I recently posted a picture of President Ronald Reagan stating that he is my favorite Commander-in-Chief. I’m not alone in having been honored to serve under him during the Cold War. Unfortunately, there seems to be quite a few people who have another opinion of this President. I do not agree. And that’s okay, we can disagree on this. But this brought up a lot of feelings and observations that I’ve made over the years, and I found that I could not stop thinking about the words that I wanted to say. So here they are.
I remember back when we had American hostages being held in Iran for so long when Carter was president. And surprise surprise, just before Reagan became president they released them. He wasn’t even in office yet, but they knew where he stood on that issue. He wasn’t going to mess around.
I just remember serving in the military and existing in a different world and knowing things. Things like, everything could end in an atomic fire at any time in less than 30 minutes. Things like, B-52 scrambles taking off at 3am. Meanwhile, others were Rocking the Casbah and listening to Thriller. One day I looked up in the sky over Sacramento and I saw a big mushroom cloud, and I thought holy hell, they nuked us. It wasn’t a nuke, it was actually the crash of a B-52. But for a moment, I thought we were all dead. And as my friends scooped up piles of debris from the crash that nine of our Air Force brothers died in, we had lots to think about. What our own roles were, how we contributed to keep the world safe every day. What if it had been Armageddon day? Someone had to stop all the madness. For me, Ronald Reagan was that man. My Commander-in-Chief.
When I saw the Berlin Wall fall, it was something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime. Never thought I’d think a Russian, Michael Gorbachev, was a hero. Never thought I’d live in a world where I would work side by side with Russians. So I show my respect to the man who was at that helm. And now, under different leadership those Cold War conditions threaten to reappear. Just my honest, I was there, opinion.
We may not be happy with the way the world is now. Yes, it sucks that 10 lunatics can come in to a town and kill dozens or hundreds. But let me say this. I would rather face a threat like that. One that I could face with my 30-30 and a box of ammo, and a few trusty friends. There’s no thing you can do when a 100 megaton warhead is coming down in your state. You can’t stand defiantly and stare the thing out of existence.
When we were in the thick of things, we would go over to Job Control. There were maps of cities with concentric rings drawn on them. There numbers of casualties tallied in “Millions”. Millions. And each mark was a 10 megaton ring bigger than the last. Please let that sink in. We’re upset when people die needlessly. We should be. Let’s do something. R.R did. I don’t wake up every time I hear a rumble in the sky anymore, wondering if I’m going to see a flash of light and then…. Yeah. Maybe you never did. But you don’t get the luxury of thinking, incorrectly, that you live in a safe world any more. Because this new threat is a little more personal, and you can’t be isolated from it anymore. That’s the way I see it. R.R. Saved us. Star Wars was not a joke. It was probably the sanest solution to nuclear war anyone ever came up with. It bought us a bunch of time. And as I see it, we squandered that time sucking down oil, and super sizing our fries and phones, when we should have been getting off the fossil fuels.
It’s cute that people think that the world is worse off than it was pre 1990. Go ahead and moan and complain, and fantasize that someone made up the Cold War, that man never landed on the moon, that the communist/dictatorship of the USSR never existed. That the world wasn’t on the edge of mass extinction. That’s called the short memory of the masses. There’s a reason why we have to keep telling the story of the holocaust. Because some idiots try to rewrite history with selective memory.