The U.S. Naval Reserve Act of 1916 permitted the enlistment of qualified “persons” for service in the Navy. When the Secretary of the Navy asked whether this applied only to males and was told that it did not, the Navy began enlisting women less than a month later.
Historical records reflect that on March 17, 1917, the first woman to enlist in the Navy was Loretta Perfectus Walsh.
She was born on April 22, 1896, in Philadelphia and thus had the distinction of being the first woman to service in any of the U.S. armed forces in other than a nursing assignment. Until Walsh’s enlistment, women had served as Navy nurses but were civilian employees with few benefits.
Walsh, aged 20, was enlisted on March 17, 1917, as a Yeoman(F), all of whom were popularly referred to as “Yeomanettes.” During World War I a reported 11,274 female Yeoman(F) served in the Navy. The Yeoman(F) women primarily served in clerical positions. They received the same benefits and responsibilities as men, including identical pay ($28.75 per month) and were treated as veterans after the war.
On March 21, 1917, Walsh was sworn in as Chief Yeoman, becoming the first woman Chief Petty Officer in the Navy. She served her active duty at the Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia and when World War I ended, Walsh and all the Yeoman(F) personnel were released from active duty. As Walsh had enlisted in the Naval Reserve for a 4-year enlistment she continued on inactive reserve status, receiving a modest retainer pay, until the end of her enlistment on March 17, 1921.
Walsh fell victim to influenza in the fall of 1918 and later contracted tuberculosis. She died on August 6, 1925, at the age of 29 in Olyphant, Pennsylvania.
He may perhaps be best known as Miguel on NBC’s Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award-winning family drama, This Is Us.
Yet actor and Air Force veteran Jon Huertas is no stranger to bringing his real-life military experience to other roles as well. For eight seasons, Huertas starred as detective and Army veteran Javier Esposito in the ABC series, Castle. He also appeared as Ramirez, a Marine Recon Sniper Spotter, in JAG, and retired Marine Sergeant Jack Kale, in NCIS.
A pivotal role for Huertas was in David Simon’s HBO miniseries, Generation Kill, as Sgt. Tony “Poke” Espera.
The series offered a unique perspective on the 2003 invasion of Iraq – an event that hit home for Huertas, who served an eight-year stint in the Air Force in both Operation Just Cause (Panama) and Desert Storm (the first war in Iraq) as an aircraft nuclear/conventional weapons specialist.
Bringing even more veteran diversity and inclusivity to the film and television industry is on the actor’s radar and also part of his latest venture.
Alongside fellow collaborator Kenny Stevenson, Huertas recently launched the production shingle, WestSide Stories. He says the new company has several projects in various stages of development – most of them featuring at least one military veteran or active-duty character.
“With our company, we have ‘diversity’ at the heart of every story we want to tell,” he said, “and for me personally, having an active-duty member of the uniformed services or a veteran with a positive portrayal of that type of character is paramount to each and every one of our stories.”
In addition to adding more military/veteran positive roles on the big screen, Huertas is also an advocate for giving Hollywood executives, directors, writers and producers more access to military bases – Air Force in particular – so those on-screen portrayals are more accurate as well.
“One reason I think it’s important to see what the Air Force does is that it’s a lot more than fighter planes and bombers,” he said. “There are so many things the Air Force does that gets overlooked because most stories about a military event or conflict involve the Army, the Marines or Navy, with the Air Force in just an air support role.
“Which is so important…. it’s how you win wars,” Huertas explained, “But it’s also important to shine a light on the other people who volunteer their lives in service of this country. The more we can show people, the more they’ll want to tell stories about it.”
A Born Actor
Born in New York City to a Puerto Rican father and a Caucasian mother, Huertas was raised primarily by his grandparents. He began acting when he was just 10 years old, taking part in school plays. Reportedly, Huertas once had to sing a solo at his strict Catholic school and his performance so moved a nun – who had instructed him to do so as a punishment – that the experience helped him make up his mind to pursue acting.
