Welcome to Talking Proud, Service & Sacrifice

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Honoring those who have served and sacrificed

“Talking Proud” honors service and sacrifice, focused mainly on our military, and where I can, on Canada’s as well. Feel free to send me a note using the Contact Form and, if appropriate, I will post your comments in our Letters section.

I also invite you to click on this button below to join the Talking Proud Team. No fees. Just talk proud and be proud. Become a member and I will send you periodic newsletters about new and old articles. A donation will make you an automatic member. We started this effort in January 2017. As of January 7, 2018, we have 58 members! Thank you! Talking Proud!


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A tribute ´╗┐ in the sand......Normandy remembered

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A large percentage of our country doesn't know of or care about Normandy. A few weekends ago, British artist Jamie, accompanied by numerous volunteers, took to the beaches of Normandy with rakes and stencils in hand to etch 9,000 silhouettes into the sand, representing fallen American soldiers.

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Titled The Fallen 9000, the piece is meant as a stark visual reminder of those Americans who died during the D-Day beach landings at Arromanches on June 6th, 1944 during WWII.

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The original team consisted of 60 volunteers, but as word spread nearly 500 additional local residents arrived to help with the temporary installation that lasted only a few hours before being washed away by the tide.

9,000 Fallen Soldiers Etched into the Sand on Normandy Beach to Commemorate Peace Day.

What is surprising is that nothing about this was seen here in the US.

Someone from overseas had a friend that sent it with a note of gratitude for what the US started there. Please share with others who understand "freedom is not free-- nor has it ever been." (121917)
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Bell X-1: The wonder of "competing ideas"

"The race to break the sound barrier"

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On November 15, 1987, the Buffalo Evening News published a story by Mike Vogel entitled, “Boom Town.” He wrote:

“Forty years ago, Buffalo (New York) was at the center of the gutsiest experiment in aviation history: the race to break the sound barrier.”

´┐╝Vogel went on to quote from a report signed by Capt. Charles “Chuck” E. Yaeger, USAF that said this:

“The needle of the Machmeter fluctuated at this reading momentarily, then passed off the scale. Assuming that the off-scale reading remained linear, it is estimated 1.05 Mach was attained at this time.”

Yaeger was slightly off. Analysis showed he and his aircraft, the Bell X-1A “Glamorous Glennis,” hit Mach 1.07, about 700 mph, at more than 42,000 ft. above the dry California lake beds. This occurred on October 14, 1947. Yaeger and his aircraft were the first to break the sound barrier, once thought by some to be an impenetrable wall for manned flight.

Whenever new technologies and advanced technology systems begin to bubble up to the surface, there often is a scramble among brilliant people to advance their ideas about the course that ought to be taken. As a result, many competing ideas come to the fore and people will shoot off in multiple directions to advocate their approach. The debates about these competing ideas can become fierce. There is usually a lot at stake. There was a lot at stake here. The main purpose of this report is to address the development of the X-1 in terms of "competing ideas." November 20, 2017.
Go to story.
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David Ortiz stops everything for the National Anthem

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On August 8, 2013, the Boston Red Sox were playing at the Kansas City Royals. David "Big Papi" Ortiz, at the time the Sox designated hitter, was signing autographs. A baby's parents handed their baby to him apparently to take photos of him holding the baby. Just as the photoshoot was about to wrap up, the National Anthem began. Ortiz stopped, turned around to face the flag, grasped the baby firmly, took off his hat and put it over his heart while the Anthem played. The baby seemed quite comfortable in Ortiz's arms. Now is that a class act or what sports fans? Ortiz is from the Dominican Republic and played 20 Major League Baseball seasons, 14 with the Red Sox and six with the Minnesota Twins. He was a ten-time All Star, three-time World Series Champion, and seven-time Silver Slugger winner. He set a Red Sox single-season record for home runs with 54 in 2006. This ball player is what's known as a Pro! (112317)
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LS-85, Airmen left out on the limb, a leadership failure

