Thursday, December 25, 2014

I apologize for the repetition but I must share another Cold War Christmas Story that spoke to my heart.

While reading through all the fellow Cold Warrior post, I found this one. I thought of my Christmas 1979 and how it differed from this man. I was all warm and cozy with my family, back in my hometown, while stationed at the Philadelphia Naval Yard aboard the U.S.S. Harold J. Ellison DD-864. I just had to share his Christmas story with you. Thank you Glenn for allowing me to re-post your article.

I am looking for New Years Eve Cold War stories. If you have one to share, please email it to I'll post the one that speaks to me the most. Or, who knows, maybe I'll do more like I had to for Christmas. Too many good stories out there to not share them.

Here is Glenn's story:

Christmas Eve, 1979, Republic of Korea.
   It was dark and cold on the flight line. I was all bundled up in my parka and layers of clothing. I was alone with nothing but the lights in each revetment to keep me company. I walked with my toolbox by the revetments all lined up on either side of a taxiway. The revetments were big half shells of cement and steel designed to protect the aircraft from attack. Each one contained an F-4E Phantom fighter. The fighters were painted in various shades of olive drab in a camouflage pattern. Save for the nose that was painted with the large black eyes, white teeth and blood red mouth of a shark.  On the back of the revetment was a fence separating the restricted aircraft areas and the rest of the base.
   Soon I found the revetment containing the fighter I needed to work on. I climbed up on the left wing and opened a panel on the fuselage.  It was Christmas Eve, and I was on the other side of the planet from my South Dakota home. It was cold and the wind whistled through the half shell buildings. I worked on the broken wires frequently blowing on my hands to keep them warm. The work was too delicate to do with gloves on. I didn’t feel sorry for myself though it would have been nice to have some company.  There were many places, warm places, I would have rather been.
   Is I worked I began to hear singing. Familiar music but the words I didn’t understand. I climbed off the aircraft and followed the singing to behind the revetment. I went through an opening and found myself standing next to the fence.  On the other side of the fence lined up facing me there were about ten Korean children and a couple of adults. The children were singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas in Korean. As I stood there they then sang Silent Nightand I joined in. After the songs one of the adults came up and said, “Merry Christmas Sergeant. We saw you out here by yourself so the children wanted to sing to you so we stopped the bus.”
   This was about as much as I could handle as the tears started rolling down my face.
   “All this just for me?” I asked quietly.
   “Yes Sergeant. The children know you are far from home to protect them so they wanted to give you their song.”
   I knelt down to the level of the children and said thank you, “Kom som ni da, kom som ni da” over and over and to each one individually.
   The children started talking back as they waved and headed back to the bus. They shouted things in Korean I didn’t understand. The man looked at me and said, “They are saying, thank you freedom soldier.” I thanked him once again as he left to join the children. The children and I waved to each other as they drove away. I walked back to the aircraft and climbed the wing and got back to work. “How wonderful, “I thought, “kind of makes it all worthwhile.  Thank you Lord for the gift … and … Happy Birthday.”
   It was cold and dark and quiet as I worked on the fighter. I didn’t notice, for I was lit up with warmth and happiness.

-  MSgt Glenn P. Kuehner, USAF (Ret)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Something A Little Different for The Christmas Eve Cold War Story This Year

This Christmas Eve people all over the world will log on to the official Santa Tracker to follow his progress through U.S. military radar. This all started in 1955, with a misprint in a Colorado Springs newspaper and a call to Harry Shoup's secret hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command, now known as NORAD.

Shoup's children, Terri Van Keuren, 65, Rick Shoup, 59, and Pam Farrell, 70, recently visited StoryCorps to talk about how the tradition began.

To read the rest of the story, please follow this link -

To link to the Official NORAD Santa Tracker use this link -

Colonel Harry Shoup and the advertisement that started it all.

Col. Harry Shoup came to be known as the "Santa Colonel." He died in 2009.The Santa Tracker tradition started with this Sears ad, which instructed children to call Santa on what turned out to be a secret military hotline. Kids today can call 1-877 HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) to talk to NORAD staff about Santa's exact location.

