Three Stories for Memorial Day

Author: The editors

Stories of military courage, sacrifice, struggle and loss have graced our pages from the beginning, representing just a few of the countless Domers who have served in the U.S. armed forces — from the very first priests, sisters and students who volunteered after Fort Sumter to the ROTC alumni of our own century. We share three of these stories anew to mark Memorial Day 2015.

Father William Corby was only the most famous of those early volunteers who formed the vanguard of a line of Holy Cross chaplains that continues today. The pivotal moment of his young life and his priesthood is recounted in Gettysburg, 1863.

Jumping ahead one century, Vietnam veteran and retired Air Force Col. Tom Moe ’75M.A. describes his tightrope walk between mental retreat and purifying pain during his five years as a prisoner of war in Pure Torture. The piece, which first appeared in our January 1996 issue, continues to be one of the most read essays the magazine has published and, we are told, has been used to help train a generation of soldiers on how to confront one of their worst fears.

Hayden Piscal Howell ’08 and her husband, Andrew, were both Army captains and helicopter pilots on tours in Afghanistan when freelancer Tamara Lytle caught up with her in 2012. The Rescuer offers a few hints at the steel inside the young officers leading our military today.