When I first heard the story of the USS Liberty I became extremely interested in learning more about the events that transpired and began reading about the incident in my free time. Thus, when I registered for Modern American Military History with Dr. Snead, I was already eager to research this topic.

While my primary fields of study are engulfed in the Colonial American period, I have had a strong interest in American military history since I was a child. This would especially be the case with the U.S. Navy as my father is a retired Naval officer and I grew up living on different military bases around the United States. Furthermore, I am ethnically half-Jewish and have relatives who have gotten citizenship to the state of Israel.

The first time I heard of the USS Liberty incident I was shocked that I hadn’t heard of it before. A friend of mine who at the time was an active-duty sailor in the Navy had become acquainted with many of the survivors from the Liberty. Thus, I was able to get in touch with multiple Liberty survivors including Philip Tourney and Ron Kukal. In the last year, Phil and I have been able to build a close friendship and we have communicated with one another often. It has been an honor to have had Phil help me in my research.

Finally, as a Christian, I believe we should continually seek for truth. Both Tourney and Kukal attest their survival to God’s Grace, and it has been an honor to develop a relationship with these strong Christians. When conducting this research, I often thought of Proverbs 18:15 which states, "The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge."

Area of Specialization




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