Thanks to and the StoryCorps organization for allowing me to re-post this article.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Another Cold War Foe Becomes a Trading Partner

With President Obama’s announcement of normalization of relations with Cuba, another previous Cold War foe becomes a trading partner.

In 2014 there are only five communist countries left in the world – China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam. All but North Korea are now trading partners. 

North Korea is the only hostile one left and they just won the first salvo in open cyber warfare with their attack on Sony.

First it was, “Only Nixon”, who could go to China to start relations with that country. Look where we are now in regards to a trade deficit with China, the end of the Cold War in 1991 started commerce investments in Russia, Vietnam now makes furniture for US manufacturers, and Laos makes t-shirts and other apparel for export to the US. They could not beat us on the battlefield so they are getting us in job losses.

Yes, Putin has been rattling sabers lately with all the moves in 2014 but they are way too dependent on foreign purchases of their oil to truly threaten Cold War 2.0. They have plenty of oil that they need partners to purchase. Conquered nations are not trading partners; they are dependents like the Eastern Block and Cuba were until not too long ago. President Putin is only pushing the West to see how far he can go before we push back harder than minor sanctions and banking restrictions.

Back to Cuba - what will they bring to the trading party besides cheap labor, cigars, rum, and old automobiles? I’m not sure how the US Labor Unions are going to like that cheap labor part but Obama has them in his back pocket so I don’t think they will give him much grief. My guess is that Cuba will once again go to the pre-Communism days and become a tourism and gambling destination for US citizens just like in the ‘50s. 

You know, it is an island with plenty of beaches. Our old Soviet adversaries would go there for R & R after patrolling the East coast of America. I know this firsthand, we shadowed them when I was serving in the Navy. I forget how many trips I made to GITMO in those years.

The Castro brothers sure know what they are doing when it comes to manipulating other leaders. Earlier this summer, they got President Putin to relieve them of 90% of their debt to Russia, and now they got President Obama to open trade relations with them, without Congressional approval. All of this and they did not give up much. They look like pretty smart old guys.

Kim Jung-un should take a cue from the Castro brothers and court President Obama versus threatening the United States. He could invite the President to come play a little one-on-one B-Ball with Dennis Rodman in an exhibition match. The winner gets whatever he wants and the loser gives up their Nukes!

After all, President Obama needs some kind of legacy to be remembered by. Getting the last Communist hold-out to become a trading partner just may win the President another Nobel Peace Prize.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Cold War Christmas Story

Today at mass, Deacon John told the story of a time "in the late 80s" he was living in West Germany at Christmas.

The church he belonged to at that time decided to have a Christmas party and invite the refugees fleeing communism during the lifting of travel restrictions across the border. The refugees had settled in the small town where he lived. The local refugee shelter agreed for the church to sponsor an event. The congregation provided a tree, decorations, food, and gifts for the children.

Deacon John continued explaining that as the children were opening their presents, one of the adult refugees started singing a Christmas song in their native language. Another started singing the same song in their language, then another, and another, and another, including English. All these disparate languages singing the same song.

Peace is truly universal.

What a nice Cold War story.

I just felt compelled to share it.

Thanks to Deacon John at the Nativity Church, Longwood, Florida for allowing me to borrow and paraphrase his story.

Christmas is 10 days away everyone!

JohnnyK, The Proud Cold Warrior

Sunday, November 30, 2014


Show the world that you are proud of your service during the Cold War!

Order a Proud Cold Warrior T-Shirt, gain lifetime membership in the Proud Cold Warrior Society and receive a certificate of your service during the Cold War. 

Order no later than December 10th for free delivery by Christmas 2014.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A new day for this blog

Thank you to everyone that is now or has visited and contributed to this blog. The constant visitations from around the world, even when not posting new information, encouraged me to continue. This motivation coalesced into a new day for the blog. We are in the process of making many changes over the coming days, weeks, and months.

