Once upon a time there was something called the Cold War. It was rather frosty, even in the sub-tropical paradise of Cuba. During the Cold War the Soviet Union aka Russia led what was called the Warsaw Pact in a global conflict of world domination against the United States and it’s Allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, better known as NATO. Both sides had minor surrogates around the world.
During the Cold War there were several places where the United States had forces face to face with the Soviet Union and its Allies. The most prominent of these were Berlin where the Berlin Wall surrounded West Berlin keeping its prosperous citizens from the great deals to be found on the East German economy and the East Germans out of the decadent West.
In the far east the United States and its South Korean ally faced the DRNK or the Democratic Republic of Nutso Korea headed by a man named Kim who would pass the leadership of the DRNK to his son who also is named Kim. I think that the second Kim was named after Kim Novak but this is just a rumor started by the CIA to attempt to undermine the DRNK. The demarcation line was that of the Armistice line of the Korean War located in the general vicinity of the 38th parallel. This remains one of the most heavily fortified locations in the world.
The final point of direct contact was in Cuba at Guantanamo Bay where failed baseball prospect Fidel Castro took his revenge on Major League Baseball by taking over Cuba, allying himself with the Soviet Union. He almost helped start a thermonuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States during the Cuban Missile Crisis. After this Castro isolated Cuba from the Major Leagues and prevented them from having access to his star baseball players, except for defectors.
To have served in the US Military at all three flash points was nearly impossible akin winning Major League Baseball’s hitting “triple crown.” By this I don’t just mean the American or National League crown but the entire league. The last player to do this was Mickey Mantle in 1956 who hit .356 with 52 home runs and 130 in a mere 154 games. I refer to the feat of serving at all three locations as accomplishing the Commie Trifecta.
To do this now is an accomplishment because you had to be serving in the military in Germany before the Soviet Union went Tango Uniform and the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. Thus it is an accomplishment that few can attain unless they enter an alternate time line were the the Soviet Union survives.
However Padre Steve has accomplished this feat. Back in November 1986 he and the Abbess made the trip from West Germany along the Helmstedt corridor to West Berlin and then through Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin. 12 years passed and Padre Steve was now in the Navy serving with the the 3rd Battalion 8th Marines in Korea from February through April of 2001. Part of this involved camping out at Warrior Base a mere 800 meters from the South side of the Korean Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ. Serenaded by nightly musical serenades and inspiring messages approved by the boy named Kim we trained and also got a tour of the Armistice village of Panmunjom where in the conference room guarded by really tall and scary looking South Korean Soldiers one can actually cross over the to North Korean side of the room. I would also do PT along the DMZ carefully avoiding anywhere marked “mines.”
The third portion of the Commie Trifecta was in November 2003 while assigned to the Marine Security Forces who manned the Colonel Nathan R Jessup Memorial Fence Line which separates the Guantanamo Naval Station from Communist Cuba.
This makes Padre Steve a relic albeit one who has been around long enough to get to do the Commie Trifecta. That friends is is way cool.