Friday, January 30, 2009

Are Promises To Be Kept, Or Broken Like So Many Others?

On at least two occasions during the campaign, then Senator Obama(and/or his staff), now President Obama, stated that he would sign legislation creating a Cold War Medal.
"We can never forget the heroic work that our military did during that dangerous
time in our history or let the memory of the real threats America faced from the
Soviet Union fade."

Other points made were:
Recognize the brave people who died in the intelligence community during the Cold War.

Support a day of remembrance for the intelligence community heroes of the Cold War.

Reverse the ban on Priority 8 enrollment, a policy that led the VA to turn away over a million veterans who needed care, and bring all veterans back into the VA.

Fully fund the VA medical care, improve the quality of VA care; fix the Veterans
Benefits Administration; honor veterans with the benefits and services they
have earned, and rebuild and repair our military.

In addittion President Obama has declared he will seek full accounting for all
POW/MIA from all conflicts, including the Cold War. He will declassify as much
information as possible as president.

President Obama also wants to improve Mental Health Care. Recruit more health care
professionals, improve screening, institute fairness by guaranteeing that if someone
is declared fit to serve will not be listed as "pre-existing" conditions.

Improve care for TBI, requite pre and post deployment screenings and improve case

All in all some very lofty ambitions, which sound good on paper. How many of
these goals will be achieved, what will Congress do to help or hinder remains to
be seen.

President Obama is also looking down the barrel of a very widespread and deepening
economic crisis that has to be dealt with. The problems in the middle east that
do not seem to be improving, despite what we are being told.

I for one hope that he an achieve at least some of his goals. America wants change,
just how much will be changed is the big question.

So as the world watches, America waits and prays for his success, our veterans
also wait and watch. Will it happen, or is it just more "smoke blowing"? We hope
for the best, and expect the worst. We have danced this dance before, and came
away with a blank dance card.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Vice Chairman
American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
"We Remember"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Call To Veterans

Did your military tour run between Sept. 1945 thru Dec. 1991? The period know as
the "Cold War", it was an undeclared war; a battle to help stop the spread of Communism.

The Soviet Union and the United States both built large military complexes, and
very large stockpiles of nuclear weapons. Each side trying to outdo the other.

The US had military spread around the world, ground forces just a few miles from
Communists forces. SAC bombers in the air 24/7, ships at sea, and under the ocean
surface. Missile silos manned and ready.

The Soviets followed suit with bombers, ships and submarines, ground troops and
their missile sites. They were never very far from where the US forces were.

The Soviet Union finally began to fall apart; their captive nations wanted independence, they were spending so much money on their military the economy began
to faltr.

The Berlin Wall built by the Soviet Union started construction on August 13, 1961 to contain the citizens of East Germany within their control, and prevent them from
gaining freedom in West Germany. On November 8, 1989 the check points were opened
and German citizens from both sides began to demolish the wall.

German unification was finally was finally concluded on Oct. 3, 1990 and with one
Germany the Soviet Union was suffering badly as internal problems continued.

Finally on Dec. 25, 1991 Gorbachev resigned and declared the Soviet Union extinct.
Bringing an end to the Cold War.

Now our Veterans Service Organization, The American Cold War Veterans, dedicated to
the history of the Cold War, and attempting to preserve and make the public aware
of what happened and why; are asking for your help.

We are attempting to convince Congress to authorize and direct the Department of
Defense to issue a Cold War Service Medal to those who served during this trying
and stressful era. We are also working towards the establishment and building of
a memorial dedicated to the Forgotten Heroes of the Cold War. Another goal is
a National Day of Remembrance for the Cold War.

We need the help of everyone to accomplish this goal. We are asking that youj
contact your elected officals, ask them to introduce legislation, or become a
cosponser, that would establish a Cold War Service Medal.

Please visit our webite at and you can also
see our message forum at

Many lives were lost during the Cold War, which included Korea, Vietnam, Congo,
Haiti, Dominican Republic, Panama. Our planes were shot from the sky by Communist forces, our ships were attacked, and two submarines sank with all hands on board.

It is to honor all those who gave their all, paid the ultimate sacrifice of their
lives to protect our freedom that we are asking for this medal. They deserve the
the recognition, and it is way past time for them to be remembered.

Forty six years of Cold War, and seventeen years since the end of the Cold War, twenty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall let this be the year it happens.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Vice Chairman/Treasurer
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"Did

Friday, January 23, 2009


For some old memories from the 1950's and 60's go to Conelrad: All Things Atomic

Click on the links there for some civil defense, government plans and instruction.
In case you have forgetten what it was like, the fear of atom bombs.
Seems funny now, but then it was real, and scary

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Veterans, Veterans, Everywhere: When Will They Be Honored?