“The Air Force was an important stepping stone leading into my entertainment career,” Huertas said. “It allowed me to take advantage of getting a higher education, and I found it and the men and women I served with were very supportive and that’s what you need to succeed in this business, and any really, the support of your people.”
Huertas finished his college degree in theater while in the Air Force. He landed his first uncredited role in 1993 in The Webbers, but in 1998, portrayed Joe Negroni in the romantic drama, Why Do Fools Fall in Love? alongside Halle Berry, Paul Mazursky and Ben Vereen. That same year, he landed the role of Antonio in the television series, Moesha, and later played Brad, a witch hunter, in the popular ABC television hit, Sabrina the Teenage Witch – a role for which he was nominated for a 2000 ALMA Award.
But it was Huertas’ role of Detective Esposito in ABC’s police drama, Castle, that earned him and his co-star, Stana Katic, an award for Best Performance in a Drama Episode at the 16th Annual PRISM Awards.
Huertas’ latest projects include a new horror film he both appears in and produced called, Initiation, in May. He also directed a short film that will be debuting at the Tribeca Film Festival in June called, Two Jacked, about what happens when the world’s worst carjacker meets the world’s most notorious armed robber.
Apart from his Hollywood roles, Huertas regularly attends charity events benefiting veterans, including Wounded Warriors and Puppies Behind Bars. The Wildlands Network and the Aware Foundation are other organizations close to his heart. Married in Tulum in 2014, Huertas also enjoys spending time with his wife of seven years, Nicole Bordges.
Huertas believes both his military and LatinX roots have definitely influenced how he approaches his roles on screen.
“The Air Force shaped me and I think that we as creatives can show that there are different ways to be influenced in our lives,” Huertas said. “And serving your country can be a very profound way to achieve that.”
He says his background helps him navigate how he protects his characters by knowing when, who, and how to talk to the right person when it comes to any changes that would help round out or authenticate that character’s objective or backstory.
Huertas says this specifically comes from learning and respecting the military’s ‘chain of command.’
“That chain has always served well,” Huertas says. “I think following a good chain of command helps someone identify a great leader, and you want that person to be supporting you in the success of your character or the story you are trying to tell.”
And while there is improvement in incorporating more LatinX characters in entertainment, Huertas feels much more can be done.
“What we see in the media inspires us both positively and negatively,” he said. “So, for me, I feel it’s our responsibility – and more specifically, my responsibility since I’ve been able to create a small platform – to step up and try to project real LatinX heroes onto audiences in hopes of inspiring more people to strive for what they are capable of.”
This Memorial Day weekend, visit Ancestry® to find those in your family who served our nation and who lived through these remarkable chapters in history. Share your stories on Instagram with #ISaluteFor and tag @Ancestry.
To help everyone find stories to share, from May 28-31 Ancestry is offering free access to:
Search more than 550 million military records on Fold3®, covering military conflicts as early as the Revolutionary War.
Personalized stories on Ancestry.com using its StoryScout™ tool which quickly sifts through millions of records and can curate stories about your ancestors to help you make meaningful discoveries with no research needed.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Memorial Day as a federal holiday, Ancestry partnered with Wounded Warrior Project, The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation, Combined Arms, and Jewish War Veterans to create a “50 Story Salute,” a joint tribute to those who sacrificed their lives to secure our freedom.
The tribute on Ancestry’s social channels is a curated montage of military heroes through time highlighting powerful stories of strength and hope.
May is Military Appreciation Month and national observances include Armed Forces Day, May 15, and Memorial Day, May 31.
U.S. Veterans Magazine’s (USVM) staff says thank you to those who have served and those who continue the call of duty.
During this month and always, make an effort to thank our military and to remember our Fallen Soldiers.
National Military Appreciation Month (NMAM) is celebrated every May and is a declaration that encourages U.S. citizens to observe the month in a symbol of unity. NMAM honors current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those who have died in the pursuit of freedom. May is characterized by six national observances highlighting the contributions of those who have served. Show your support on social media with #MilitaryAppreciationMonth.
