Friday, July 24, 2015

Peace Cross Bladensburg, MD

The battle to save the Bladensburg Cross is still going on.

The Bladensburg Cross was dedicated in 1925 to honor 49 men from Prince George's County
that perished in WWI. The Memorial was funded by local residents and The American Legion.
It is now owned by the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

The Memorial is listed as a nomination on the National Register of Historic Places by the
Prince George's County Historic Preservation Committee in April 2015.  The Peace Cross
is listed as an Historic Place, but is not yet listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The American Humanist Association and three individuals filed a lawsuit in 2014 asking that
the Memorial be removed because of its implied religious nature as a Christian symbol, thus
violating their Constitutional rights. The Cross is located on property owned by the State
of Maryland; and the plaintiffs said it goes against the First Amendment.

A very brave woman Renee Green is spearheading the effort to save the Memorial. In an
interview she said "In order for people to make a decision, they had to know the history.
They have to understand it." Green went on to say "It's a WWI Memorial dedicated to the
49 men who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. It represents peace."

In January 2015 Renee Green submitted another application for the Memorial Peace
Cross to be nominated to the National Register and it was accepted.

Although the Memorial's application has been accepted this does not stop the lawsuit, so
it will continue to drag out for some time.

More information can be found at www.savethepeacecross.com
There is also an official Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-The-Peace-Cross/1539886132901090

Our Veterans should never have a Memorial or Monument that is dedicated to those who served
our country moved or violated in any manner. Those who served did so at the risk of
their lives, and so many did give their lives to protect our Nation.

---- Jerald Terwilliger Chairman Emeritus American Cold War Veterans "We Remember" ---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mt. Soledad Cross Memorial Saved

This should be an end to the long and costly fight to save the Mt. Soledad Cross.

The Mt. Soledad Memorial Association purchased the land where the Cross is located from
the Department of Defense to save the 43 foot cross that had been erected in 1954.

The battle began in the late 1980s, when the ACLU and the Jewish War Veterans sued to have
the cross removed; saying that it was against their constitutional rights. Claiming it violated the
separation of Church and State.

It is not proper that the Association should have been forced to purchase the land from the
government.

Preserving this monument which is a tribute to all fallen members of our Armed
Forces, which is part of a larger memorial with over 3,700 plaques honoring veterans of
various wars.

At a price of $1.4 million the land consists of one-half acre that surrounds the Cross it seems
like a very costly venture, but one that is well deserved to honor our fallen veterans.

California Representative Duncan Hunter and Senator Dianne Feinstein were instrumental
in writing and the passage of legislation that made this possible.

In a related attack on a memorial, in 2012 a court ruled that the Mohave Desert Cross owned
by the National Parks Service could be sold to the VFW. The VFW will maintain the Cross.

All our nation's veterans should hail this victory and the ensured safety of another Memorial
to our fallen brothers and sisters.

---- Jerald Terwilliger Chairman Emeritus,  American Cold War Veterans "We Remember" ---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Veteran's I.D. Card Update -Veterans Affairs

On July 20, 2015 President Obama signed into law H.R. 91 The Veteran's I.D. Card Act of 2015.

This directs the VA to issue an ID card to those who served honorably in the Armed Forces.

This is just for identification and to prove you are actually a veteran. It does not grant any VA benefits
or access to military bases.

For the many business and private enterprises that offer discounts to veterans and service members, most of whom require proof of service, this should make things easier. It will be a federal issued
ID, and you will no longer have to carry a copy of your DD-214.

The bill as written said that VA could begin to issue the card in 60 days. VA will have to make sure
that all plans are in place and they are ready to go. It might take a little longer than that

For some reason it appears that the VFW was against this idea, claiming it would further burden
the VA. The American Legion while not against the ID Card stated some of the same things as
the VFW.

There was also a member of the VA who spoke against the card in a Congressional meeting. So
that might make things a little more difficult.

To obtain the ID Card you will have to go to the VA with copy of your DD-214 and pay a small
fee, which has yet to be determined. So this makes it cost neutral to the government.

As more plans are finalized the VA should publish information on availability and procedures needed,
places to obtain this card.


---- Jerald Terwilliger Chairman American Cold War Veterans "We Remember" ---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

H.R. 91 Veteran's I.D. Card Act of 2015

The House of Representatives recently passed a bill H.R. 91 The Veteran's I.D. Card Act of 2015.

This bill would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to issue an Identification Card to any veteran
who asks for it.

There are many business and social establishments that offer discounts or free services to members
of the Armed Forces and/or Veterans.

Veterans who fulfilled the required length of service to retire, and those Veterans who are enrolled
in the VA Health Care system are issued Identification Cards as proof of service.

Any Veteran who did not retire, or is no in the VA Health Care does not have a valid Identification
Card, and must provide a copy of their DD-214 as proof of service.

The DD-214 is cumbersome to carry and also contains certain information that the Veteran may
not want to provide.

A valid Identification Card issued by the U.S. Government would eliminate the need to carry a
copy of a DD-214 and would serve as proof of military service.

The VA already has across the country a means in place to provide and ID Card. It would be a simple and expedient manner to manufacture and distribute such a card.

This would be at not cost to the government. The Secretary would determine the cost to provide
such an ID card; and that cost would be paid by the Veterans requesting this card.

The bill was sent to the Senate for consideration. After adding an amendment, the bill was passed.
Now the bill must go back to the House since the two bills are not identical.

The office of the bill's author Representative Vern Buchanan stated that the bill should be passed
in the House quickly and sent to President Obama for final approval.