Today, I accomplished something started in 2010 with the first blog post here. With the help of my brother, PH1 James T. Kairis, also a Cold War Veteran, we have started:

The Proud Cold Warrior Society

Society - noun - [suh-sahy-i-tee] - an organized group of persons associated together for religious, benevolent, cultural, scientific, political, patriotic, or other purposes.

I think the word fits the idea quite well.

The Society will be a place for fellow Cold War Veterans who are proud of their service to connect with like minded veterans worldwide, find old friends, and to learn more about what other Cold War Veterans accomplished and endured while in the service of their country between 1945 and 1991. Think of it as a fraternal organization. Military veterans, civilian government employees and contractors in a Cold War role are encouraged to join.

The Society logo is representative of the Cold War in the following manner: the map shows that it was a global conflict, the flags are for the two major combatants, the ring shows unity of purpose, and the missiles represent the MAD doctrine that dominated a world on the verge of nuclear destruction.

To celebrate this new day, we are offering a special deal!

From now through December 31st you can order a Proud Cold Warrior t-shirt and receive a lifetime membership in The Proud Cold Warrior Society. We will also throw in free shipping!

We have made a commitment to purchase American made goods whenever possible so we have contracted for quality American Apparel t-shirt blanks to be used exclusively!

You can access the link here: to place your order. Multiple colors (olive drab, navy blue, royal blue) are offered as well as black and white.

Watch for additional information about our migration to a self hosted website and blog in January 2015.

Also, please remember that we value your input and welcome you to provide a 300-500 word story on your Cold War service. It can be a funny, serious, historical, or a combination of all three! Just email to inform us of your interest in being published.

The Society and the sale of Proud Cold Warrior labeled products will support charity organizations that help Homeless Veterans in the USA. I think it is safe to say that most Homeless Veterans today are probably Cold War Veterans.

Once again, thank you all. Your support is appreciated.

The Proud Cold Warrior

I'd Like to acknowledge our artist that designed the new logo and other images for the Society. He took an initial sketch done by my wife Barbara and refined it into what you see above. Adam Icenogle - if you would like to hire him, contact Adam at or

He also did the logo for my other venture, JohnnyKs Rod n Custom - Five Decades of Building Cool Cars -

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day 2014

Veteran's Day is here once again, lets remember those that served in the longest war ever for this country, the Cold War. This was originally published in 2008 but it still has strong meaning today. Millions of dedicated military and civilian Cold Warriors on both sides maintained a status quo that eventually freed us all from the threat of nuclear annihilation. Sadly, there is strong Sabre rattling from our old adversary, Russia and we may be heading into an era of renewed Cold War. A Cold War 2.0 to use modern vernacular. The below words rang true for me and I invite you to read them and then email me with your Proud Cold Warrior story. I’d be glad to post it here.
The Proud Cold Warrior

On Vets Day, thank a Cold Warrior

On Veterans Day, wreaths honor the dead and speeches honor the living. Gravestones and memorials recall World War II, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam. Members of veterans' groups proudly wear caps that display the names of the wars or battles they survived. Veterans of Desert Storm and the current fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq are welcomed and cheered.

It is fitting that all these men and women be recognized for their contributions in defense of their country. They are not, however, the only ones who should be honored.

A curious aspect of the annual ritual of honoring war veterans is that seldom, if ever, do we remember the veterans of the longest war, one that ended in victory for the United States. From 1945 until 1991, the Cold War dominated American military and foreign policy. To oppose the expansionist policy of the Soviet Union and to counter its arsenal of nuclear weapons, the United States needed thousands of men and women in hundreds of places and ships around to world to act as firm obstacles to the spread of Soviet influence and control.

Millions of service members answered the call to duty during that period. They were draftees and volunteers, lifers and those who served one term and returned to civilian life. They were in every branch of the armed forces.

Theirs were not the intense heroics associated with the Battle of Midway, the Normandy landings, the Chosin Reservoir, Khe San or the invasions of Iraq. Rather, they were in places like the Distant Early Warning line in Canada, eyes fixed on radar screens, watching, waiting and hoping that the Soviet Union's bombers would not dare cross the North Pole and start World War III.

