Cold War

CDR Denise McCallaCreary, U.S. Navy (1973-2000)

CDR Denise McCallaCreary, U.S. Navy (1973-2000)

What personal and professional achievements from your Military service are you most proud of and why?:

I retired with the rank of Commander, United States Navy. During my career, I garnered medals, friendships beyond my wildest dream, and a master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School and Navy War College. While these achievements are extremely meaningful to me, what I am most proud of was being elected in 2019 by my peers to the position of National President — making me the first female National President of the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) in 50 years. As a 15-year-old teenager arriving from Kingston, Jamaica, landing in the cold, freezing city of Chicago, Illinois, my dreams were small. After being taken out of my high school in Jamaica, when I was set to graduate, I knew I would need my diploma to succeed in a new country. Failure was not an option. I would have to graduate and go to college. As for what college or vocation I should have strived for, I had no clue.

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CAPT David Edling, U.S. Coast Guard (1969-1999)

CAPT David Edling, U.S. Coast Guard (1969-1999)

What personal and professional achievements from your Military service are you most proud of and why?:

I’m proud I didn’t crash the ship that day in May. Being proud of something you didn’t do may not exactly be on point with the assigned question, but given the circumstances (and my relative inexperience), I’m still proud I didn’t crash the ship that day. Some old sea service sayings: “It’s been a good day whenever you don’t have a collision at sea or don’t run aground,” and “A collision at sea can ruin your whole damn day.” As a 22-year-old Navy Ensign (O-1), serving aboard the destroyer USS Duncan (DD-874) in the waters off the coast of Vietnam in 1970, I had finally qualified as a full-fledged Officer of the Deck Underway (OOD) in April. The following month (May 1970) was our first rotation on the gunline. The Duncan was a “well-used” WW2 naval vessel that had seen action in WW2, Korea, and, of course, Vietnam. Her main armament was three 5-inch/38 twin mounts. The primary tasks assigned to our ship were Naval Gunfire Support (NGFS) and plane guarding with the aircraft carriers operating in the South China Sea.

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The First Air-to-Space Kill

The First Air-to-Space Kill

Even before the creation of the U.S. Space Force, American military leaders have had to grapple with what a war in space might look like and what we would need to be successful. In 2022, Russia launched what U.S. intelligence believes to be an orbital anti-satellite weapon into space. China is thought to be pursuing a range of anti-satellite weapons.  The F-15 Eagle: The Triumph in Cold War Skies While that may seem surprising to some and downright frightening to others, it's important to remember that the U.S. has had the capability to shoot satellites out of orbit for almost 40 years – and it didn't require advanced rocketry, fuels, or some kind of secret weapons to do it, either.  About 50 years ago, the U.S. Air Force's newest air superiority fighter took to the skies for the first time. The F-15 Eagle was intended to take lessons learned from the Vietnam War while creating a fighter that could match the power, altitude, and speed of the Soviet Union's newest...

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Why Americans Use Yellow Ribbons To Support the Troops?

Why Americans Use Yellow Ribbons To Support the Troops?

You just can't keep a good tradition down. The good stuff will always come back up to the top in the ebb and flow of history. Using yellow ribbons to remember the troops is based on that kind of tradition. The Use of a Yellow Ribbons in American Popular Culture There are a lot of myths and legends surrounding when ribbons were first tied on, why the color yellow is used, and where exactly one is supposed to tie the ribbon. Those legends are only a part of the full story. For centuries, people have used items with special meaning to remember loved ones while they are away, whether they're at war or not. The use of a yellow ribbon in American popular culture first appears in a folk song, "Round Her Neck She Wore A Yellow Ribbon." This song can be traced as far back as 1838 and as far away as the United Kingdom. Versions of the song have appeared and reappeared in American culture ever since. It emerged once again in 1917, as the United States entered World War I as "Round Her Neck She...

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USS Midway Historic Aircraft Carrier & Naval Museum

USS Midway Historic Aircraft Carrier & Naval Museum

The USS Midway aircraft carrier is America’s most popular naval warship museum. Located in downtown San Diego, the museum is open 10am to 5pm 7 days a week, closing only for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The museum holds over 700 events a year, from Navy retirements and re-enlistments to changes of command. What is the USS Midway Known For? Commissioned after the culmination of World War II, the USS Midway was one of the longest-serving aircraft carriers of the 20th century. The United States Navy used the Midway throughout the Cold War, until the carrier was decommissioned in 1992. Midway was an important contributor to the US war effort in Vietnam.  During Operation Frequent Wind, known by civilians as the evacuation of Saigon, the Midway was the scene of a heroic rescue. Major Buang-Ly of the Republic of Vietnam Air Force loaded his family of seven onto a 2-seat Cessna O-1, evaded enemy ground fire while fleeing occupied Côn Sơn, and pleaded with Midway to let him land. After...

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Cold War – 1983 Beirut Bombing

Cold War – 1983 Beirut Bombing

In 1975, a bloody civil war erupted in Lebanon, with Palestinian and leftist Muslim guerrillas battling militias of the Christian Phalange Party, the Maronite Christian community, and other groups. During the next few years, Syrian, Israeli, and United Nations interventions failed to resolve the factional fighting, and in August 1982 a multinational force arrived to oversee the safe and peaceful withdrawal of Yasir Arafat and the PLO from positions within Beirut and ensure the safety of the Palestinian civilians that remained behind. The participants included contingents of U.S. Marines and Navy SEALs, units of the French 11th Parachute Brigade, the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment, the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment and units of the French Foreign Legion, Italian soldiers, and British soldiers. Withdrawal of the PLO was accomplished by early September, and the bulk of the multinational force soon withdrew to ships in the eastern Mediterranean Sea....