Upcoming Military Appreciation Month Observances & Events
Armed Forces Day Date: Saturday, May 15th, 2021. Celebrated the third Saturday in May every year.
About: A single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country. This day honors everyone serving in the U.S. Military branches; Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, Space Force. There is also Armed Forces Week which typically leads up to Armed Forces Day, although it is not an official observance, many activities are planned nonetheless during the week.
Memorial Day Date: Monday, May 31st, 2021. A Federal holiday observed on the last Monday in May.
About: A remembrance of our veterans. Commemorates the men and women who died while in military service. All Americans are encouraged to pause, wherever they are, at 3:00 pm local time for a minute of silence.
Katy Perry, Ne-Yo, And Gavin Degraw To Perform At Livestream Benefit Concert With Alfonso Ribeiro As Host
As part of the kick off to National Nurses Week, which brought together health care workers at Lenox Health Greenwich Village to thank the NYC community for their continued support over the past year, Northwell Health announced the return of Side By Side: A Celebration of Service™ in honor of military and health care heroes.
Northwell Health has announced that the celebratory event taking place over Memorial Day weekend will feature a television special, produced in partnership with Al Roker Entertainment, airing Thursday, May 27 at 7:00pm ET on NBC4 New York.
This event is prior to a livestream benefit concert with superstars Katy Perry, Ne-Yo, Gavin DeGraw and a special performance by Northwell’s Nurse Choir, with Alfonso Ribeiro as host, on Monday, May 31 at 7:00pm ET via Northwell Health’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/NorthwellHealth1)
“We were honored to produce last year’s Side By Side television special during the onset of the coronavirus,” said Executive Producer and NBC personality Al Roker. “I am thrilled to continue the celebration, especially as America emerges from the global pandemic and notably during this 20th year anniversary of the September 11th anniversary. This year feels much different – more celebratory but no less important in realizing that true heroes don’t wear capes, but uniforms of service. We tip our hats to the first responders, healthcare workers, and veterans that put their lives on the line for all of us.”
“I am humbled to once again to be a part of Side By Side and pay tribute to those who have sacrificed so much,” said Alfonso Ribeiro, who hosted the inaugural Side By Side: A Celebration of Service™ in 2019. “This year we hope to raise funds in support of our military and all those who run towards danger with a night of unforgettable performances, and by sharing stories of perseverance and strength that really demonstrate the resiliency of the community in New York City.”
Northwell Health, New York’s largest health care provider and private employer, first launched Side By Side: A Celebration of Service™ over Memorial Day weekend 2019 in honor of those who have died serving our country, our veterans and active military.
The two-part celebration featured free daytime performances by Boyz II Men, Gavin DeGraw, The U.S. Navy Band and more, along with extraordinary storytelling by veterans. Later that evening, Northwell provided free tickets to hundreds of service members and their families for a special performance by GRAMMY Award-winning, multi-platinum band Imagine Dragons. In 2020, Side By Side: A Celebration of Service™ recognized those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic with a Memorial Day television special and a #HealthcareHeroes Concert series that brought back Gavin DeGraw along with performances by Questlove and Meghan Trainor.
“We are forever in debt to our armed forces, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our freedoms,” said Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health. “We must never forget their service. We will continue to celebrate their efforts, along with all of our first responders and health care workers, who risked everything to save lives after the September 11 attacks and again during this pandemic. We will keep their spirits alive as we prepare not just for a return to normal – but a brighter future for us all.”
Since 2006, Northwell has been serving and supporting active-duty personnel, veterans and their families as a proud, military-friendly employer and provider of both medical care and behavioral health treatment for those struggling with PTSD, while also recruiting and assisting newly returned veterans trying to find a job and acclimate back into civilian life. Northwell hires hundreds of veterans a year, and over the past decade has also awarded about $2 million to employees who were mobilized and deployed overseas – funds that represent the difference between their military pay and the regular salaries they would have earned at their Northwell jobs. In recognition of its efforts, Northwell is ranked as the nation’s seventh top nonprofit employer by the veterans advocacy group “Military Friendly.”
