Sunday, March 29, 2009

Russia to build group of forces in Artic by 2020

MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will create by 2020 a group of forces to protect its political and economic interests in the Arctic, but does not plan to militarize the region, a spokesman for the Russian Security Council said on Friday.

He said the council had recently posted on its website a document, "The fundamentals of Russian state policy in the Arctic up to 2020 and beyond," which outlines the country's strategy in the region, including the deployment of military, border and coastal guard units "to guarantee Russia's military security in diverse military and political circumstances."

"However, it does not mean that we are planning to militarize the Arctic. We are focusing on the creation of an effective system of coastal security, the development of arctic border infrastructure, and the presence of military units of an adequate strength," the official said.

According to some sources, the Arctic Group of Forces will be part of the Russian Federal Security Service, whose former chief and current secretary of the Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, is a strong proponent of an "aggressive" state policy in the Arctic.

Another goal of the new strategy is to "optimize the system of the comprehensive monitoring of the situation in the Arctic," including border control at checkpoints in Russia's arctic regions, coastal waters and airspace, the spokesman said.

The strategy envisions increased cooperation with neighboring countries in the fight against terrorism, drug-trafficking, illegal immigration and environmental protection.
The document also prioritizes the delineation of the Arctic shelf "with respect to Russia's national interests."

High Arctic territories, seen as key to huge untapped natural resources, have increasingly been at the center of mounting disputes between the United States, Russia, Canada, Norway, and Denmark in recent years as rising temperatures lead to a reduction in sea ice.

President Dmitry Medvedev said in September at a Russian Security Council session that the extent of the Russian continental shelf in the Arctic should be defined as soon as possible.

Medvedev also said the Arctic shelf is a guarantee of Russia's energy security and that the Arctic should become the resource base for Russia this century, adding that "about 20% of Russia's GDP and 22% of Russian exports are produced" in the area.

Russia has undertaken two Arctic expeditions - to the Mendeleyev underwater chain in 2005 and to the Lomonosov ridge in the summer of 2007 - to support its territorial claims in the region. Moscow pledged to submit documentary evidence to the UN on the external boundaries of Russia's territorial shelf by 2010.

A Russian proposal on creating security structures in the Arctic region will be discussed at a ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council in April.

The Arctic Council was established in 1996 to protect the unique nature of the Arctic region. The intergovernmental forum comprises Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Canada, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Do You Have A Question for President Obama?

Chuck Todd at MSNBC is requesting questions to ask President Obama next Tuesday on
The Rachel Maddox show.
So just ask: Mr. President do you plan to follow through on your campaign promise to issue
a Cold War Victory Medal?

You will have to log into NBC Newsvine in order to ask the question. It is free and easy. Go here

Jerald Terwilliger
Vice Chairman
American Cold War Veterans,

Cold War Memories - Part 1

Cold War Memories
Jerald Terwilliger (RM1), National Vice Chairman/Treasurer of American Cold War Veterans, Inc. © March 11, 2008

While I was still in High School during the late 1950’s, I was a Civil Defense volunteer. My station during Air Raid Drills was the Grade School very close to my home. I had the keys to the doors in case it was needed as a shelter. Of course the need never arose, so I just stood at the front door with my little armband and steel helmet. I probably looked pretty silly, but I did feel important.

Of course this was a period when the entire country wondered, worried and waited for the possible attack. I am sure a lot of people remember the “duck and cover” drills. School children hid under their desk or in hallway and covered their heads. It would not have helped any if there had been an actual atomic explosion. It was the best idea we had right then. It was a frightening ordeal, and I am sure many can still recall the sound of the siren blaring away. How many people had backyard or basement fallout shelters? No one knows for sure, but there were many. They ranged from a simple get under the workbench in the basement, to more sophisticated shelters dug in the ground; stocked with canned goods, water, flashlight, candles, a first aid kit, and transistor radio.

Our country lived in various amounts of fear and dread of the possibility of “Nuclear Winter”. We had faith in our country, our president, and our military. Fear and distrust of the Communists ran rampant. There was the black list of Hollywood, the McCarthy hearings, some wondering if the man next door was a possible spy. In all it was a very vivid and long lived era of our history.

