The Cold War Warrior studies the legacy of the Cold War through many lenses;
memories of uniformed and non-uniformed participants, historic events, and through various government bureaucracies. A high-profile legacy is today’s global Islamist terrorism (NOT all Muslims). There is an indirect thread that links this class of terrorism to WWII. However, a strong and unbroken chain manacles the current terrorist activity directly to the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and Western Civilization’s response. Without diving into the murky waters of the Soviet Invasion, suffice it to say the U.S. and other Western countries failed to understand the Islamic and tribal cultures into which they were diving. Thus, the diplomatic and subsequent warfighting efforts were and are disastrous.
On November 28, 2016, the Monday after the U.S.’s Thanksgiving holiday, the University of Ohio was attacked by a lone Somali refugee, a legal resident of the United States. Cleveland.com’s Karen Farkas reported, “Eleven people were injured during a car and knife attack at Ohio State University early Monday and the suspect was then killed by police, authorities said. An hourlong (sic) campus lockdown was lifted at 11:14 a.m. All classes were canceled for the day…”
Terrorism isn’t the only legacy in this story. There is another, far more proud, American legacy and its story lies behind the closed doors of the hour-long lockdown. Written by journalist John Gray, it is a tale of duty, honor, and country.
“Lost in all the chaos at Ohio State University today was something that most people probably missed. About an hour into it, when everyone was “sheltering in place” all over campus, CNN took a phone call from a young woman who was locked inside a classroom right near where the suspect was hurting people. She said she was a graduate student and she and many others were huddled together scared and not sure what was happening outside. Then she said something made me tear up.
She said casually to the TV anchor over the phone, “But we happened to have a few ‘military guys’ in my class and the minute we got the text message alert of an ‘active shooter on campus’ they moved the rest of us away from the door and then all of them stood guard right by the door.” She said they were standing there as she spoke making certain if a shooter or someone with a knife or whatever calamity tried to come through that door, they would be the first thing he’d see and they’d stop it and protect the other students or die trying.
These guys weren’t armed, I’m guessing they weren’t in uniform, they were just students who happened to have military training. Those “military guys” instantly put themselves on the clock and assumed the position to protect those unarmed, vulnerable students.
I thought that was impressive. I thought that was brave. I thought that was oh so very American.
I also thought you’d want to know.” John Gray
There will be other posts that examine U.S. Foreign Policy legacy and the terrible price we pay when policy fails. For tonight, I am once again proud to be an American and thrilled to share the military legacy that serves to protect the people, the nation and what we, the United States represents. We are a good people. The men and women who wear and wore the uniform are good the ‘Good guys’.
John Gray graduated with honors from LaSalle Institute, Hudson Valley Community
College and SUNY Oswego.
Celebrating his 25th year on television John has covered many big stories including the terrorist attacks of September 11th, the Pope’s visit to America and has reported on a number of Presidential campaigns. However, his favorite stories involve helping people right here at home. John volunteers with a dozen local charities including, ALS, M.S., Special Olympics, Juvenile Diabetes, Hospice, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters to name a few.
He has won numerous awards for his television work and writing, most recently winning a prestigious Emmy Award. He has been awarded “Columnist of the Year” honors from both the Associated Press and New York News Publishers Association and received the Business Reviews 40 Under 40 Award and H.V.C.C.’s ‘Most Distinguished Alumni’ award.
John’s passion is writing and for nearly twenty years his Wednesday column in The Record and Saratogian newspapers has become a local favorite. He also writes a popular monthly column in Capital Region Living Magazine. John has three children and a German shepherd named ‘Max’. In his spare time John enjoys rollerblading, golf and travel.