“Side by Side was created to show appreciation for our military, veterans and their families who have selflessly served our country,” said Juan Serrano, assistant vice president of Northwell’s Military Liaison Services. “Along with honoring our health care heroes, we are celebrating everyone who has stepped up to the challenges brought on by the pandemic over this past year, we will remember our 9/11 heroes as 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of those attacks.”
About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 830 outpatient facilities and more than 16,600 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 76,000 employees – 18,900 nurses and 4,800 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. We’re training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu and follow us @NorthwellHealth on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
To make a donation to Northwell Health’s Military Liaison Services program:
Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are officially working on a new WWII-inspired series with star director, Cary Joji Fukunaga.
He is signed on to direct the first three episodes of the 10-part series. Fukunaga is also in the midst of working on the upcoming James Bond film No Time to Die, which has been put off to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Masters of the Air is the name of the series, which is based on the Donald L. Miller book of the same name. It follows American bomber pilots of the U.S. Eighth Air Force who aimed to bring the fight straight to Hitler inside the borders of Nazi Germany. It’s considered to be the third installment of the Band of Brothers and The Pacific set of World War II miniseries.
In the United States, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. It falls near the end of Armed Forces Week, which begins on the second Saturday of May and ends on the third Sunday of May (the fourth if the month begins on a Sunday, as in 2016).
First observed on 20 May 1950, the day was created on 31 August 1949, to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches – the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard – following the consolidation of the military services in the U.S. Department of Defense. It was intended to replace the separate Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Days, but the separate days are still observed, especially within the respective services.
Help Heal Veterans (Heal Vets) will host a month-long virtual candlelight vigil in May to honor service members who have fallen in battle and military members who served honorably in war and fell victim to suicide later due to the invisible scars of combat.
Help Heal Veterans is a nonprofit that provides free therapeutic arts and crafts kits to veterans and active duty military who are suffering from the physical, psychological and emotional wounds of war, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
#VigilforValor kicks off May 1, the start of Mental Health Awareness month, and concludes on May 31, Memorial Day. The United States has suffered more than 100,000 military casualties of war since 1950, and in the last 10 years we’ve lost more than 65,000 veterans to suicide.
“Our hope is to shine a light on the remarkable lives of those who have been lost,” said Joe McClain, retired Navy captain and Help Heal Veterans CEO. “Often times we honor the war dead as a group and not as individuals. This year, we want to give people an opportunity to learn about the remarkable lives represented by people who have paid the ultimate price for this country.”
Participants in #VigilforValor will:
1. Create a candleholder, either of their own design or one made from a kit provided by Help Heal Veterans for a $20 donation. (Note: a large number of candle kits will be provided free of charge to select veterans/active-duty service members).
2. Customize the candleholder for the individual they wish to honor with a photograph, drawing, patch or other item. Those who don’t have someone in particular they wish to remember are encouraged to reach out in their community, school, church or search local news to find someone to honor.
3. Light a candle and share a picture of it along with their story on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #VigilforValor so we may pay tribute to them together.
For 50 years, Help Heal Veterans has been using craft therapy to help veterans and active-duty military heal the invisible wounds of war.
“We have seen first-hand the healing power of crafting,” said McClain, “and it has been especially important over the past year, when isolation placed an extra burden on recovering veterans and military and the usual sources of support were not always available or accessible.”
Studies show that crafting can provide therapeutic and rehabilitative benefits, including improving fine motor skills, cognitive functioning, memory and dexterity, and can help alleviate feelings of anger and the severity of negative behaviors triggered by PTSD and TBIs.
To learn more about Heal Vets and the organization’s COVID-19 efforts, as well as find out how you can help, visit HealVets.org.
Veterans who are in a crisis and need support can go to https://www.veteranscrisisline.net or call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.
