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Cold War Records

Marilyn Childress          (Navy)                    Video

Marilyn Childress is a veteran of the United States Navy, joining in 1974 and working as a corpsman in hospital and other medical units. While serving, she was one of the first women to receive special duty to play Volleyball at the United States Volleyball Association Tournament. Once she finished serving, Childress used the GI Bill to finish her schooling at the University of Tennessee. She then moved to Atlanta for work and began playing soccer as a goalkeeper in her free time. Realizing that women’s soccer was underrepresented, she created a new women’s league. In 1991, the original plans for the 1996 Olympic games did not include womens’ soccer. Childress took matters into her own hands and after meeting with the head of the International Olympic Committee and the United States Congress, she successfully petitioned for the  inclusion of the sport into the Olympic games. Today, Marilyn is the president of the Veterans Heritage Site Foundation which preserves veteran memorials in East Tennessee and shares the legacy of our local veterans.

Donald N. Edmands Jr.           (Air Force; Tennessee National Guard)         Transcript

Father’s career in the Army Air Corps during World War II; growing up as a dependent in the military living on Chaumont Air Field, France and in Naha, Okinawa; joins Air Force while attending UT before drafted during Vietnam War; training at Amarillo, Texas while Lackland is quarantined for Hepatitis outbreak; communications training at Keesler Air Field in Biloxi, Mississippi; stationed at the “Elephant Cage” at Elmendorf Air Base in Anchorage Alaska; the 1968 USS Pueblo Crisis; return to UT for degree in Business Administration; volunteers for Tennessee National Guard; Officer Candidate School at McGhee-Tyson; return to active duty in Combat Communication in the Air Force; serving until 2003 at Arnold (Maryland), MacDill (Florida), Washington D.C., and Tyndall (Florida) Air Force Bases; Desert Storm and the changes to the military after 9/11; retirement in Knoxville, TN.   

Raymond Gray (Army/Air Force)          Audio     Transcript

Raised in Milton, CT during World War II; volunteered in Army out of high school in 1948; 3rd Armored Cavalry at Fort Meade, Maryland and Fort Knox, KY for Tank School; Deployed to Germany during Korean War in 1950 with 6th Armored Cavalry; Constabulary Duty in Straubing, Germany on US-Soviet occupied area border; training in Obergammerau and Intelligence work in Kastl; transferred to Air Force in 1952 with helicopters and electronics; Training at Sewart Air Force Base, Smyrna, Tennessee; stationed in places like Keesler Air Force base (Biloxi, MS), Greenland, Montana, Saskatchewan (Canada); Texas, Air Defense Command, Gunter Air Force Base (Montgomery, AL); last assignment at Fort Fischer, North Carolina; ran Bed & Breakfast in Gatlinburg, Tennessee during retirement. 

Rosemary Mariner          Navy     (First Woman Attack Jet Pilot)         Documents    

The first woman attack jet pilot in the US Navy. She was born in Harlington, Texas, but worked for the University of Tennessee-Knoxville as a military historian and staff member of the Center for the Study of War and Society (now the Center for the Study of Tennesseans and War) after she retired 1997.  Captain Mariner served in many stations, including on the USS Lexington, and flew jets including the A-4 Skyhawk. She was a major advocate of women in the military, becoming a major voice in legislative change and in supporting women in aviation groups.

Kevin Mason    (Army)     Video

Major Kevin Mason (ret.) attended Greeneville Middle School in Greeneville, TN from 1967 to 1968.  He earned his M.A. in U.S. history in the UTK history department between 1995 and 1998.  He and his wife plan to retire to Loudon, TN.  Mason had a long military career starting with the Army ROTC program at Michigan State University in 1974.  He served in the 1st Armored Division in West Germany during the Cold War.  He also served in Korea, and he is particularly passionate about crediting the soldiers who patrolled the DMZ.

Nick McCall     (Army)          Transcript  Video

A Nashville native, McCall enlisted in the ROTC at Vanderbilt University. After graduating, he went into the US Army and was stationed in Frankfurt and Rhein-Main, Germany from 1983 to 1988. After leaving active duty, McCall returned to school and received his JD degree from the University of Tennessee. Today he practices as an attorney in Knoxville.

Ronald Norris Tate          (Army/Civilian Contractor)        Documents  

Army veteran and civilian contractor for US military from Memphis, TN. He served in Korea during the Vietnam war in an administrative position in the rank of Sergeant First Class. After serving in Korea for two years, SFC Tate assisted the reopening of Camp Stewart in Georgia for six years. He went on to work for USAREUR (US Army Europe) as a civilian HR specialist until retirement in 2016. In Europe, Tate helped create and implement the VIPER System (Virtual Personnel Readiness System).

Bobby Weaver         (Marine Corps)         Transcript

Born in Paint Rock, Tennessee and grew up during the Great Depression; moved to Knoxville and lived in the Bearden and Asbury areas during World War II; Joined the Marine Corps and served in their Air Wing as a Maintenance Chief; training at Parris Island, South Carolina and Cherry Point, North Carolina; tours in the Mediterranean and Caribbean; deployed to Korea on the USS Rendova; returned to states at Marine Corps Air Station, Miami, Florida; moved to helicopters in El Toro, California; deployed to Vietnam at Marble Mountain near Da Nang; Marine Corps recruiter in Mobile, Alabama; retired to Pittsfield, Massachusetts; Running a fencing business in Massachusetts and then in Knoxville.