I think this was a very large influence on my decision to join the U.S. Navy upon graduation. My older brother had joined the Navy which also led me to consider the Navy. I waited almost a year after graduation before taking the big step. It was not an easy thing, and I thought a great deal about it, what it might mean to me and my family.

I felt the need to serve my country growing stronger, wanting to do something right. So I enlisted in 1960, and thus began my ten year journey. I went to Boot Camp at Great Lakes Naval Training Center. Some of the memories include being woken in the middle of the night for inspection, standing next to your bunk in skivvies holding the neck of your tee shirt out to show it was clean. Also standing guard in the rain beside the dumpster, with my rifle (That could not fire) and saluting every officer that passed by. Sure was a lot of fun.

I recall washing our clothes by hand, hanging them in the drying room. To press our uniform we filled empty metal polish cans with hot water to use as an iron, with the uniform turned inside out to get the creases correct. Then the uniform was placed under the mattress and slept on, and you hoped it was not wrinkled in the morning.

Being the assorted clowns and misfits that we were our smoking lamp was out more than it was lit. That mean you can only smoke in certain places at specific times. Our company was well known for several weeks, and not in a good way. I think we did more marching on the parade ground then any other company in camp during that period. Russel’s Rejects I think we were called. But, we eventually got our act together and straightened up, after a few hours of doing PT with our rifles in the rain. We all managed to make it through the 12 weeks and graduate together.

From Boot Camp I was assigned to Radioman “A” school in Norfolk, VA. That was another fun and interesting phase of learning. Norfolk Naval Base is a very large and sprawling base. The Radioman school was about four blocks from the barracks; yes we marched to and from school.

I found that instead of waiting in the chow line, if you just acted like you were supposed to be there, just walk to the head of the line with no problem. There were a few cat calls and “Where are you going”, but I just ignored that and went on my way. Not that the food was that great that I could not wait, I just did not want to waste the time I could use to study.

We had to learn Morse Code and be able to copy at least 40 words per minute. Of course there were other classes, electronics, damage control etc. If I remember correctly the school was sixteen weeks long. There were a lot of nice guys in my class and we had some good times.

I can still hear the dit dah dit of code, something you just never forget. Ten years of sitting there with earphones stuck on my head, with all the noise and static I do believe made me a little batty, and hastened my loss of hearing.

One very vivid memory of attending school: it was December, and we could not get leave. So picture a bunch of eighteen year olds (most of us away from home for the first time) sitting around listening to Johnny Mathis singing “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” or Brenda Lee singing “I’m Sorry” “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree.” We were a lot of sad young men, with no place to go, no one but each other to talk to. It was a very lonely time for us all. We shared our packages of cookies and candy from home, or goody boxes as we called them.

After finishing school I was assigned to the USS Donner LSD-20, a big flat bottomed ship that did a lot of rock and roll. Donner was a part of the Atlantic Amphibious Force, also know as the “Gator Navy”.

The stern had a gate that we could lower, and fill the well deck (back part of the ship which was a big empty space) with water. Then Donner could take on LCM’s and LCVP’s (landing boats to carry the Marines to shore.

We also had a flight deck which was used to land and lift off helicopters, as the Marines made their landings. We could carry about 320 Marines for transport. There was more than one green faced Marine in the various detachments we carried aboard ship you had to feel sorry for them.

I spent a little time as Radioman aboard the landing craft, using a little portable radio. Yes, we had “C rations” to keep up our strength. We never knew for sure how old they were, but they were not very tasty.

You can get pretty wet sitting in one of those boats for four or five hours. We would begin by dropping a cargo net over the side of the ship and the poor Marines had to climb down the net into the bucking and rolling boat. That was never an easy task.

Then we would run in a circle till all the boats were loaded, and run to the shore, drop the ramp and watch the marines run ashore. Then it was back to the ship and circle some more, load more marines and off to the beach again.

The Donner was flagship and recovery ship for MR-7, we recovered the nose cone containing “Ham the Space Chimp”. We were very proud of our accomplishment, and had our own little part of history and the space program. Everyone thought that without us it might not have happened in the same way.

This brought about my first encounter with Russian “fishing trawlers” who followed our every move. I will never forget the Boson mate on the bridge at the time as he yelled “General Quarters, this is not a drill” into the loudspeaker. I think he was the most frightened person on the ship.

