Each Memorial Day, called that since 1971 when it began a federally recognized holiday and was changed from Decoration Day. Since then, Americans have been sleeping in late or heading out to the stores early to catch the sales advertised for weeks on TV and all over newspapers. For many of us, though, this day means more than barbecue pits, 60%-off sales or a day without work. It is a day to remember the sacrifices of others over the years in the dozen or so wars our nation has fought. For civilians it is a time to give thanks to those who donned the uniform so they wouldn’t have to. For veterans, it is a time of reflection on the courage of their brothers and sisters who gave all so we could survive and have the honor of this reflection.
However, there is another fallen hero that has not only been forgotten but long overlooked. Their sacrifice and existence denied by the very nation they gave their life for, not because of ingratitude but the very nature of their devotion required it. So, I thought I would write this in honor of them, the forgotten patriot, the cold-war spy.
After WWII two superpowers emerged that could not have been more different, the US and USSR. For the decades between 1945 and well into the 1990’s (and some might say continue to this very day), the men and women of each nation’s three letter acronyms silently (and sometimes not-so-silently) fought throughout the world, each one trying to undermine the other and infiltrate to destroy. Each side had their defectors and some of these defections cost the lives of untold hundreds as the USSR executed those working for the west.
These men and women, who grew up in the shadow of the hammer and sickle, took their life (and many times the life of their families) in their hands and became inside agents for the United States, secretly reporting on intelligence they bravely uncovered while living in the midst of their fraternal enemy. Some, no doubt, did it for money, but more often than not, many of these courageous patriots only motivation was their realization of the horrors of their own country’s leadership and the destruction it would reap on the world if it ever wrested total control.
So on this Memorial Day, when you fire up that barbecue pit and slap on the hotdogs and hamburgers, take some time to remember those who never got to enjoy the freedoms they gave their life for as they grew up in Soviet Russia or Communist-Controlled Eastern Europe or East Germany and their hope of one day living the freedoms we take for granted was erased as they were led away to their executions in the cold winters of Moscow. Below is a partial list of those who were executed because they helped our nation defeat what many living during the Cold War thought undefeatable, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Adolf Tolkachev – Executed in 1986
Dmitri Polyakov – Executed in 1988
Sergey Motorin – Executed in 1987
Leonid Poleschuk – Executed
Leonid Poleschuk – Executed
Vladimir Vasilyev – Executed in 1987
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Founder and CEO of The Graffiti of War Project, Doc is a decorated combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom where he was a combat medic with the 54th Engineer Battalion. He is currently the a journalist for Force 12 Media and is featured weekly on SOFREP.com. Docas been featured in numerous media outlets such as Wired.com, Maxim.com and BusinessInsider.com. For more information about Jaeson “Doc” Parsons click HERE or send him an EMAIL.