"War Stories" is conversational military history hosted by Preston Stewart and Sayre Payne. Storytelling military and historical events from WWI to WWII, Korea to Vietnam, and Iraq to Afghanistan, we bring on varied guests to help continue to document our warriors, both past and present.
180: From Guarding The Southern Border To Firing Rockets In The Middle East with Johnny Britton, Texas Army National Guard
Sayre and Preston are joined today by Johnny Britton. Johnny is currently a field artillery officer in the Texas Army National Guard where he's certainly staying busy. We talk about the challenges that Guard Soldiers face, balancing their military time with civilian careers, the variety of mission sets Johnny and his men are asked to accomplish and quite a bit more. Was a lot of fun catching up with Johnny who I (Preston) was fortunate to have served with down in Texas. He's got a lot of great insight not just into the National Guard but also, having worked for a while in a HIMARS unit, an understanding of where the Army's field artillery is headed going in to the future.
Hope you enjoy!
178: Bob Hurt - Ft. Riley and Camp Hale During the Korean War
Sayre and I are joined today by my grandfather, Bob Hurt. Bob grew up in Illinois and attended the U of I before being drafted into the Army during the Korean War. He talks about the advice his dad, a WWI veteran, gave him not just about joining the military (avoid the Army) but also how to make the most of any situation he found himself in. Bob got into the training at Ft. Riley, KS as well as some of the mountain training in Camp Hale, CO that went right up until the war ended.
178: The Christmas Truce of 1914 (originally published 12/21/2020)
Just a few months into the First World War, something beautiful happened. Amidst the chaos, death and destruction, soldiers from opposing sides made time to celebrate Christmas. With no formal ceasefire declared, the soldiers in the trenches took it up on themselves. They began singing to one another and before long had exited the trenches to share gifts with their adversaries.
The unofficial truce lasted in some places a day, in others into the new year but not everyone was happy. Many higher headquarters, upon learning of the fraternization put a quick stop to it and even ordered Christmas offensives in follow on years to prevent such a thing from happening again.
The Christmas Truce of 1914 is one of the bright lights in the First World War, a sign of humanity amidst the horrible backdrop of war.
177: Remembering Dimitri Del Castillo, USMA 2009
Today Preston Stewart and Sayre Payne are joined by a group of Dimitri Del Castillo's classmates, Army rugby teammates and friends. John Wagner, Jericho Jones, Tommy Sandonato, Andy Brigman, and Mike Fleming. They talk about their time with Del at West Point, on the rugby pitch, during Ranger School and once everyone scattered their separate ways into the Army.
1LT Dimitri Del Castillo was killed on June 25th, 2011 in Kunar Province, Afghanistan while serving as a platoon leader with 2-35IN, 3rd BCT, 25th ID.
176: Listener Q&A - Did Afghanistan Change The Way We View Modern Conflicts?
Today's episode has Sayre and I diving into a handful of questions we received via Instagram, TikTok, or through the Discord server. Send any questions or comments to the accounts below and we'll see if we can feature yours on the show!
- Did Afghanistan change the way we see modern conflicts?
- How many dropped out of USMA or ROTC before graduation?
- How are VMI graduates viewed?
- Goals disconnected from reality on the ground in recent conflicts, what can we do to change that?
Preston Stewart: https://www.tiktok.com/@prestonstew
Sayre Payne: https://www.tiktok.com/@sayrepayne
175: Joshua Mooi - US Marine during Operation Steel Curtain
Sayre Payne and Preston Stewart are joined today by Joshu Mooi. Josh joined the Marines after high school and before long found himself in one of the deadliest areas of Iraq, Anbar Province. Josh talks about working his way through boot camp, showing up to a unit that was on track to deploy and arriving in country a little under-equipped. During the months Josh and his unit were in Iraq, they played a major role in combating the al-Qaeda threat that was encroaching on Baghdad through the Euphrates River Valley during Operation Steel Curtain.
Josh has done a great job of documenting his time in Iraq on his Instagram page. Worth checking out!
It was an honor hearing your grandfather’s story. Keep up the great work!
As a fellow GWOT guy it’s great to hear our generations perspective getting out there. Keep up the great work Sir.
Incredible show and awesome presentation. Thanks for sharing these stories Preston!