The Russian ship passed by at about fifty yards, much closer than they should be. They were even brave enough to wave at us. I saw a lot more “trawlers” through the years. It seems as though the Russians were never far away. Of course these supposed fishing boats were really an early version of a spy ship they had a lot of antennas for listening to radio transmissions, also several types of radar gear.

We recovered two more nosecones for NASA. We were also part of the recovery task force for Alan Sheppard’s historic flight aboard “Freedom 7” as the first US Astronaut in space. Even though we did not actually recover the nose cone it was still a part of history, and somewhat exciting.

We made a “Good Will Tour” Solant -Amity III to Africa, we were flagship for Admiral Reed, Commander US Southern Forces, and all the radiomen were considered part of his staff. The rest of the crew thought this was very unfair, but we loved it. This was also my first experience sailing in a convoy, albeit a small convoy.

One of the more memorable events that occurred was when we crossed the equator and made the magical transformation from “pollywog” to “shellback” It was quite a ceremony, complete with crawling through a large pile of slop, running the gauntlet of paddles and kissing the larded belly of the fattest man aboard.

We also sailed around the Cape of Good Hope, at the southern end of Africa, which entitled us to “spit into the wind.” During our return to CONUS we crossed the equator at the Prime Meriden, making us “Emerald Shellbacks.”

We visited several ports in South Africa, and the west coast of Africa. While in Monrovia we participated in the celebration of President Tubman’s birthday. That was quite a show, large parades, parties and other ceremonies. The crew actually managed to behave and there was no trouble at all.

In the midst of this cruise we were dispatched to The Congo, where we stood by and eventually landed some of our Marines. I think we spent about two weeks steaming up and down the coast. For our effort we were awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

Once again we were being shadowed by Russian trawlers, and a Russian destroyer. They never came close, but we knew they were there. The Russians were always in the back of our minds, we wondered and watched and waited to see what would happen.

We finally backloaded our Marines and continued our cruise. I made a few quick friends in Capetown, most of the people were very happy to see us “Yanks”. The crew was treated like we were special visitors, everyone wanted to know about the U.S. Even though New York and Hollywood seemed to be the only cities they knew about.

The crew learned a lot about some of the African ports we visited, as we attempted to join some of the local customs. We took a few side trips to some very small villages, ate some of their food (and of course some of the local brew), I was always ready to try something new. I picked up a few trinkets that I still have on display today.

Although most of time we were welcomed, it was not always the case. Sometimes we ran into groups of people with anti-American, pro-communist leanings. One or two small demonstrations greeted us in some of the ports on the west coast.

At one point the captain decided to get everyone back aboard ship to head off any huge problem. Obviously it took a little time to find all of those who had gone ashore, and there was one minor fight; but no injuries were reported.

There was on very unfortunate incident that brought a lot of sadness to the crew. We had pulled into a small cove and had a beach party. The crew rode the boats to an island where we had a picnic, with games and some beer. One member swam too close to one of the boats as it was heading back to the ship. He got too close to the boat, was caught in the propeller and died instantly from his injuries. Everyone felt his loss and sorrow for his family. We held a very heart touching and somber ceremony as his remains were airlifted off the ship to begin his journey home.

As we headed home we hit some rough weather, and a ship with a flat bottom does not ride very well in big waves. Eating dinner in the mess hall was a real thrill; you had to hold your tray with one hand, and lift it in the opposite direction of how the ship was rolling.

The weather was so bad that the order was given to “knock off ships work,” which mean everyone could relax. Well, almost everyone; the Radioman Chief told us to keep painting that deck. The ship was taking some very large swells, and at one point rolled about 28 degrees to the port side. Eventually chief Carpenter let us stop painting when it started to rain. To this day I am not sure if we were being punished, the chief thought it was funny, or he just had to have the deck painted.

We lost our “escort” about this time and made the rest of the trip without them, not that they were missed at all.

Our group stopped in Trinidad to drop off the Admiral and his staff. We enjoyed a couple of days of liberty, spent some of that money we had saved while at sea.

Then we pulled into Bermuda for a visit. A few of us rented bicycles or motor scooters to see a little more of Bermuda. Driving on the “wrong side” created a bit of confusion and near accidents. Some of the stories that were told actually seemed quite funny.

