Thursday, September 9, 2010

How I served. My Cold Warrior story

I was an east coast sailor except for a tour along the western coast of South America on one cruise. It was Unitas 13 and we were providing training for the navies of the countries down there. Most of my 10 years were spent cruising up and down the eastern seaboard playing war games, providing plane guard duty for carrier ops, and chasing submarines. I enjoyed the time but changed careers when I decided to become a family man. I spent 7 out of the 10 years at sea and that is not a good arrangement for raising children. During my time there was no secret stuff, no exciting standoffs with the enemy, just an occasional contact with a suspected Soviet submarine, a very close flyover by a Bear patrol plane now and then, and of course, getting in the way of the so called innocent trawler hanging around outside of the harbor. About the closest I ever came to Russian sailors was in the Naval Yard in Philadelphia in the mid-1970s. For some crazy reason we were selling grain to the Russians and they would send ships into the Philly port. The grain ships would pass right by the drydock and several Russians would be out there with cameras and binoculars. We would hold up Playboy and Hustler magazines and the Russian sailors would go crazy! It would go from 2 or 3 people to so many we couldn't count how many were on deck. It was funny to see their reaction to magazines that we took for granted. I served on three ships - U.S.S. Farragut DLG-6 (72-75), U.S.S. Guam LPH-11 (75-76), Navy Recruiting Command Los Angeles (76-79), and U.S.S. Harold J. Ellison DD-864 (79-82).  Please connect with me if we served together. I'd like to get re-aquainted. John Kairis, MM1

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Where did you serve? Military or Civilian? Stateside or Overseas. Fulda Gap? Berlin? NATO? CIA? State Department? The Dew Line? On a Missile Battery? Down in a Silo? At Sea? Under the Sea? In the Air? According to the VA over 26 million Vets are still alive. I'd bet that most served in the 1945-1991 time frame and I'd like to share your story on this blog. As long as it isn't still classified, email me with your story and I will post it here.