Koa Books

Veterans of War
Veterans of Peace

Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace
Author Biographies
(alphabetical order - click on letter)


DOWNLOAD AUTHORS' BIOS (Click to download pdf file)

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | W | Y | Z


JIM CASTELLANOS
My military service began at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, on August 13, 2001. Following boot camp, I started Marine combat training at the Camp Pendleton School of Infantry and subsequently trained as an aviation ordnance systems technician at the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Florida. I then trained at the Naval Air Maintenance Training Marine Unit in Cherry Point, North
Carolina, where I specialized in helicopter weapons systems. Upon completing my training, I arrived at my permanent duty station, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 775, a UH-1 Huey and AH-1 Cobra helicopter squadron at Camp Pendleton, California.

Since I was enlisted as a Marine reservist, I was immediately discharged from active duty and put on reserve status, which enabled me to begin academic studies at the University of La Verne in California. I completed only one semester before being activated from the reserves and deploying to Al Asad, Iraq, for a seven-month combat tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The following passage describes the events that prompted a two-year conscientious objector investigation by the Marine Corps.

TOM CURRIE

Against my wishes and better judgment I reluctantly left the safety and comfort of my mother’s womb and was propelled headlong kicking and screaming into this world on the eve of the Anzio beachhead and the invasion of Italy during the height of World War II, in which my father and all of my uncles proudly wore the uniforms of Army, Navy and Air Force (Army Air Corps then). I was raised in a military town and all my life I saw men go off to war. The sea called and during the Vietnam War I volunteered for the Navy and served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Essex on her last voyage. An illustrious ship.

The flagship of the Atlantic fleet. I also served as a member of VC2 fighter squadron in Oceania, Virginia. Being somewhat of an impractical devil-may-care dreamer, I settled in Berkeley after my military service to live out my impossible dreams. So far my entire life has come true. The question of free will or predestination still remains unanswered. Life is more mysterious than ever—to my way of thinking at least.