Military men and women used and welcomed, given honors while on active duty. Then suddenly when you are discharged and become a Veteran. Who cares? Who remembers? Now you are a second or third class citizen.

World War II vets were probably the last veterans to receive proper recognition. The GI Bill did work for them. Education, housing loans were abundant and all veterans were told what was available to them; how and where to apply.

Korean veterans were a little less lucky, not quite as rosy and welcome return home.
For Vietnam vets it was even worse, reviled; spit on left to fend for themselves.

Cold War veterans have to fight tooth and nail to get any of the "benefits" and "rights" they were promised. Even many of the veterans service organizations deny them membership.

The VFW and American Legion exclude most of these Cold Warriors, they did not serve in the right place or right time frame. Also most are not entilted to VA health care.

The National Defense Service Medal, which is I believe issued when you graduate boot camp; was time specific. Many vets were not elegible to receive it. The Sea Service and Overseas Service ribbons were not created until after many were discharged, and it was not made retoactive to cover their tours.

Today's Iraq and Afghanestan veterans are facing hard times, the lines at VA hospitals or clinics. The injuries suffered by these men and women are more debilating and horrific then ever before. The wonderful treatment they are given in the field is so much better and quicker than previous wars. So more are
surviving wounds that would have been fatal in the past.

If they are lucky enough to be approved for VA care, many have to travel many miles
to get the help, and then still wait for long periods to be seen. Sometimes the doctor they were supposed to see is out of the office. Or when they arrive at the clinic they are told that their classification has been changed and are can no longer receive the same care they got last week.

Many turn to "self medicating" to get through life. They are no longer able to function in the real world.
It is a hard tranition to go from battle fields and constant stress to return to civilian life.

More are becoming homeless as they are unable to pay the mortage. The suicide rate
is growing for veterans as they become hopeless and helpless.

We know that the economy is going down the tubes, jobs are vanishing as companies
downsize. Large and once profitable companys are going under and loosing money.
Health care, food and basics are all suffering and prices continue to rise.

So while Congress is handing out money to the financial institutions and the auto industry what is going to happen to the country's veterans. Yup you guessed it, even more cuts in health care, stricter elegibilty requirements, longer waits to see a doctor.

We have some hope that the new administration will do some house cleaning, get the VA
back on track. Restore some veterans rights and benefits.

But, we have to instigate change, contact your elected officials tell them that VA mustvbe fully funded, and properly staffed to handle the ever growing group of veterans needing care.

And once again press the POW/MIA issue, demand a full accounting and repatration of all our missing. They are not forgotten, lets bring them home now to bring closure to their families; some of whom have been waiting for over 60 years.

At this time I will not even go into the Cold War Victory/Service Medal, as much as I desire to see this medal issued this year. Just a small honor for those who gave their all. Thevforgotten heroes of the Cold War

Jerald Terwilliger, Vice Chairman/Treasurer
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Winter, will the veterans be left out in the cold?

This has so far been a rough and tough winter; record breaking cold, snow, ice, and here in Maine it still has a long way to go.

Will our veterans, especially the Cold War Veterans be left out in the cold again? During the
primaries and general election the Cold War seemed to be mentioned almost daily. Both party's
brought it up in many campaign stops.

Now the new Congress is in session and soon President Obama will be inaugurated, will the memory carry over into action? Can congress be convinced that this is the year to finally remember and recognize our veterans for what they accomplished? We wait and hope, and
continue to contact our elected officials asking the question.

We ask that you all contact your officials in Washington and ask them "Will you introduce and/or support legislation to authorize and DIRECT DOD to issue a Cold War Victory/Service Medal.

Do not be fooled by DOD when they bring out the cost issue, their figures are overblown and
not reasonable. And, the other ploy they will try to use is "duplication of awards". That is also a fallacy, millions of our military served their tour of duty and did not receive any awards.

If you can contact your legislators at their state offices, find out the name of the staff member responsible for military/veterans/home security that would be much better. If we can convince
staff members of the importance of this medal, they would be more likely to press the senator or
representative to become more active; and be more favorable to our quest.

President Obama stated he is in favor of a Cold War Medal, remind him of this and ask if
he would use an executive order to bring about this medal.

We cannot do it alone, we need the help of you the public. You are the ones we were protecting
from Communism. We were there 24/7.