They were in tanks overlooking Germany's Fulda Gap, watching, waiting and hoping that the Warsaw Pact's heavy armor would not attempt to overwhelm them and pour into Western Europe.
They were in nuclear bomb-loaded aircraft, watching, waiting and hoping not to use the terrible weapons entrusted to them.

They were in ships, submarines, and aircraft, watching, waiting, and hoping that Admiral Gorshkov's navy would not challenge them into starting a war that could destroy the world.
They were the support forces providing food, laundry, fuel and all the other services necessary to keep the forces ready.

There was no glamour. There were no pictures on the cover of Life magazine.

There was numbing monotony, deep loneliness and homesickness. There were heat and cold, bland food, seasickness and fatigue. Training exercises were repeated until they thought fatigue would make them collapse, and then they did it again. And again.

But they were ready. They were confident. That was why they succeeded -- with victory, not the ambiguity, or worse, that ended other wars.

Because of these soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen in the Cold War, the Soviet Union realized the futility of further military adventures. They knew that they could not succeed against people so trained and motivated.

Because of those veterans, the Soviets gave up. They just quit, and the Soviet Union ceased to exist, as poet T.S. Eliot wrote: "Not with a bang but a whimper".

Without these veterans' dedication, the "bang" might have been the end of the world. The veterans of the Cold War prevented that from happening. They did not liberate Paris or Baghdad; they liberated the world from fear of nuclear war.

The memorial to them is not on a gravestone or an obelisk in a public square. It is not a name on a veterans' cap.

The memorial is a world in which the threat of nuclear annihilation has been eliminated.

Earl Higgins is a retired commander in the U.S. Navy with 26 combined years of active and reserve service from 1963-89.
First Published: Monday, November 10, 2008 by the Annette Sisco blog,, The Times-Picayune newspaper’s online presence, New Orleans, LA. Provided here with permission from the author Earl Higgins.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

As Germany Marks the fall of the Berlin Wall,
Gorbachev warns of new Cold War

As Berliners watch 8,000 balloons being released into the night sky this evening, old divisions between east and west will symbolically vanish into thin air with them. Yet the runup to the festivities has already served up plenty of reminders that, 25 years after the fall of the wall that divided the city for three decades, the scars of history are hurting more than ever.
Speaking at a symposium near the Brandenburg Gate yesterday morning, former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev warned that the world was “on the brink of a new cold war” . . .
To read more please link over to the article at The Guardian
If the link above does not work please use this link -
Thank you to The Guardian for allowing the re-post of the article on this blog.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall, 25th Anniversary

Washington, DC, November 9, 2014 – The iconic fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago today shocked international leaders from Washington to Moscow, London to Warsaw, as East German crowds took advantage of Communist Party fumbles to break down the Cold War's most symbolic barrier, according to formerly secret documents from Soviet, German, U.S., Czechoslovak and Hungarian files posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (
The historic events of the night of November 9, 1989 came about from accident and contingency, rather than conspiracy or strategy, according to the documents. Crowds of East Berliners, already conditioned by months of refugee flights to the West and weeks of peaceful mass protests in cities like Leipzig, seized on media reports of immediate changes in travel restrictions — based on a bumbled briefing by a Politburo member, Gunter Schabowski — and inundated the Wall's checkpoints demanding passage. Television coverage of the first crossing that yielded to the self-fulfilling media prophecy then created a multiplier effect and more crowds came, ultimately to dance on the Wall.

The documents show. . . 

Please link over to read the rest of the article and to access a wealth of information from the, The National Security Archive, website.

Here is the actual link if the web link above does not function -

Thank you to The National Security Archive and George Washington University for allowing this article to be shared.

25 Years! Seems like yesterday. A member of a Cold War Facebook group I belong to asked yesterday, Where were you when the Wall came down? Hundreds of comments quickly filled the stream. My cell phone was buzzing so much at work I had to silence it.

To be honest, I do not remember exactly. 25 years ago, I was probably on a sales call somewhere, now a civilian, making a living selling computers for a company in Pennsylvania. I remember being ecstatic though when I saw the evening news broadcast. The first thing I thought was - It won't be long, the USSR will fail now that the people have a taste of freedom. I and millions of others were right. The Soviet Union did collapse as we all know.