---- Jerald Terwilliger Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans "We Remember" ---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Sunday, June 21, 2015

H.R. 501 Veterans And Service Members Employment Rights and Housing Act of 2015


An important piece of legislation now in the House of Representatives will help ensure fair and equal treatment of Veterans and Military members
avoid potential discrimination in the housing market and in the workforce.

Everyone please contact your Representative ask them to become cosponsor to bill H.R. 501 Veterans and Service Members Employment Rights and
Housing Act of 2015.

Many active duty service members, and many veterans, face difficulty in obtaining Housing due to the fact that it is still a commonly held
opinion that said members or veterans might turn dangerous at some point.

The same outdated beliefs apply in the job market. Veterans return from active duty to find in some cases that the job they held before
military service no longer exists (or has been filled..etc). 

Some veterans, (or active duty personnel seeking additional employment) have struggled for years in hopeless search for a job. Employers find
it difficult to accept military training as equal to civilian job skills.

Other employers may in fact think that an active duty, or former military member would be disruptive to their current workforce, and
might become violent at any moment. 

H.R. 501 would make it illegal to discriminate against anyone for their military service, in the workplace or in housing 

There are currently several dozen bills in the House addressing discrimination with many cosponsors. It is important that this bill to address
citizens in the Veteran Community and all members of our Armed Forces be acted upon quickly. It is time to protect the men and women
who protected our nation.

Our friends and brothers and sisters in arms, members of AMVETS agree and believe that this important legislation should have
every Representative sign on as cosponsors and that this bill should be passed immediately.


---- Jerald Terwilliger Chairman American Cold War Veterans "We Remember" ---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Friday, May 22, 2015

Press Release for Cold War Service Medal H.R. 2067

Here is the Press Release from Representative Steve Israel
As of today Fri May 22 there are 13 cosponsors to H.R. 2067
Please continue to contact your Representative to become cosponsor. Ask both of your Senators to introduce similar legislation in the Senate

News Release

Rep. Israel Recognizes Memorial Day and Honors Forgotten Heroes of the Cold War

Joins Local Veterans to Announce Bipartisan Legislation to Create Cold War Service Medal

Up to 35 Million Service Members May be Eligible for the Medal

Hicksville, NY— Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington) joined Nassau County Legislator Rose Marie Walker, Commander Bill Walden and over a dozen Long Island veterans to recognize Memorial Day, which falls on Monday, May 25th, and announce the introduction of legislation to honor members of the U.S. Armed Forces who served during the Cold War.

For generations, the United States has honored combat veterans or veterans of foreign wars proudly, but has failed to properly recognize the veterans who served during the Cold War in order to prevent a nuclear war. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, an estimated 35 million service members may be eligible for the medal.

“On Memorial Day we honor and remember the generations of brave Americans that selflessly gave their lives in defense of our freedoms,” saidRep. Steve Israel. “Today I ask that as a country we honor those forgotten veterans who bravely served our country during the Cold War without parades, celebrations or so much as a public thanks.  It is long past time that they receive the proper recognition that they deserve for protecting our country, and the world, from the grip of communism and nuclear war. New Yorkers have a long and storied tradition of honoring our veterans, and presenting these men and women with the medal they have earned is the least we can do to recognize their courage and sacrifice.”;
“As Vice Chair of the Veterans and Senior Affairs Committee, I thank Congressman Israel for his tireless work to support our veterans in Nassau County and across New York. Cold War Veterans have been overlooked for far too long and this medal will be a major step in helping them receive the recognition they deserve,” saidNassau County Legislator Rose Marie Walker.

“I am proud to join Congressman Israel in supporting a Cold War Service Medal because the men and women who served during the Cold War answered the call to protect our nation just like the veterans that came before them. Presenting them with a medal to honor their service will help future generations remember that their sacrifice helped prevent the next world war,” saidBill Walden, Commander of the Hicksville VFW.

North Shore LIJ Veterans Program Specialist Anthony Silvera said, “I want to personally thank Congressman Israel for giving me and the millions of other men and women who served during the Cold War the opportunity to be recognized for our service. This medal is a symbol for generations to come of our commitment to our country and our country’s commitment to our veterans.”;

"'Cold War' is a term that perhaps invites stereotypes, but involved many shades of warfare-conventional and unconventional, open and in the shadows. We served in places most of the world never heard of and in locations that routinely made headlines. Our numbers include volunteers and draftees, active duty service members, reservists and members of the National Guard.  For 46 years, Cold War veterans served with pride and honor around the globe as guardians of America's freedom.  Sometimes, the Cold War turned very hot, and we accepted that risk. Now we, our families, and our friends welcome the introduction of the Cold War Service Medal Act of 2015 by Rep. Steve Israel  to insure that the service and sacrifice of  Cold War veterans is understood, remembered, and recognized,” saidCharles H. Nalls, Director, American Cold War Veterans.  

Rep. Israel’s bipartisan legislation, The Cold War Service Medal Act of 2015 (H.R. 2067), creates the Cold War Service Medal, for members of the U.S. Armed Forces who were honorably discharged after having served on active duty during the Cold War, including service during the Korean and Vietnam wars. Eligible veterans must haveserved on active duty for at least 24 consecutive months during the Cold War, which spans from September 2, 1945 to December 26, 1991, deployed outside the continental United States for at least 30 days during that period, or performed other Cold War service as the Secretary of Defense may prescribe. 

Since joining Congress, Rep. Israel has been an advocate for local veterans, securing more than $8.1 million in overdue payments for Long Island veterans, and supporting improvements for veteran’s health care and veteran’s benefits.

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---- Jerald Terwilliger Chairman American Cold War Veterans "We Remember" ---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996