Do you remember fallout shelters, air raid drills? Our drills were different we were prepared
to do what what necessary to save freedom. From land, air, sea, under the sea armed with
nuclear weapons; praying we never had to use them, but always ready

Join us in our quest, demand that a Cold War Victory/Service Medal be issued this year. Also
bring all veterans back into the VA, change the section eight rules to allow these veterans to
get the treatment we were all promissed.

Let us not forget the homeless vets, the numbers of homeless is in the tens of thousands, and
growing. They need help also. Medical, mental, drug problems run very high among veterans
and they should be given the help they need to become self-sustaining citizens. Give them a
helping hand, not a handout.

And we must also remember the POW/MIS's, bring them home now. Demand that action be
taken to ensure all are accounted for. "Leave no man behind" just does not seen to be an
issue congress wants to take care of. There are still too many missing, and something must
be done to correc this issue.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Today In History

1955: USS Nautilus begins first nuclear powered test voyage.

1961: President Eisenhower warns of "military-industrial complex" saying, "the United States was compelled to create a permanet armaments industry, and a huge military". He also said "the
Cold War made clear the imperative need for this development."

1966: Nuclear armed B-52 and refueling plane collided near Palomares, Spain; 7 dead

1977: US Navy LCM-6 (landing craft) capsized after collision in Barcelona harbor killing 48.

The following were reported "missing in action"
1966: Douglas K Ramsey-released 02/12/73 by PRG
1967: William K. Cogdell- remains ID'd 5/24/94
Alva R. Krogman aircraft shot down over Laos
Frederick J. Wozniak aircraft disappeared, no trace of crew
Gary G. Wright " " " " " "
1968: Robert F. Wilke aircraft crash
1969: Edward J. Fickler aircraft disappeared near Laos/North Vietnam border
Robert J. Kuhlman, Jr. aircraft disappeared
Victor A. Smith aircraft disappeared over Laos
1971: Robert H. Mirrer aircraft shot down and crashed

Will President Obama Do It

After he takes office will President Obama stand up for our veterans? Will he use executive order to create a Cold War Victory/Service Medal? 17 years is a long time to wait for

Friday, January 16, 2009

Doomsday Clock

In case anyone is still keeping track of the Doomsday Clock, it now stands at five minutes to
midnight. It has been there since 2007 when North Korea detonated their nuclear bomb.

The Bulletin of Atomtic Scientists moved the clock ahead 2 minutes, citing North Korea,
Iran's interests, and the continued presence of some 26.000 nuclear weapons in the US and Russia.

When you add China, Pakistan, India, and any others...I can hear the ticking!

Will there be a second Cold War? Or will we just blow ourselves out of existance?

Today In History

Jan 16, 1968 One US Navy officer killed and one injured by Communist terrorists in Guatemala
1951: Viet Minh begin offensive against Hanoi
1961: A Russian espionage ring was detected in Britian
1963: Russian President Krushchev claims the Soviet Union has a 100-megaton nuclear bomb
1990: Russia sends 11.000 troops into Azerbaijan to quell fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces. This fighting and the Soviet reaction showed the increasing weakening
of the Soviet Union. Less than two years later Gorbachev resigned from power and the
Soviet Union ceased to exist. Bringing an end to the Cold War

Sunday, January 11, 2009

"Eternal Flame" Not So Eternal

The "Eternal Flame" for Veterans lasts till city gets first gas bill.

Might be funny if it were not so serious.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Are You A Veteran?
Ok you raised your right hand and swore the oath. You spent your tour where and when you were told.
You did your duty, many did more than just "duty". You were away from home for long periods under some
harsh and trying situations.

So now you decide to collect some of the "veterans benefits" that you THINK you are entilted to. Guess what?
You may find out that according to congress you do not qualify for these promised benefits. You must have
served during a "recognized war period"

What does that mean? It is very complicated, time and place limitations. Lets say that you served your tour
between July 27, 1947 thru June 26, 1950, not a war time era and you do not get most benefits. Or if you
served from February 1, 1955 thru February 27, 1961 another non-war time frame again you are out of luck.
Does this start to sound scary?

The good news goes on, if you spent your military service from May 8, 1975 thru August 1. 1990 you are once again
not as good a veteran as other veterans. So you are a veteran but not a VETERAN.

Is this fair and equal treatment? No of course not.

Where does this leave most Cold War Veterans? OUT IN THE COLD. It was a long and drawn out, dangerous
time from Sept. 1945 to the collapse of the Soviet Union Dec. 1991. Many times we were on the very edge, so
close to nuclear war, most people had no idea.

