Welcome to Talking Proud, Service & Sacrifice

Honoring those who have served and sacrificed

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“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.

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We started this "Team Talking Proud" effort in January 2017. As of February 15, 2019, we have 98 members! Thank you! Talking Proud. P.S. I am a Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bisons fan!

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Oops, technical troubles

“Talking Proud” is experiencing a new fund technical problem with photography not showing up on a few articles. I am in the processing of repairing this problem, but it will take a bit of doing! Ed Marek, editor

Somalia: Why is the US in combat there?

Advise, Assist, Train? More like Find, Target and Destroy!

In the last 17 months, two US military members, both special forces, have been killed in combat in Somalia: One a Navy SEAL, the other an Army Airborne Maroon Beret (airborne). Commonly held perspectives tell us our forces in Somalia are there to train, advise, and assist Somali forces, and hang back behind those forces should a combat situation develop.

The obvious question then is, why did these men get killed in combat in Somalia? Or, perhaps more clearly, Why were US ground forces positioned in Somalia such that they ended up in combat?

That is the question I’ll examine in this report.

We all should recognize the loss of two US military members in combat is enormously painful. Regrettably, however, this is a dangerous world filled with uncertainty. Perhaps more worrisome, the public does not question what the US military is doing there. And even if it did, it would find itself buried in circuitous language that hides the real nature of what is going on. By Ed Marek, editor (121718)
Go to story

Con Thien: The “Meat Grinder”

"A miserable little series of 3 hill masses"

The story being told in this report focuses on the US Marines and their base at Con Thien, RVN.

In his book
Con Thien: The Hill of Angels, James Coan wrote:

“In some circles, Con Thien came to symbolize America’s failed military strategy of waging a high tech war of attrition against the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) … Con Thien also came to represent the US Marine Corps’ resolve to persevere, to stand resolute against a dedicated, well-armed, and highly trained enemy. For nearly three years, the Marines never wavered in fulfilling their mission to hold that piece of high ground at all costs. But the cost was high.” (082818)
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NOTAM: "Legends of the Ho C hi Minh Trail"

If you flew against the Ho Chi Minh Trail, this is for you

Ho Chi Minh trail at Tad Hai, old Route 23

If you flew against the Ho Chi Minh Trail during the Indochina War, I think you'll want to view this web site. It is incredible, filled with a wealth of photography of the Trail as it is today. I'm sure many of you will see your targets. You will also see bits and pieces of American aircraft that did not make it home. Don Duvall, who has been a reader of "Talking Proud," tipped me to this. He has been involved for three years filming
Blood Road on the Ho Chi Minh Trail with Red Bull Media House of California. The photo above is one of perhaps hundreds of still shots on the website Laos GPS Map, "Legends of the Ho Chi Minh Trail." Don Duvall has motorcycled the length and breadth of Laos while mapping it for LaosGPSmaps. Now he invites you to join the adventure. Come and ride the Ho Chi Minh Trail, or any other part of Laos that captures your imagination. (062918)

FOB Kalagush: "The Dark Side of the Moon"

"FOB Kalagush is a microcosm of the entire Afghan War”

Michael Forsythe, Colonel, USA


This report focuses on US Forward Operating Base (FOB) Kalagush in Nuristan Province. Not a lot is known about Nuristan and less about FOB Kalagush. I had never heard about it until I started doing this research. Colonel Michael Forsythe, USA, commanded an artillery battalion that deployed forces to FOB Kalagush and elsewhere throughout northeast Afghanistan. I learned from him that FOB Kalagush was a “microcosm of the entire Afghan War,” all the way from the conspicuous valor of and sacrifices made by US forces stationed there to the debilitating corruption that dogged and often crippled the government, inhibited it from caring for its citizens, and impeded the ability of US forces to do what needed to be done. So here is my take. June 6, 2018. Go to story.