Category Archives: How I Won the Cold War

How I Won The Cold War, Part 29 … A FORTUITOUS MISTAKE

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It’s astonishing how much can happen in a split second. Scientists tell us the entire universe big-banged into existence in just one-trillionth of a second. Some bridge-jumpers relate seeing reruns of their entire lives as they plummeted to what they thought was a watery grave. My … Continue reading

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How I Won The Cold War, Part 28 … HERE’S TO THE LADIES

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The year was 1960. The “Pill” … aka the birth control pill … had just hit the market. The sexual revolution had begun! At the time Mr. Simpson, my Spanish teacher at Vallejo Senior High School and a personal mentor, asked, “How do you think ‘the pill’ … Continue reading

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How I Won The Cold War, Part 27 … A LIFER LOSES AN EYE

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In the non–volunteer army of the 1960s, the term “lifer” (those who chose to serve for twenty years or more) had unsavory connotations, like crazed or weird or misanthrope … it sounded more like a prison sentence than it did a career. But, when you got to know them, army lifers really weren’t all that … Continue reading

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How I Won The Cold War, Part 26 … A FLOCK OF FROGS AND A TALL GAUL

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Too much rum can lead to trouble … big trouble! I learned that simple fact when, after returning to the barracks late one day, and in a hurry to “catch up” with my buddies, I finished four-fifths of a fifth of Bacardi in about an hour … big … Continue reading

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How I Won The Cold War, Part 25 … A CHOCOLATE BUNNY HOPPING THROUGH SOFT WHITE SNOW

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After gulping down our “Meal, Combat, Individual” (MCI) cans of turkey (frozen to an icy slush like our sodas … we were too busy and hungry to bother with thawing them out) we turned our attention to our antenna. Erecting this was no … Continue reading

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How I Won The Cold War, Part 24 … THE TWO AND A HALF TON GRASSHOPPER

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Young and dumb. It’s that phase when we’ve got everything figured out. When we discover we don’t need adult supervision because we’re adults. Broadly speaking it’s that time of our lives that runs from the late teens to the mid-twenties, after … Continue reading

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How I Won The Cold War, Part 23 … THE PERILS OF SERGEANT-HOOD

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The mailbox sat atop a post half-buried by a couple of feet of snow. The military map indicated the road going up the mountain began next to that mailbox. However, because new fallen snow had covered everything with a shimmering sliver-flecked sheet of white, and because I … Continue reading

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How I Won The Cold War, Part 22 … HOW I EARNED MY STRIPES

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We Koblenz warriors fighting The Cold War were ready and willing to give our “last full measure of devotion” in the defense of West Germany … which, if you thought about it for too long, you’d find yourself hitting an iron curtain of irony. You see, our small part in the Cold … Continue reading

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How I Won The Cold War, Part 21 … BARNEY FALLS IN LOVE

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Why is it giggle fits come at the worst possible time? And why is it when you try to stop them you end-up sputtering and choking like a car running out of gas? You feel like your head’s going to explode. Tears flood your eyes. Something makes you … Continue reading

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How I Won The Cold War, Part 20 … THE QUEEN COMES CALLING, THE GERMANS ATTACK

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Elbows come-in handy in Germany, particularly when shopping. I discovered this on my first visit to a corner grocery in preparation for my maiden, all-night duty shift. I stood with a small sack of cookies and a large Coke patiently waiting for a kindly looking old lady to complete her purchase. When … Continue reading

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