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As a kid, I was fascinated by a book on the winners of the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest award that an American in uniform can earn. This book cataloged the bravery of all the winners of this prestigious medal.

It was with interest therefore that I read about the feats of the then Sgt. Nicholas Oresko, who passed away recently aged 96 being the oldest surviving winner of the Medal of Honor. He won his during the Second World War, in January 1945, in the closing stages of the Battle of the Bulge when he single-handedly knocked out two German machine gun positions.

When I grew up the Cold War was a major event that affected countries around the world. I read of the U2 and other spy planes and the constant battle between the US and the USSR to steal a march over the other. In this context, comes news of the demise of Albert D. “Bud” Wheelon, who played a major role in the 60s in developing the technology to do aerial spying for the US.

Times have changed. The world has changed but it was people like Sgt. Oresko and “Bud” Wheelon, that made the United States the superpower it was in the years when I was growing up.

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