Welcome to Talking Proud, Service & Sacrifice

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.

Join Team Talking Proud


Deep Sea 129: The price Silent Warriors pay


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.

Corps d'Afrique - a painful evolution to prove valor


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.

James Stockdale, "a giant of a patriotic American," a "real scrappy guy"

Americans love heroes, that's for sure. One of our problems is we don't always appreciate who most of our real heroes are or were. Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale, USN (Ret.) died on July 5, and is one of those great American heroes of all time. At his funeral aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, Admiral Vern Clark, the Chief of Naval Operations, said, “Admiral Stockdale challenged the human limits of moral courage, physical endurance and intellectual bravery, emerging victorious as a legendary beacon for all to follow.” December 16, 2016. Go to story.

The rescue of Capt. Roger Locher, Oyster 01 Bravo

Back in May 2012, I published a story entitled, “Loss of Oyster One: The “Bloodiest Day.” It highlighted events that began on May 10, 1972 involving Major Bob Lodge, USAF. On that day, he and his “back-seater” and Weapons System Officer Capt. Roger Locher, USAF flew their F-4 Phantom II jet fighter over North Vietnam on a MiG CAP (combat air patrol mission). They were the lead aircraft of Oyster Flight; a flight of four. Lodge’s personal call-sign was “Oyster 01 Alpha," verbalized as Oyster Zero One Alpha.” Locher’s personal call-sign was “Oyster 01 Bravo, verbalized as Oyster Zero One Bravo.” The North Vietnamese shot their aircraft down.

Locher successfully bailed out while Lodge was killed when his aircraft crashed into the ground. Locher (shown in this photo shortly after being rescued) was rescued on June 2, 1972 by American forces west of Hanoi in what was among the most harrowing rescue missions of the war. He was rescued on Day 23 after spending 22 days on the ground escaping and evading the enemy.

A former USAF navigator and pilot, Ross “Buck” Buchanan contacted me on November 25, 2016. He was the pilot of an A-1 “Skyraider” from the 1st Special Operations Squadron (SOS), Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base, “NKP,” for the mission that would rescue Locher.

Buck later presented a briefing about the Locher rescue to a group of mostly “older” pilots, who were members of the Daedalians organization and their wives in Great Falls, Montana. He has been kind enough to provide the briefing to me so that I can present it to you on “Talking Proud”. My purpose here is to convey Buck’s briefing of the rescue of Oyster 01 Bravo, Capt. Roger Locher, USAF. It is presented here. This is his story. December 2, 2016.
Go to story.

Miss Linnie Leckrone, "the heart of a true nurse," WWI

This story will highlight Miss Linnie E. Leckrone, Army Nurse Corps (ANC), WWI, at the Battle of Château-Thierry, France, in July 1918. But the story is not just about her. Miss Leckrone was one of the many heroines of this war, caring for so many of the soldiers whose daily companions were death, stench, rot and futility. I can only give you a taste of these horrors, and supreme valor, backbone and spirit. She has been a lightning rod for me to better understand better what she and so many others might have endured during one of the most brutal wars in history. My objective here is to try to imagine what they experienced, and therefore what Miss Leckrone might have experienced. So I am going to focus a lot on WWI as it affected her and her colleagues, and we'll try to better understand some of the major medical challenges they faced. November 24, 2016. Go to story