We arrived in our home port Little Creek Amphibious Base, in Norfolk, just before Christmas. Everyone who could manage it took some leave time to be with family and friends. Of course not everyone could go at the same time, so there were a lot of the crew still aboard, we had a great Christmas dinner and it was ok, being single at the time, I had volunteered to stay aboard ship so others could get home for Christmas.

New Years Eve was special, many men had purchased alcohol in Bermuda, and although it was put in locked storage for the trip home, nobody bothered to check it as we left ship. So there were quite a few bottles still aboard ship, the cook even put vodka in the gravy.

I was on the signal bridge at midnight; someone had gotten into the ammo locker and stolen some flares, which of course we fired into the air. All the ships whistles were blaring, bells ringing, and people yelling Happy New Year, and we could see some fireworks over the city.

As a part of Amphibious Squadron Eight the ship and crew was expected to be ready at all times. So we would pull out of port Monday morning, and return Thursday evening or Friday morning. The time was spent doing various drills and training to keep us “battle ready”, and you could almost do certain things in your sleep.

Upon returning to port depending how lucky you were and which duty section you were in, you could get liberty for 24, 38, or 72 hours. If you were unlucky you had the duty weekend and spent the entire weekend aboard ship.

Since the radio shack was always manned, we worked in three shifts, and the mid-watch was a long one. The rest of the ship stood four hour “watches”, but the operations department(radiomen, radarmen, signalmen) all stood eight hour “watch”.

With only one or two guys on duty you could get very sleepy. So if you had the mid-watch you were allowed to sleep in that morning when you got off duty, while the rest of the crew worked. The “deck apes” or first division and boson mates always gave us a hard time about sleeping while they had to work.

Then we spent a couple of months in port, with lots of chipping and repainting of the ship. That is a never ending process as we attempt to keep ahead of the rust, especially on an older ship. General upkeep and maintaining a ship take a lot of time and effort.

There is an old joke about sitting in port for an extended time; when you get underway, before you can move you have to break away all the coffee grounds that have built up while sitting tied to the pier. The coffee pot is always on, and everybody drinks a lot of coffee.

Donner also made several cruises to the Caribbean with our every friendly Marines embarked. We would drop them off so they could play their little “war games”. Some of the landings were very impressive to watch. Of course we did manage to get a little liberty while they were busy. We got to see many ports and spend some enjoyable time in the Caribbean.

I was one of the “lucky, chosen few” I pulled two months of “KP duty”, as mess cook for all the Chief Petty Officers. It was easy duty, I just had to make sure the table was set, and they had their meals ready.

One good thing, I made friends with the regular cooks, and every now and then managed to sneak a whole cake or a can of peanut butter for the guys in the radio shack. To go with the peanut butter, I would get some freshly baked, still warm bread. You have no idea how good that tastes at 2:00am.

I advanced from Seaman Recruit (E-2) to Radioman third class (E-4) while aboard Donner, in the Navy you take a test for E4 and above and your scores are compared to everyone in the Navy taking the same test at the same time. No automatic advancement or battlefield promotion. There are only so many open slots for each rate level, so you have to make a good grade on the test, or wait till the next test.

As is always the case in the military, you make friends, get close to someone and then one by one they get transferred. My time aboard Donner came to an end in April 1962, and I was transferred, leaving a lot of good friends. You try to stay in touch, but eventually you lose contact.

Then some thirty years later I found the website for my old ship and found some of the guys I remember from my time aboard Donner.

She was a proud ship and had served since WWII; with a short period of being out of commission, she was later re-commissioned and served faithfully and honorably to the end.

I am proud to have served aboard this grand old ship. Even though it was only about two years, I still have fond memories, even though time has dimmed them somewhat, they are still cherished moments.

The Donner was then decommissioned for the final time in 1970 and spent time in the James River Reserve Fleet, just sitting there rusting away. Attempts to keep her afloat and make the ship into a museum failed and she was sold and converted to scrap in 2004.
To be continued.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

If Not Now, Then When?

To continue to ignore our Cold War Veterans, who fought to defeat Communism for 46 years
is a disgrace.

Our Soliders, Sailors, Marines, Army, Coast Guard were on watch 24/7, ready for what might
happen; something we all prayed would not occur. And it did not happen, we looked them
in the eye and they blinked.

The Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Germany was reunified in 1990. The Soviet Empire collapsed
in 1991. America had won the Cold War.

Some people may say that it was not a war and no lives were lost, that is untrue
"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 whose sacrifices brought about a victorious conclusion to the Cold War, to the enormous betterment of the United States and the world. "
- Dr. Donald C. Winter, Secretary of Navy, October 21, 2006 -

The Department of Defense does not want to issue a "Cold War Victory/Service Medal"
DOD claims the cost would be to high - to which we say their figures are overblown.
DOD also says it would be duplication of awards-also untrue, many served their tour of
duty and did not receive any type of award.

This should be the year to remember, recognize and honor these valient Cold Warriors. A Cold
War Victory/Service Medal should be given to every man and woman who served in the
military from Sept. 1945 to Dec. 1991.

Contact your elected officials, ask them to introduce or cosponsor a Cold War Victory/Service
Medal, and then to vote for passage of such a bill.

The Cold War Veterans are growing older, and fewer; as the grim reaper takes his toll. One
day not too far in the future there will be no one left. Perhaps that is what Congress and DOD
are waiting for.

We are told by some that we are not "veterans". We put our lives on hold, donned the uniform of
our branch of the service; were placed in dangerous places and defended our country. Does
that not make us "veterans"?

So we ask if not now, then when will our country finally recognize, remember, and honor
these selfless heroes?

Tell our Congress that this must be the year. Do in now.

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

Saturday, March 21, 2009

American Cold War Veterans To Meet In Washington

The American Cold War Veterans, a two year old Veterans Service Organization, will hold
their annual meeting in Washington, DC April 30Th and May 1st.

If you were in the military during the Cold War, from Sept. 1945 to Dec. 1991 Please join us
in Washington for this special event.

The April 30Th general meeting is open to anyone interested in the Cold War, our continued pursuit of a Cold War Victor/Service Medal. We have been attempting to convince Congress
to authorize and DIRECT the Department of Defense to issue this medal for several years.
Last year a provision was included in the House of Representatives version of the National
Defense Authorization Act 2009; but was stripped from the bill during House/Senate debate.

Also being discussed will be long range plans for a memorial dedicated to The Forgotten
Heroes Of The Cold War. Which we hope to have erected in the Washington, DC. area

Another goal is to persuade Congress to declare May 1st of every year as a Day Of Remembrance Of The Cold War.

This meeting will be held at the Best Western Rosslyn/Iwo Jima 1501 Arlington Blvd Arlington,
VA 2209-3001 Phone: 800-424-1521 or 703-524-5000, ask for group sales and mention
American Cold War Veterans to receive the group rate.

May 1st American Cold War Veterans will be hosting a Congressional Continental Breakfast
from 8:00AM to 10:00AM in room 902 of the Hart Senate Office Building. Then from 10:00
to 11:15 we hope you will visit your Senators and Congressmen/Congresswomen. It would be best to arrange a meeting with you elected officials in advance with as much advance as possible.

At 11:30 we will travel to Arlington National Cemetery. There the American Cold War
Veterans will host a ceremony to honor The Forgotten Heroes of the Cold War. The ceremony
begins at 12:00 PM, following the ceremony will visit some of the graves of our Forgotten Heroes and place flowers of Remembrance. in their honor,

You then can visit the Korea War, Vietnam War, World War II, Laos and other memorials

If you are interested please cotact Chairman Sean Eagn at
Vice Chairman Jerald Terilliger at
As soon as possible.

We hope to see you all there on April 30-May 1

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

American Cold War Veterans To Meet In

Friday, March 20, 2009

President Obama Says No Charge To Vets

Obama Nixes Plan to Charge Veterans For Service-Related Health Care
By Elana Schor - March 18, 2009, 5:32PM

TPMDC first reported last week on the Obama administration's plans to consider charging veterans' private health insurance for injuries suffered during their service. The proposed move ignited a firestorm on the right in recent days, with the Drudge Report picking up on a critical press release from the American Legion and sparking a letter of protest to the administration this morning from 61 House members.

