Welcome to Talking Proud, Service & Sacrifice

“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. My name is Ed Marek, and I run this site on my own, as a hobby. That said, a donation is always uplifting.

“Sacrifice: Without Fear There Is No Courage”


This is a photo of my wife, Mary Ellen Marek, on September 18, 2001, at the marriage reception for her daughter, Tracy and her husband, Randy, in Annapolis. She was not going to miss this for anything. Five weeks after this photo was taken, she passed away. What a courageous woman. It took two of her nursing mates to get her from home to the reception, but once she got there, she was alive and well, and literally had a riot, as she always does at a party. My Relay for Life project ends in mid June. We just broke through my goal of $1,000, having raised $1,055. Perhaps we can keep it going!

We've got to fight this fight for all those affected by cancer. It's the only way I know where most of us can make a difference. Please donate what you can at Please donate to my effort on behalf of the team.

US Navy clandestine maritime operations, WWII China and early Vietnam


I must admit this is a crazy story. I began by wanting to talk about the “Brown Water” Riverine Navy during Vietnam. But before I knew it, I was studying US Navy clandestine maritime operations in China in WWII. And as I did, I became acutely aware of the relationships that developed between those operations in China in WWII and those that occurred in the early days of Vietnam, as early as 1954. Along with this, I learned how the Navy developed its capabilities all the way up to and including the launch of the US Navy SEALs, and their involvement in the early days of Vietnam.

This report will highlight how clandestine, covert US Navy maritime operations developed in WWII China. Then it will skip ahead to address US Navy covert maritime operations through the early days of US involvement in Vietnam, after the French gave up Indochina in 1954. I will walk you up to the Gulf of Tonkin Incidents involving, among others, the USS
Maddox and Turner Joy. That is where I will stop, August 1964. I will not cover the Korean War.

This story is extremely complex, and often convoluted. I started it in September 2014. I have done my best to be accurate, even though the documented history is often conflicting and ambiguous. May 13, 2015.
Go to story.

Vietnam Veterans talking about their walk --- listen and hear


I belong to a social media group that enables Vietnam veterans to “swap their experiences” and voice their memories. No politics allowed, nor profanity, nor disrespect. I am a USAF veteran of the Indochina War, having flown aboard EC-47 electronic reconnaissance aircraft out of Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand. Most of the men and women who share their experiences with this group fought on the ground. Since I was an Airman, I did not experience what these veterans saw on the ground. As a result I have found their comments to be stimulating, filled with passion, tears, pride and great sensitivity. I thought I should try to highlight the themes these men and women present. November 11, 2014. Go to story.

2nd Lt. Donald Matocha, USMC, Mission Complete Sir!

"The reality is, no other country does this:"
Bringing America's missing home

Pasted Graphic 17

On February 9, 2006, The Military Channel presented the documentary, "An Ocean Away," which follows the return of US Marine 2nd Lt. Donald Matocha's remains from Vietnam to Smithville, Texas. While viewing this film, we were struck by the respect and honor given the remains of our returning military by those associated with the US Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii, JPAC. We have assembled a photo gallery that demonstrates this noble endeavor. February 10, 2006, republished on September 25, 2014. Go to story.

Comin’ for you --- a special photo gallery


You see, nice try in your attempt to destroy the bridge. But the thing is, the engineers fixed it up well enough and the Marines crossed it because they’re comin’ for you.

This is a special photo gallery. Employ our forces the way they ought to be employed, be an enemy of the US, and as our enemy please know our men and women are “Comin’ for you” and they’ll get you. I began this effort on February 3, 2014. It will grow as we spot appropriate photos. February 11, 2014. Go to gallery.