The web is all buzzing with stories about the wall, and sorry to say, the appearance that we may be on the verge of a new Cold War with Russia. Diminished as she may be, but formidable and on a re-surge militarily; Russia is proving to be a thorn in the West's side once again.

Today I have decided to use the occasion of the 25th anniversary and do two post. The first article is from the historical viewpoint and what the 25th anniversary of the Wall coming down meant. There will be a second post of an article that I feel touches on the topics of why the Cold War is restarting.

With the restart of the Cold War, I decided to invest more time in this historical blog and also start a new blog to cover the discussions and events. I decided to call the blog Cold War 2.0 versus The New Cold War, or Cold War Part Deux (other titles considered) because as with a software upgrade, the original version is just changing, it never really ended.

With this change, I am also upgrading the blog technology. The blog will continue on Blogspot for a while while I update the look feel, and capabilities with Wordpress. I am also going to produce t-shirts, caps, etc for purchase. I am proud of my service in the Cold War and I have discovered many other veterans are as well. Watch for the Proud Cold Warrior logo soon along with the new blog roll out later this year.

Thank you very much for visiting. Please read the two additional post this day and check back soon for the new and improved blogs.

The Proud Cold Warrior

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Montville veteran steered ship during Cold War

This came across my inbox this morning and I thought I'd share.

The lead-in does not present the whole story. What Mike experienced was normal interaction with the Soviets, especially offshore of every US Naval base in the world. I experienced it myself every time we put to sea.

This story is an example of what I had originally hoped this blog to become -

A place where Cold War Vets who were proud of their service could share what they did during the Cold War.

If you would like to share what you did during the Cold War, connect with me at and we can get your story shared for all to see.

In the Military: Mike Downe, 65, joined the Navy in 1968 during the Vietnam War...

To read more:

The Proud Cold Warrior

Thursday, August 14, 2014

DIA Mole from Cuba - Who Would Have Thunk - Cuba Spying on the USA? No, Never In A Million Years!

Here is a very interesting article on a little known case of espionage during the Cold War.

Ana Montes was able to spy on the USA for almost 20 years for Cuba. She should never have been able to make it into working at the DIA, if due diligence would have been done while hiring her as an analyst.

Here is an excerpt - "DIA did not require applicants to submit to a pre-employment polygraph exam. So, Montes, a trained Cuban espionage agent with a problematic past was cleared and hired. She began her double duties in September 1985."

Read more here:
She should never have been there in the first place! What were they thinking?

Here is the whole story -

Read more here:

Friday, June 13, 2014

President Reagan's "Mr. Gorbachev...Tear Down This Wall" speech anniversary

Today, June 12th, is the anniversary of the "Mr. Gorbachev" wall speech.

I think I'll let President Reagan's own words speak for themselves.

I've provided the links here for you to access his words on YouTube.

There are two links, the first is a short one for the time constrained visitor. The second is the entire speech. (3:59, and 26:42 respectively).

Much appreciation to for the speeches and Google Images for the photo.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

We lose another Cold Warrior: Isaac Patch

As the years progress we are all getting just a little bit older.

The years have ended at 101 for Isaac Patch, Cold Warrior.

Why is the passing of this Cold Warrior of note?

He distributed books, yes books. It was, who he was distributing those book to, and for whom he was doing it.

Mr. Patch worked for the CIA and distributed books into the Soviet Union.

He died at 101 years old on May 31, 2014.

His legacy is that he helped educate the communist of what it was like to be free. Literature has a way of causing the reader to think. And we all know what a thinking human can do to a closed, controlled society. It culminated into the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

This excerpt from the Washington Post article defines psychological combat: "Political warfare - to win the hearts and minds of adversaries. . .". That was the goal. Smuggling books, rock and roll music, broadcasting talk radio, blue jeans; all of these "Western" things helped bring the Soviet Union down. Mr. Patch had a role in this.

