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.


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.