About: Daniel Gagnon

Recent Posts by Daniel Gagnon

Vet of the Month: Jim Setzer

Jim Setzer was born and raised in northwestern New Jersey and enlisted in the Army in January 1969. After completing basic training at Fort Dix and advanced training at Fort Monmouth, he was qualified in the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) of Cryptographic Equipment Repairman and sent to a security post near Bad Aibling, Germany, arriving Halloween night 1969. The specific mission of the unit was a classified operation of the U.S. Army Security Agency, a military forerunner of the National Security Agency, with origins dating to the First World War.

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A trip to the beach, Part II

It is difficult to describe the visual impact of the many Allied and American cemeteries in the North of France. Even today’s reverent pictorials on the Internet cannot capture the feeling evoked by passing hundreds, then thousands, of white crosses, field after field, kilometre after kilometre, each cross marking the final resting place of a soldier foreign to this soil. Those who live here see these reminders every day.

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A trip to the beach, Part I

One benefit of military service is the recognition that not all authority is meant to thwart our good times; sometimes it is meant to protect us, preserve us, arm us with the knowledge and skills to survive in difficult or life-threatening situations. As a result, we were open to the advice of my unit’s senior non-commissioned officer (NCO), who touted the idea of camping our way along the French side of the English Channel. He spoke of the beauty of the beaches, the friendly reception afforded to visiting Americans, and insisted that it would be the “vacation of a lifetime.”

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