than 50 years. Spc5 Wright, a crew chief with the 114th Aviation Company, lost his life on March 9, 1965, when the UH-1 Huey helicopter he was in crashed in a swamp along the Mekong Delta near the South Vietnamese town of Binh Long. His remains were brought back to the United States and buried in a segregated cemetery in Jackson, Florida. Ouida died the same day as her husband in 1970 and was also buried in a segregated cemetery in Columbus, Georgia.

Miss America—and Air Force Officer—Madison Marsh Pays Tribute to Our Nation’s Military at ANC

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 3/7/2024

Laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was doubly special for Miss America Madison Marsh, who also serves her country as a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. Not only was she honoring the sacrifices of the nation’s fallen; she also came to visit the grave of her grandfather, Col. Arthur Henry Marsh, who had served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam as a U.S. Army chaplain.

From Air Force Honor Guard to Air Force Chaplain

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 3/6/2024

On a crisp March morning in Arlington National Cemetery’s Section 54, U.S. Air Force Chaplain (Capt.) Andrew Lloyd oversaw the funeral service for an Air Force enlisted man who served his country. “For over 150 years, since the Civil War,” he told a group of twenty mourners, “our nation has honored her fallen patriots here at Arlington Cemetery.”

Gen. George C. Marshall Meets His Valentine, Katherine Brown

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 2/14/2024

This Valentine’s Day, we remember the love between Gen. George C. Marshall and his second wife, Katherine Tupper Brown. They first met in the summer of 1929. Both were widowers who never intended to remarry.

Marshall, a colonel at Fort Benning, Georgia, (now Fort Moore), accepted an invitation to a dinner nearby Columbus. Brown came to the dinner reluctantly from Baltimore, Maryland, with her seventeen-year-old daughter Molly. Marshall was standing by the fireplace when Brown entered the house. “My first impression,” she later recalled, “was of a tall, slender man with sandy hair and deep-set eyes.” He immediately impressed her by refusing a cocktail. They spent the entire dinner bantering back and forth as Brown found herself attracted to the officer and his “way of looking right through you.

Army General who was Once a Montford Point Marine Laid to Rest at ANC

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 2/9/2024

Decades before Albert Bryant retired from the U.S. Army as a brigadier general, he broke the U.S. Marine Corps color barrier during World War II. The Marine Corps barred Black Americans from serving prior to the war, but in 1942 it opened its ranks to Black volunteers. The first Blacks to serve in the Corps were trained at Montford Point, North Carolina, becoming known as Montford Point Marines. They eventually fought at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. In many ways, they were the Tuskegee Airmen of the Pacific.