About Help Heal Veterans
First established in 1971, Help Heal Veterans has provided free therapeutic arts and crafts kits to hospitalized and homebound veterans for generations. These craft kits help injured and recuperating veterans improve fine motor skills, cognitive functioning, manage stress and substance abuse, cope with symptoms of PTSD and TBI, while also improving their sense of self-esteem and overall physical and mental health. Most of these kits are developed, manufactured and packaged for delivery at our production center headquartered in Winchester, California. Since inception, Help Heal Veterans has delivered nearly 31 million of these arts and crafts kits to veterans and veteran facilities nationwide, along with active duty military overseas.
Very little known about what happened to Flying Tiger Line Flight 739, a military mission plane that went missing on March 16, 1962, with 93 US Army Soldiers on board and 11 crew members (including CA natives SP4 Charles Edward Kissee from Stockton, SGT Nicholas Nichols Jr. From Seaside, SFC Edmond Saenz of Lakeview Terrace, SFC John Joseph Burns from San Luis Obispo, Pvt Larry Dean Canon from Chino, MSGT Robert R. Glassman of San Jose, PVT Robert Henderson of San Francisco, Navigator Grady Reese Burt Jr. from Baldwin Park, 2nd Officer Bobbie Jean Gazzaway from Fillmore, Navigator William T Kennedy of Braintree, Flight Engineer Clayton E McClellan from San Mateo, Flight Engineer, George Michael Nau of Pacoima, Stewardess Christel Diana Reiter from San Mateo, Senior Flight Attendant Barbara Jean Wamsley from Santa Barbara, 1RST Officer Robert J Wish of Hidden Hills, Stewardess Patricia Wassum and Stewardess Hildegarde Muller).
Due to the complexities surrounding the mission, the names of all those who have been lost have not yet been added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. However, on May 15th, the families of those lost will gather in Columbia falls, ME to meet each other for the first time and share in the moment that a monument to these brave men and women is unveiled.
The land where this monument has been erected was donated by Wreaths Across America Founder Morrill Worcester and is located on the balsam tip-land where brush is harvested each year to make veterans’ remembrance wreaths to be placed on the headstones of our nation’s heroes. Last summer (during the pandemic), WAA held a quiet groundbreaking ceremony for the new monument.
As part of this program a replica dog tag will be hung on individual trees that are used to make remembrance wreaths for Wreaths Across America Day. Watch the Video: What is a remembrance wreath? youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=5_-EW6a_VAs
This simple gesture becomes a living tribute “from the fallen to the fallen” in remembrance of their service and sacrifice: as every three years, the trees where the tags are hung, will be tipped to make veterans’ wreaths to be placed on headstones by volunteers on Wreaths Across America Day, (December 18th, 2021 this year.) Leading up to the monument unveiling you’ll be able to hear interviews with family members on Wreaths Across America Internet Radio.
Wreaths Across America is the non-profit organization best known for placing wreaths on veteran’s headstones at Arlington National Cemetery. However, in 2020, the organization placed more than 1.7 million sponsored veterans’ wreaths at 2,557 participating locations nationwide.
You can sponsor a veteran’s wreath anytime for $15 at wreathsacrossamerica.org. Each sponsorship goes toward a live, balsam wreath that will be placed on the headstone of an American hero as we endeavor to honor all veterans laid to rest at noon on Saturday, December 18, 2021, as part of National Wreaths across America Day.
Click here to find a local participating cemetery near you to support go to and type in your town and/or state.
About Wreaths Across America
Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission – Remember, Honor, Teach – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.
For the first time in nearly 30 years, a U.S. Marine will be wrestling at the Olympics. “It’s amazing … I never in a million years thought I’d wake up one day and say I’m an Olympian,” Staff Sgt. John Stefanowicz said after three consecutive wins at Olympic Team Trials in Fort Worth, Texas over the weekend.
