Community Member Spotlight

Greetings, Community!

Periodically, the team is looking to spotlight a community member that has some interesting attachments to the Cold War, be it their personal service, their reenacting of it, or just stories of family and friends.  As the community continues to grow, we’ll continue to develop how we share these stories.  But for now, if any of you have any interesting Cold War-related tales or history to share, contact the community managers, BloodMalice#5785 or ZiGreen#2186 on our Discord!

In our first spotlight, community member, Lizardpile, is a bit of Cold War history enthusiast!  He’s made it a hobby to collect and reenact with equipment of the era. While he’s mostly done living history events, he will be a part of an East German Grenztruppen reenacting unit for an event this summer.  His collection of Cold War memorabilia is extensive, although, he has placed particular focus on Soviet equipment.

In his spare time, Lizardpile also volunteers at a local Cold War museum in Ohio where he’s collected some interesting stories during his time there.  One tale is of a Polish-born U.S. special forces officer who served in West Berlin during the construction of the Berlin Wall.

“One night in 1961 an East German strayed a little too close to the border, and he, em, ‘liberated’ his Kalashnikov AKS.  He later served in Vietnam and retired in 1979, and brought the AK with him everywhere before eventually donating it to the Museum.”

The “liberated” 1961 Kalashnikov AKS, later deactivated for display at the museum.

Another story involves his good friend, David, the museum curator himself.  David had joined the U.S. Army in 1979, having served in the 1/509th parachute infantry in both Italy and Germany.  He served as a machine gunner and was briefly a part of a Dragon missile team, having participated in REFORGER exercises.  After brief stints along the German-Czech border and in Eastern Berlin, he also served as a pathfinder for the 101st Airborne.  Later, he served in combat in both Panama and Iraq before finally retiring in 2003.

“One day I was looking through random Cold War-era videos on YouTube and stumbled across a video of him and his pathfinder team jumping from a Blackhawk in 1982.  It was filmed for a PBS documentary.  He had never seen the footage before.  You can clearly see him wearing the exact same helmet and uniform on display at his museum.  He even pulled out his jump log and found the date of the jump.”

During a Blackhawk jump exercise, David is seen closest to the camera at 0:30 and the first to jump at 2:18.

Thanks to Lizardpile and sharing all this with us.  Being able to connect with the past allows each of us a more personal connection and sense of appreciation for the untouched theater we're all about to immerse ourselves in.

Feel free to contact community managers, BloodMalice#5785 or ZiGreen#2186, on our Discord if you or anyone else you know may like to share their Cold War-related stories.  We'd love to hear from you!