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This is, frankly, a tragic story. My objective is to address events leading up to the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) attack on Lima Site 85 (LS-85) in northeastern Laos in March 1968 that put it out of commission and killed 13 Americans from the USAF. LS-85 hosted a CIA command center directing Hmong fighters against communist forces in northeastern Laos and a landing zone. It also hosted two navigation aids to help USAF fighter-bombers attack targets in North Vietnam and Laos. USAF technicians working as Lockheed employees operated the equipment. Twelve of them were killed. This was the largest ground combat loss of USAF people in the Indochina War. A thirteenth American was killed when his A-1E Sandy search and rescue fighter was shot down. As you read and learn the raw facts as they unfold, I ask you pay particular attention to the magnificent valor of those who fought against great odds, and also recognize those who attempted to thwart this tragedy long before it unfolded. The net result will be a recognition of monumental service and sacrifice about which we can and should talk proudly. That despite the terrible losses. September 10, 2017. Go to story.
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Invisible waterfront hands: Evacuation of Manhattan, 9/11

"The ordinary achieving the extraordinary"

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The September 11, 2001 air attacks against the United States consisted of a series of four coordinated attacks. Much of that day will remain in our memories forever. We will also remember forever the unparalleled bravery and courage of our first responders and many citizens. A story missed by many of us, however, was the maritime evacuation of Lower Manhattan. Private boats and their skippers along with the US Coast Guard (USCG) teamed up to evacuate some 500,000 people who were trapped between the devastation of the collapsed WTC building complex and the waters of the Hudson River, the East River and Upper New York Bay. The entire evacuation effort “Just Happened,” because every-day people decided this evacuation would happen. And it did. June 21, 2017. Go to story.
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The men of Normandy!

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Two D-Day veterans who participated in the liberation of France share a laugh in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, France, June 5, 2017, while attending a ceremony to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of D-Day. I would love to have heard that story! (060717)
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Soviet Foxtrot Submarines: The Cuban Missile Crisis

And so much more about this crisis I for one did not know

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I have read, "The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis is probably the single most analyzed episode of the Cold War." Perhaps so, but until now, not by me. Many people certainly know about or are aware of the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 in which tensions between the US and the Soviet Union were about as high as they could be, edging toward the possibility of nuclear war. But most of us are not familiar with the tense encounters with Soviet submarines. This photo taken by a US Navy (USN) anti-submarine warfare (ASW) patrol aircraft shows Soviet Foxtrot submarine Hull Number 945 nearing Cuban waters during that crisis, one of four that made the transit. It is B-130, Captain Shumkov in command. It is arguable when the US learned these submarines were on their way, as you will see later. For certain the US government did not know each of these submarines was carrying a single nuclear tipped torpedo that could destroy a Carrier Group. The Soviets called these "special weapons." May 3,2017. Go to story.
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Deep Sea 129: The price Silent Warriors pay

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On April 15, 1969 a North Korean MiG-21 shot down a US Navy EC-121M electronic surveillance aircraft assigned to Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron One (VQ-1) Atsugi, Japan. She was shot down over the Sea of Japan about 100 nm off the coast of the Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK), North Korea, over international waters. There were 31 American souls aboard, all lost, only two bodies recovered. The EC-121 was unarmed and had no escort. It was flying out there alone, just as so many others had and still do. The US, President Richard Nixon at the helm, did not retaliate. The purpose of this story is to try to understand why. February 15, 2017. Go to story.
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Corps d'Afrique - a painful evolution to prove valor

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This story centers on the Corps d’Afrique, black soldiers who fought for the Union in the American Civil War. That war was and remains a central event in American history. The Corps did not develop overnight. Theirs is a complex story, an evolutionary story that began in Louisiana. It will expose you to a great deal of American history, good and bad. Emancipation and military service in this war were woven together, much done through experimentation, and much a reflection of the complexities of society and government. January 21, 2017. Go to story.
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