Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Still Hope For Cold War Medal

While the battle last year ended up ended with defeat during the House and Senate Armed Forces committee
conference meetings;. The provision for a Cold War Victory Medal was stripped from the House version of the
National Defense Authorization Act.

The second skirmish a bill in the Senate: S.1097 was left to gather dust in the Senate Armed Services Committee,
languished for months and then died on the table at the end of the 110th Congress.

The American Cold War Veterans continue to petition both houses of the 111th Congress in hope of garnering
more support this year. Taking nothing for granted, we face the challenge and push on.

It is a long, slow process, fraught with disappointments and disillusions. Many of our letters and faxes go
unanswered, or we receive the standard reply "I will keep your thoughts in mind". This can become very
frustrating, but we do not give up quite that easy.

This year we hope will be the year that finally our nation recognizes the Cold War Veterans, who for 46
years defended our country from Communist aggression. This year marks 20 years since the fall of the
Berlin Wall, and 17 years since the demise of the Soviet Union.

Now would be the perfect time to bestow the long overdue recognition and honor due to these brave and
dedicated Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, and Coast Guard men and women.

Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA 07) has voiced support for a Medal. Congressman Sestak, himself a
Cold War Veteran who rose to the rank of three star Admiral, also stated he would support legislative
action to create a medal.

We also hope that Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME), who has expressed interest in a bill will
introduce legislation and insert it into the House Armed Services Committee. Congresswoman Pingree
was a very large help to have Maine become one of only two states to declare May 1st as "Cold
War Victory Day" in perpetuity.

Both Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) were cosponsors of last years S.1097,
The bill was introduced by Senator Clinton, additional cosponsors were Senator Mary Landrieu (LA) and
Senator Charles Schumer (NY).

We hope and ask for their continued support this year.

We do of course understand the financial problems our country faces at this time. We also fully know
that the Department of Defense will attempt to block the medal citing costs of $28 million. Our figures
suggest possible a cost of $3 million. DOD will also pose opposition as "duplicate of awards", which
is another fallacy. Many men and women served their tours and received no medal or award of any type.

As the Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter said in 2006 "Many Americans died in operations
that remain, even to this day, unacknowledged, entailing heroism and loss that have yet to be revealed to
a grateful nation. We should remember and honor those who sacrifices brought about a victorious
conclusion to the Cold War, to the enormous betterment of the United States and the world"

So please everyone contact your elected officials, ask the to introduce legislation, or to cosponsor
legislation, to authorize and direct DOD to issue a Cold War Medal.
Picture shows Jerald Terwilliger placing flower on grave of General James Van Fleet, May 1, 2008

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