The scandal abruptly cooled this afternoon, however, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told a gathering of veterans' groups that the White House had agreed to kill the idea of charging third parties for service-related veterans' health care. Pelosi said:
I'm pleased to announce that we have some good news. Over the past several days, President Obama has listened to the genuine concerns expressed by veterans' leaders and veterans' service organizations regarding the option of billing service connected to veterans' insurance companies.

Based on the respect that President Obama has for our nation's veterans and the principled concerns expressed by veterans' leaders, the President has made the decision that the combat-wounded veterans should not be billed through their insurance policies for combat-related injuries.

And here's the official word from White House spokesman Robert Gibbs:

The President has consistently stated that he is committed to working with veterans on the details of the 2010 VA Budget Proposal. The President demonstrated his deep commitment to veterans by proposing the largest increase in the VA budget in 30 years and calling VSO and MSO leaders into the White House for an unprecedented meeting to discuss various aspects of the budget proposal. In considering the third party billing issue, the administration was seeking to maximize the resources available for veterans; however, the President listened to concerns raised by the VSOs that this might, under certain circumstances, affect veterans and their families' ability to access health care. Therefore, the President has instructed that its consideration be dropped. The President wants to continue a constructive partnership with the VSOs and MSOs and is grateful to those VSOs and MSOs who have worked in good faith with him on the budget proposal.

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

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Hands of Time Move On

The National Defense Authorization Act 2010 is in markup being prepared right now.
Congress, still busy with the stimulus plan; and the AIG mess is also continuing other

It is our fervrent hope that this year the NDAA will include provision for a Cold War Victory/Service Medal. If we can convince both the Senate and the House to add the medal
we will most likely finally reach our first goal.

If the medal is not included in the NDAA (and right now there is no mention of it), then we
must start the second prong of the attack. Actually, we should start both right now.

Contact all the members of the House Armed Services Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee. I know that a lot of the senators and representative will give you
the standard reply " I can only answer and react to people from my state/districk. But
someone on their staff will have to read it, and maybe if the see a lot of requests they will
bring it up at a meeting. Ask them to please include provision for a Cold War Victory/Service

At the same time contact all of your state's elected officials to ask them to
introduce legislation for this medal; or ask them to cosponsor a bill introduced by
another member of Congress.

Email, snail mail, phone, fax, knock on their door keep up the fire and push push push. Tell them
how you feel, and what we want.

I hope to see a large turnout for our meeting in Washington, DC on April 30,

Then join us for a Congressional breakfast in the Hart Office Building. Try to make arrangements now (they need some advance notice) they would like the "face time",
to visit with your Senators and Representatives following the breakfast.

Then we will proceed to Arlington National to hold services for the Forgotten Heroes Of The
Cold War. Which will include placing flowers on some of the gaves of the brave men.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Vice Chairman
American Cold War Veteans
"We Remember" for our website
and for our message forum

Monday, March 16, 2009

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

I would like to thank Congresswoman Chillie Pingree (D-ME), and add the thanks of all Maine
veterans. While a member of the Maine legislature Congresswoman Pingree was an impressive friend and ally in convincing the state of Maine to declare May 1 of every year as Cold War Victory Day.

Although this bill did not draw a lot of attention in the media, it was never the less a very
important step in the recognition of all Cold War Veterans.

These men and women who served in the military during the long and hard struggle to
prevent the spread of Communism from Sept. 1945 to Dec. 1991. Many of these dedicated
veterans are now being insulted, told they are not veterans (by members of some of the
leading Veterans Service Organizations) turned away by the VA; denied the help they were
promised when they joined the military.

Now as a member of Congress Congresswoman Pingree has the opportunity to remedy this
unacceptable situation. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee she can do
something all veterans will thank her for.

Last year the National Defense Authorization Act contained a provision to authorize a
Cold War Victory Medal. Sad to say the provision was removed during the House/Senate
committee debates.

Now we are asking Congresswoman Pingree to introduce legislation, or be a cosponsor of
a bill to authorize and DIRECT the Department of Defense to issue a Cold War Victory or
Service medal. This medal should be issued to all those who served honorably during the Cold War. Many of these veterans received no medal or award of any type. Those who were drafted,
of given an early out did not even qualify for a Good Conduct medal.