The 29-year-old member of the All-Marine Wrestling Team is now the best 87 kg (181-pound) class Greco-Roman wrestler in the country, according to The Jacksonville Daily News, which described Stefanowicz as feeling “unstoppable” and ready to bring home a gold medal. He’ll be one of 15 American athletes competing at the 2020 Tokyo games this summer, which were delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Every time I step out on the mat and I wear USA on the back, that means something greater than just myself and my last name,” Stefanowicz told Task & Purpose.
“What it means is to truly show the world what we’re about and what my brothers here do day in and day out,” Stefanowicz said of his Olympic dream. There has not been a U.S. Marine wrestler at the Olympics since 1992.
“I fight for everything that I believe in and what the Marine Corps stands for,” Stefanowicz said in 2019, describing his style in training and on the mat as “high intensity, high impact, no forgiveness.” He’s made a name for himself as a top athlete, despite his age and untraditional path into the sport.
Stefanowicz also has a black belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program — though it’s unclear if any of his Marine ninja skills have ever come into play during an official wrestling bout.
When Charles Coolidge was growing up outside Chattanooga, his grammar school class received a visit from Sgt. Alvin York, the Tennessean famed for World War I exploits that brought him the Medal of Honor.
In the aftermath of World War II, it was Sergeant Coolidge making the rounds of his home state, telling of another harrowing firefight in France, this one bringing him the nation’s highest decoration for valor in his own right.
Celebrated in Chattanooga with a park and a highway and at the Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, Mr. Coolidge died there on Tuesday.
He was 99 and the oldest living recipient of the nation’s highest award for valor. The heritage center announced his death.
Photo Credit: NY Times
Mr. Coolidge’s death leaves Hershel W. Williams, 97, as the oldest surviving recipient of the medal. Mr. Williams received it for his exploits fighting with the Marines on Iwo Jima in World War II.
“We both have been blessed by God with a long, long life,” Mr. Williams, who had last been in touch with Mr. Coolidge about five years ago, said in a phone interview on Wednesday.
In the last week of October 1944, Sergeant Coolidge and some 30 outnumbered soldiers in his rifle and machine-gun section faced annihilation by German troops with tanks during a major battle in the Vosges Mountains of eastern France, near the German border.
Sergeant Coolidge had fought with the 36th Infantry Division in Italy before it moved into France, and most of the troops under his command in the fall of 1944 were replacements for those who had been killed or wounded in the division’s long slog. They had little if any combat experience.
His unit was nevertheless ordered to hold off the German forces threatening to attack the right flank of the division’s Third Battalion, 141st Infantry, which was massing with two other battalions outside the tiny town of Belmont-sur-Buttant.
Through the first day of his unit’s confrontation with the Germans and over the next three days, Sergeant Coolidge’s men fought for control of what was known as Hill 623 in the face of repeated attempts by the Germans to overrun them. All the while, Sergeant Coolidge sought to calm them and direct their fire.
At one point, two German tanks came within 25 yards of him. A tank commander shouted, “in perfect English, ‘Do you guys wanna give up?’” Mr. Coolidge recalled in a 2014 interview with the University of Tennessee’s School of Journalism and Electronic Media. His reply: “I’m sorry, Mac, you’ve gotta come and get me.”
After that, he said, the Germans “fired five times at me.”
“When a shot went one way, I went the other way,” he added, recalling how he had dodged the fire by moving from tree trunk to tree trunk.
“Then I found a bazooka,” he went on. “But it didn’t work. Someone had taken the batteries out. You use what you do have. I started lobbing grenades.”
On the fifth day of the standoff, Sergeant Coolidge orchestrated an orderly retreat, enabling his men to rejoin the Third Battalion a few hundred yards away.
But the First Battalion, surrounded by Germans for a week, appeared on the verge of being wiped out.
Then came a long-remembered feat. The Japanese-American soldiers of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, having already incurred heavy casualties in Italy and France, broke the siege of what became known as the Lost Battalion, rescuing more than 200 men.
Sergeant Coolidge received the Medal of Honor on June 18, 1945, in a ceremony near Dornstadt, Germany.