It was a secret so deep that even today many veterans are not allowed to discuss where they were or what
they did. They will carry their secrets to their graves. Yes they are proud and quiet, not one to toot their own
horn. Our nation should recognize them and honor the promises made to these servicemen and servicewomen

The Department of Defense says that there are 156 MIA from the Cold War, that does not include those MIA/POW
from Korea 8,100 and Vietnam approxmitaly 2,400

Some people may, as Gov. Palin did, say that the Cold War was won without a shot being fired. Well that is
far from true and many lives were lost during this period. If you think no shots were fired I suggest you talk to
some of the families of those who "Gave Their All". Think about Cuba, Beriut, Honduras, Granada, Berlin,
Dominican Republic, Haiti, and many other spots. Planes shot from the sky, ships attacked lives were
lost to Communist forces.

But Congress does not seem to think these places and lives matter. It was "undeclared" so your
service means nothing. The new GI Bill that was passed with much hoopla did nothing to correct this

What can be done to correct this wrong thinking and lack of action? Contact your elected officials mail, fax,
email, phone, or in person. Tell them a veteran in a veteran, and all should be treated with equal respect
and honor.

The number of homeless veterans outnumber all other segments of the homeless. They need our help
and we must continue to push for their rights. Let your Senators and Representatives know that now is
the time.

Yes, the country and our citizens are facing hard economic times, we hope the mess will be straightened
out soon. But think about this, many service personnel are at or below the poverty line. Members of the
military have to get food stamps? Veterans without a home, or a job, or health care.

I say shame on Congress do what is proper. Remember and honor our veterans.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Vice Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Wait Goes On For Veterans

How long is too long to await recognition? Is it five years? Ten years? Or even longer as it has been for our veterans.

This year marks the twentith anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, the seventeenth anniversary of the end of the Soviet Union, and still no medal for the heroes of the Cold War.

The brave men and women who for 46 years stood the line and held fast against larger forces with more equipment. The threat was real, those who lived it understood that any drill they participated in could bethe real thing. This time the SAC planes might drop their bombs; or the missile silo might actually fire a live missile toward the Soviets.

The U.S. Navy with ships at sea and submarines beneath the waters, the Air Force with planes in the sky, Army and Marine units on the ground; all manned twenty four hours a day. The men and women who were statside or elsewhere around the world in support positions, ready to keep the front lines active and supplied.

No one in the military doubted that it was possible at any moment for nuclear war to start, and once it started the only end might be the end of mankind as we know it. To some the stress was unbearable, and the feelings do not go away when your enlistment is over.

Presidents have called it a war, claiming victory for the United States and our allies. Saying we defeated the Soviets at their own game, we out classed them, out lasted them.

The backyard or basement fallout shelters are forgotten, many of the military bases have been closed. Even though some of the missile silos are still in place, vacant and rusting; but still there.

Now our military is facing much more lethal fighting, Iraq, Afganastan, possibly Iran; and who know what the next crisis will be. We understand the problems, the fear and uncertainity.

The American Cold War Veterans are only asking for remembrance, recognition and a little honor. All the men and women who were part of the Cold War wonder when will it happen.

Our national leaders madea great deal of mentioning the Cold War during the last few months. A few even went so far as to say they would be in favor of a Cold War Victory(Service) Medal.

Thus we are left to wonder: will this be the year? Congress has tried in the past to authorize a medal but to date nothing has been accomplished. Last year Senator Clinton, as she has in past years, introduced a bill that would authorize a medal. That bill never made it out of the Senate Armed Services Committee. There was a provision for a medal in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act 2009, but it was taken out during the joint committee meetings.

So we are asking that each and every one of you, now while the 111th Congress is still new and getting organized; please take the time to contact your elected officials. Ask them to introduce legislation that would authorize and DIRECT DOD to issue a Cold War Victory/Service Medal to all those whoserved honorably from Sept. 1945 to Dec. 1991.

The Department of Defense is sure to object, they are using figures possibly picked out of a hat. Numbers that are entirely to high. Look at the Korean Defense Service Medal, DOD only purchased about 200.000(and some of those are still being handed out for current duty). Another objection is duplication of awards,which again is an untruth. Far too many of our military completed their tour of duty and received no awards of any type.

Contact your Senators and Representatives early and often. Tell them our veterans have waited too long, and now is the time to give them some small honor. Also contact President Obama ask him to issue a medal by executive order (he can do that).

All of our contry's veterans will thank you and be grateful that we are finally remembered.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Vice Chairman/TreasurerAmerican Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Plea To and For the Veterans Administration

As the fighting continues in Iraq and Afghanistan more and more of our military members are becoming "Wounded Warriors". Who will help them?

These brave and dedicated men and women, some of who endured two, three and even more tours in places of danger. Placing the lives on the line everyday, serving their country and defending the freedom; and hopefully the democracry of these nations, wanting only to stabilize their governments.