I recently completed reading the novel Russia House and can't help but make the association between the background in that book and this real life person and his activity. How interesting. If you have not read the book; the main character is a publisher and he agrees to smuggle a manuscript out of the Soviet Union and publish it. Mi-5 then recruits him to spy for them. I enjoyed the novel.

Please link over and read the entire Washington Post article. It is quite interesting to learn of this man, who played such a major role in the Cold War, albeit, behind the scenes, and unknown to most, succeeded in his goal.

In my opinion, he died a successful man.

John Kairis
The Proud Cold Warrior

Click here to access the original article


Friday, June 6, 2014

Stalin Finally Got His Second Front 70 Years Ago Today

After years of unfulfilled promises from Churchill and Roosevelt, Stalin got his second front with the invasion of the European continent 70 years ago today.

The Russians had been holding their own on the Eastern Front against Nazi Germany. In fact they were gaining considerable ground in June 1944. The efforts by the Allies in North Africa, the Mediterranean and Italy siphoned off German troops from battling Russia but it was not the large scale continental Western front Stalin was promised.

Those empty promises since 1942 had to have influenced Stalin's attitude towards the Allies that would accumulate and fester into the tensions that surfaced in 1945 after WWII was over.

There are many other factors involved of course, but the second front delays were a factor in ...

the start of the Cold War.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Cold Warrior Passes While Trying to Re-write History

Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski died on May 25, 2014. The last communist leader of Poland spent his waning years trying to convince the world he was a reformer and not a communist. Sorry General, you can't re-write reality. Something called the truth always gets in the way.

As an American of Polish descent I watched the events in Poland in the 1980s and rejoiced in their escape from Communism. It is hard to believe it has been 25 years.

Please link over to this very good article by Andrew Nagorski who was actually there in the 1980s and recently met with the General.

Article is linked to this blog, with the acknowledgement of Andrew Nagorski as the writer and The Daily Beast, as the publisher.

Thank you for visiting The Proud Cold Warrior blog.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Cold Warrior's Memorial Day

While I was heading to work on Memorial Day, I stopped by Dunkin Donuts. I ordered a regular coffee and an old fashion donut. The young lady behind the counter said "Why you're just a traditional kind of guy aren't you?". She doesn't know the half of it. She  ended with Happy Memorial Day as she gave me my change. I estimate that her age would put her as just a gleam in her daddy's eye when the Cold War ended. My guess is that she didn't even know there was such a thing as the Cold War.

My service during the Cold War is what established that "traditional kind of guy" mentality. Duty, Honor, Country. These are not just flowery words written by some journalist when reporting on the military. It is our way of life. God and Family also play a part in the traditional values earned during those long tours of duty. I am sure many of you have these ingrained into your soul as I do.

As I was stuffing the change in the tip jar, I spoke to all three of the ladies behind the counter and asked  them to take a moment sometime today, and remember the true meaning of Memorial Day. As I said those words a vision of the Wall flashed through my brain with all the names neatly listed. 58,000 plus. I guess that will always be the legacy of my generation. A period when the Cold War turned quite Hot - Vietnam.

On the balance of my drive to work I thought of the memorials in my small Pennsylvania home town and the names on those monuments in the park. I played as a child and teen with some of those men named on those memorials. If circumstances were different, my name might have been on one of them.

So many gave their lives for the freedom we have today.

Bravo Zulu to them all.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Amid a revived East-West chill, Cold War relics draw new interest

Found this article today through my Google alert search feature.

Normally, I am providing links to USA oriented Cold War stories of interest.

Today I have a twist for you - an article about a Russian Cold War Museum!

It is an article about the Museum of the Cold War, Moscow, Russia.

Here is an excerpt for you:

Stand in the dark tunnel as a red light flashes overhead and an air raid siren howls.
Pose for a selfie in front of a wax sculpture of Soviet leader Josef Stalin, the tyrant who helped start the Cold War by insisting that Russia dominate its Eastern European neighbors.
Launch nuclear Armageddon . . .

Here is the link for the full article:

Enjoy the read!

And, share your thoughts in our comments section for all the readers to enjoy!

