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


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.