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Cold War – Operation El Dorado Canyon

Cold War – Operation El Dorado Canyon

On April 5, 1986, the La Belle nightclub in Berlin, a popular off-duty spot for U.S. troops, exploded, injuring 229 people and killing three, including two American soldiers. Among the wounded were 79 more Americans.  The bomb was placed underneath the DJ booth and went off at 1:45 in the morning. It killed Sgt. Kenneth T. Ford immediately. Sgt. James Goins was wounded in the blast but died of his injuries two months later.  American intelligence agencies suspected Libyan involvement. Then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was known for sponsoring terrorist organizations from Ireland to the Middle East and considered the United States his primary geopolitical adversary.  Before the Operation El Dorado Canyon In March of 1986, the U.S. Navy and the Libyan Navy exchanged hostilities over the Gulf of Sidra when the United States asserted the Freedom of Navigation in the area under international law. American F-14 Tomcats engaged in a dogfight with Libyan MiG-23s, and Libyan...

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Pvt. Mr.T (Laurence Tureaud), U.S. Army (1975-1978)

Pvt. Mr.T (Laurence Tureaud), U.S. Army (1975-1978)

Lawrence Tureaud, famously known as Mr. T, rose from humble beginnings to become one of Hollywood's most recognizable tough guys and an enduring cultural icon. Before he became the face of the "A-Team," Mr. T's journey began with a commitment to serving his country. Join us as we follow the military journey of Mr. T, paying tribute to his profound influence on both the world of cinema and the hearts of his fellow Americans. This story serves as a compelling testament to the incredible impact of unwavering dedication and self-belief. Mr. T’s Early Life Born on May 21, 1952, in Chicago, Illinois, Laurence Tureaud had a childhood marked by challenges and determination. Raised in a tough South Side neighborhood, Laurence Tureaud was the youngest of twelve siblings, and his early years were far from glamorous.  Growing up in a tight-knit African-American family, Mr. T faced adversity from a young age. Poverty was a constant companion, and his family struggled to make ends meet....

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Service Reflections of MST2 Edmund Reardon, U.S. Coast Guard (1977-1981)

Service Reflections of MST2 Edmund Reardon, U.S. Coast Guard (1977-1981)

In the 1970s, while trying to complete my undergraduate degree at Penn State Univ., I ended up on the Dean’s “other” list. With my academic career teetering on failure, I became interested in other options for my future.

The original GI Bill was in place but would soon be changed to the newer version where matching funds were promised. I delayed-enlisted before the deadline at the Pittsburgh, PA recruiting office, which offered billets for either Cape May, NJ, or Alameda, CA. Interested in further travel, I opted for CA.

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MSCS Michael Rhodes, U.S. Navy (1970-1995)

MSCS Michael Rhodes, U.S. Navy (1970-1995)

Of all the military operations you participated in, including combat, humanitarian or peacekeeping operations, which of these made a lasting impact on you and why?:

During our 41 years of marriage, I have used a term that my wife instantly understands, and it’s just two words. Without a lengthy discussion, she understands a situation’s gravity. She and I are instantly in sync.

We don’t go to General Quarters for a real battle but have metaphorically gone to GQ on occasions. The most recent occurred when the police came through our neighborhood using a loudspeaker saying, “Evacuate the area” because of a wildfire.

It was time for General Quarters. We didn’t have time to waste.

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Grunts, Gramps & Tanks by Rick Bogdan

Grunts, Gramps & Tanks by Rick Bogdan

The United States' involvement in South Vietnam lasted roughly 20 years. For much of that time, American forces were actively engaged against the North Vietnamese. As the war lingered on and public sentiment turned against the war, the U.S. eventually withdrew in 1973. Within two years, the South Vietnamese government would fall and Vietnam was unified under the Communist regime. That is a very simplistic description of 20 years of conflict. The men and women who served in Vietnam each have a unique perspective on their time there, and many of them have written about it, immortalizing their experiences as part of the U.S. military story forever.  Those who served in the post-Vietnam era were still very much at war, Cold Warriors who maintained readiness, waiting for World War III with the Soviet Union around the world. Yet, their stories are few and far between. What life was like for the GI in a post-Vietnam world is largely undocumented. Rick Bogdan joined the Army as a...

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Service Reflections of A2C Charles Jones, U.S. Air Force (1955-1959)

Service Reflections of A2C Charles Jones, U.S. Air Force (1955-1959)

In July 1955, the day after my 17th birthday, a long-time friend, Mac Viars, and I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, and before the day was over, we were on a train headed for Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas.

Our original plan was to enlist in the Navy, but the Navy recruiter told us we couldn’t go until later. The Air Force recruiter said we could leave “today,” so that was decided. We needed a parent’s signature on an Air Force form when we enlisted. At that time, my mother was living in Baxter Springs, Kansas. So, Mac’s mother signed my mother’s name on my form.

After completing a physical exam, swearing in, and some paperwork, we boarded a train at Union Station in St. Louis wearing jeans, white T-shirts, “throw-away” shoes, and a few packs of cigarettes. We counted on getting all new clothes when we got there, and that did come true.

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