Thanks to Neil MacFarquhar of the new York Times and for allowing this story to be shared.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

U.S.S. Scorpion SSN589 lost with 99 souls onboard, 46 years ago today!

A few years ago I learned of the USS Scorpion's fate through a book found at the dollar store bargain bin. Not being a sub sailor I spent most of my military reading about surface battles involving Destroyers.

Scorpion Down by Ed Offley is a fascinating read that explores the reasons, both official and speculative, for the sinking.

RIP to the crew lost all these years ago.

John K
The Proud Cold Warrior

Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy Birthday Karl Marx !

Yes, May 5 1818 this very interesting person entered the world and changed it forever.

This is the first in a series of post where I will introduce and discuss the leaders of the Cold War. Both East and West leadership in an alternating style will be presented.

Food for Thought
Did the Cold War Start with Karl Marx’s published works?

Karl Marx laid the ground work for his theories to take hold in Lenin’s mindset 30 plus years later, thereby causing the revolutionary spirit to take hold in late 19th Century Russia and become an adversarial world power in the 20th.
It was a natural occurrence for capitalist countries, the USA and Western Europe, to clash with a society modeled after many of Marx’s anti-capitalist theories. It took nearly half a century later to come to a boil in the late 1940s, but it was inevitable.

Short Version Book Review
Karl Marx His Life and Environment by Isaiah Berlin.

I found this book an interesting read in that it is different than most biographies which introduce and discuss a person’s life from beginning to end. Mr. Berlin incorporates an understanding of what was going on around Marx in Europe at that time and discusses how it influenced Marx’s theories. His home life, relationship with associates, political involvements, and growth as a purveyor of economic theory is investigated and shared. The explanations occasionally get a little deep and cause the mind to wander but a majority of the book flows well as Marx’s life progresses.
Originally published in 1939 (my copy is from 1963), the book is a short read at 284 pages. I am glad I discovered it at the used book thrift store I frequent. It provides a quick look at Karl Marx, his life, and how he influenced the world through his observations and conclusions. Link over and obtain a copy for your own enjoyment.

Berlin, Isaiah, Karl Marx His Life and Environment, Third Edition, Oxford University Press, New York, 1963 (no ISBN number assigned)
Click to link to for a variety of editions for sale including a Kindle version

Lenin's biography will be next. Look for a review in April. Then, I will alternate between East and West leaders each month. Churchill was a fascinating read!

Until then, become a follower and catch other historical and current articles on the Cold War.

I would like to offer you, the reader, the opportunity to become a blog guest and provide an article. Tell us “Your” Cold War Story. I am looking for interesting stories to share with our audience. Just email me your contact info.

I will also be a participant in the Veteran’s History Project once accepted. The project is an archive of Veteran’s service. Your story, photographs, memorabilia, etc will be preserved for posterity. If you live in Florida, served during the Cold War (1945-1991), and wish to be interviewed, please connect with me at

John Kairis
The Proud Cold Warrior

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Francis Gary Powers Shot Down 54 Years Ago Today!

May 1, 1960

What an interesting story started today.

I was just 6 years old and had no idea I too would become a part of the longest "War" this country ever endured, the Cold War. I entered service during one of the "Hot" periods, Viet Nam.

But, enough about me. I wish to share the story and appropriately, I think the Cold War Museum is the place to tell it.

I say this for the Museum would not exist without Powers' son, Francis Gary Powers, Jr.

Please link over to

Read and enjoy.

John Kairis
The Proud Cold Warrior

Thanks to the Cold War Museum for the link to share this story.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Truman signs Marshall Plan

Truman sending General Marshall to Europe
On this day in 1948 President Harry Truman signed the Marshall Plan. An ambitious, expensive effort to assist the European Nations ravaged by World War Two to rebuild and become trading partners with the United States. The theory was, by assisting the nations of Europe financially, it would stop the expansion of communism being proffered by the USSR. It worked...

The George C. Marshall Foundation, National Archives, and the Harry S. Truman library offer some interesting reading and copies of documents pertaining to the Marshall Plan.

Here are the links:

Enjoy the read

John K
The Proud Cold Warrior


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.