Now the injured, who by far outnumber the casualties of any other war; due to the wonderful and advancedcare they are given in the field, are arriving home to less than perfect conditions. They are returning missing limbs, with traumatic brain injury, suffering PTSD and a whole host of problems. The VA is unable to keepup and things just seem to be getting worse.

They face long and difficult recovery times. They are made to stand in long lines and wait for hours fortreatment. Their families suffer along with them, many family members give up their jobs to be closeto their loved ones. The pain and suffering does not end quickly or easily, it can drag on for years.

As these men and women are released and sent home it becomes even worse. They may have to travel very long distances to find a VA treatment center. And the wait and filling out forms continues and grows as time passes. This leads to even more mental problems as the depression deepens, and the feeling of being inadequate and hopless or worthless becomes a bigger burden.

Many become homeless, unable to work, they can not make the mortgage payments. Their debt increases as they max out their credit cards just trying to survive. Some turn to drugs or alcohol to ease the strain, whichof course does not help; but just make matters worse. Families sometimes fall apart due to the stress, thenever ending problems become just too much. This can lead to seperation or divorce, which brings on deeper depression.

The number of veterans taking their own lives is increasing, unable to endure any more pain, one more "come back in a month". Or some being told that their mental problems are not service connected, they had problems when they enlisted, and thus are not eligible for veterans benefits. They feel there is nothing left, no where to turn for help. No one to guide them, hold their hand and let them cry. Why should I go on fighting this?

Each and everyone of us who served in the military were given glowing promises of health care, education assistance, low interest rate home loans and other means of help when we left the service. We stood up for our country. Now it is time for our country to stand up for the veterans!

As a Cold War Veteran, because I did not face combat or serve in a "declared" war, I am told I am not a "real veteran". My service time means nothing, it does not count. So I am suffering with depression, and PTSD, but can not get the proper help. Ten years of being a Radioman, most of it spent with earphones on my head listening to the static and dit-dah-dit has left me with ringing in my ears, and hearing loss. I just go on with life and try to enjoy it as much as possible. With the help of my loving wife and our little "family" of four dogs and five cats I manage to make it. I have a good life, with good days and bad days, just like everyone else.

We all know the VA is understaffed and under funded, and and overworked. The VA is trying hard to catch up with the large influx of people needing care. There are many doctors and nurses that are doing their best, with what they have. Those that care and try to make a difference deserve the praise and thanks of our nation. But, there are too few of them to handle the needs of our service personnel or veterans.

So my plea is, that with the new administration soon to take charge of Veterans Affairs that immediate steps be taken to ensure our warriors are given the best care available. Anything less than that would be unacceptableand would just continue the injustice.

Of course we realize that Congress must increase funding for the Va,and that we are in deep financial trouble, but are these men and women not more deserving than Wall Street or the Auto Industry?

Is it right, is it fair to turn our backs on our military and veterans; to treat them as second or third classcitizens? No, of course not. Why should they be pushed to the end of a very long line? Take a few of thoseBillions of dollars we are throwing at the banking and auto industries and use it for health care for these deserving heroes.

The VA should also rescind the section eight class and bring all veterans back into the fold and allow every veteran the right to receive the care they were told they could and would receive. Yes, it will cost more money and add to the already overflowing VA hospitals and clinics; but do they not deserve at least this?

We as a nation should be ashamed and outraged that this problem has existed for such a long time, that nothing has been done to correct this ongoing mistreatment and mismanagement. We must not, we can not allow any further delay.

How can we expect to keep our troops at fightingstrength, ask young men and women to volunteer to place their lives in jepordy if our country will not keep our promisses? If we
do not give them proper and functioning equipment.

Perhaps I should have entitled this as a Plea to Congress. I ask and urge every person in America to contact all their elected officials. Tell them that VA must be funded fully, and immediately, we can no longer allow this travesty to continue. Let the 111th Congress be the turning point, the one to say enough is enough; we will honor our commitment. There will be no more delays, no more wait till next year. We will do the right thing.

Oh yes, one other thing; demand an immediate accounting for all POW/MIA's, bring them home. They are not forgotten. Tell your state officials to follow the example of Pennsylvania, establish centers for collection of mtDNA. This Pennsylvania Project, A Model For The Nation begun by Robin Piacine, President of The Coalition Of Families Of Korean And Cold War POW/MIA's is a tremendous undertaking. You can read more about this on their webiste is a project that every state should institute without further delay.

Jerald TerwilligerNational Vice ChairmanAmerican Cold War"We Remember"