Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas in Korea - A Cold Warrior's story

I have had various Cold War Veterans share their Christmas stories with me. Here is the first one which is a re-post from last year.

It still gets to me. I will share others over the next few days.

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 9, 2015

Scooby-Doo and a Cold War Connection? - You Bet According to One Scooby Fan

When I saw the headline announcing a connection between the Cold War and Scooby-Doo cartoons, I just had to read it!

This is so off the wall, funny, and interesting at the same time. It takes a real stretch of the imagination but try to put yourself into the mindset that Scooby-Doo is a real dog and not a cartoon character. Then, evaluate the story from the viewpoint; could the USSR have accomplished this...

Here is an excerpt: "Scooby was bred as a super-intelligent test subject for the Soviets' space program".

Link over and read the whole article at - Scooby-Doo Fan Theory

Scooby-Doo Where Are You? theme song - 

Thank you to for the link to the full article and poster isurukill for the theme song video link.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Cold War Heroes Series Begins With The First Recorded CIA Casualty, Douglas Mackiernan

Most Cold Warriors have seen a photo of the CIA's Wall of Stars where there are 103 stars depicting the agents that have made the ultimate sacrifice. For those that have not, below is the official image from the CIA Flickr page.

Today's post is about the first man who paid that ultimate price thanks to an article from Lee Edwards at The Daily Signal publication.

Douglas Mackiernan was recruited into the CIA as it formed in 1947 and served in Urumqi in Western China. He observed and reported on the growth of the Soviet nuclear capability.

I'm not one to spoil a good story with my lead in statements so I'll just stop here and allow you to link over to the original article to read the balance of Mr. Mackiernan's exploits.

To access the original story link over here: Meet the Cold War Hero We Should Never Forget

I dug a little deeper to learn more about this man and found the official CIA recognition of his service. You can read their version at this link - Remembering CIA's Heroes: Douglas Mackiernan.

Thank you to Lee Edwards of the Heritage Foundation's, The Daily Signal, for bringing this story to us and for allowing this link to the original article.

Thank you to the website for the access link to their profile of Mr. Mackiernan.


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.