So we are asking each and every person in Maine to contact their elected officials: Congresswoman Pingree, Congressman Michaud, Senator Collins, Senator Snowe. Ask them
to remember our veterans, give them the recognition they deserve. A medal would be a small
item, but would be a great way for our country to honor these veterans.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Vice Chairman
American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
"We Remember" for our message forum

Monday, March 9, 2009

Veterans ID Card

The state of Texas is considering the issuance of a Veterans ID Card, to anyone who
served honorably in the military.

A nice idea and a small way to honor veterans, just to let people know you are a vet.

81R9546 MCK-D

By: Farabee
H.B. No. 2849



relating to creating an identification card for veterans.


SECTION 1. Subchapter A, Chapter 434, Government Code, is

amended by adding Section 434.019 to read as follows:


In this section:

(1) "Commission" means the Texas Veterans Commission.

(2) "Veteran" means a person who:

(A) has served in:

(i) the army, navy, air force, coast guard,

or marine corps of the United States; or

(ii) the state military forces as defined

by Section 431.001; and

(B) has been honorably discharged from the branch

of the service in which the person served.

(b) The commission shall issue an identification card to

each veteran in the state who:

(1) applies for an identification card; and

(2) provides proof of the person's military service as

described by Subsection (a)(2), including proof of the veteran's

honorable discharge.

(c) The identification card must include:

(1) the full name of the veteran;

(2) a photograph of the veteran consistent with the

veteran's appearance;

(3) the branch of the armed forces in which the veteran


(4) the signature of the executive director of the

Texas Veterans Commission;

(5) a brief description of the veteran, including the

veteran's height, weight, and eye color;

(6) the thumbprint of the veteran or a bar code with a

unique identification label for the veteran;

(7) the date the card was issued to the veteran; and

(8) a phone number operational 24 hours a day, seven

days a week that a person may call to verify the validity of the

identification card.

(d) On the identification card, the commission shall print:

(1) "State of Texas" and the state seal; and

(2) "This identification card certifies that (insert

name of veteran) is an honorably discharged veteran who served in

the armed forces."

(e) An identification card issued under this section

expires on a date specified by the commission.

(f) An identification card issued under this section must

be, to the extent practicable, tamper-proof.

(g) If an identification card issued under this section is

lost or stolen, the commission may:

(1) require a veteran to submit an affidavit executed

by the veteran that the identification card was lost or stolen; and

(2) issue a duplicate identification card to the


(h) The commission may adopt rules to administer this


SECTION 2. This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.

This would be great if every state in the Union did the same thing.
Lets see if we can get this happening.

Contact your state officials ask them to consider doing this. Since most states do not, and
for the near future will not issue a medal to honor veterans; this would be just a little thing.

And since the vet would have to purchase the ID, it would be a "no cost" for the state.

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

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cold War Service Medal

Time is passing much to quickly, and nothing appears on the horizon. The National Defense Authorization Act 2010 (NDAA) is being drafted and defined right now.

So far it appears that no action is being taken on a Cold War Service Medal for the next year's budget. Last year Senator Clinton introduced a bill that would have created a long overdue
recognition of all those who served honorably in the military from Sept. 1945 to Dec. 1991.

How long must our veterans go unrecognized? The Berlin Wall fell 20 years ago, and the Soviet Union collapsed 17 years ago. Do you not think that is a very long time to be ignored?

Yes, the country is in the worst economic condition in a very very long time. Yes the Department of Defense will object on "duplication of awards", and quote a very high price tag for a medal.

But, in truth, many of our military did their tour of duty and received no award or medal. Some medals are time specific, others are restricted to certain geographical limitations. So if you
were not in that time frame -National Defense Service Medal -, or not in the correct spot -Korea, Vietnam and a few other "hot spots"- nothing for you, so sorry.

The cost DOD has floated in the past is way out of line with reality. DoD also calls attention to
the Cold War Certificate. A piece of paper that makes no mention of military service, anyone
who worked for the government for at least one day is eligible for this certificate. The Army
command in charge of issuing this certificate says that in the ten years it has been authorized
only about two million have been issued.

Now is the time to speak up, as I said time is moving quickly, and the number of veterans
who would be eligible are growing smaller all the time. Maybe that is what DOD is waiting for, the last Cold War Veteran to leave this mortal world. Then they will no longer have to listen
and the final chapter can be re-written. There never was a Cold War.

So everyone contact your elected officials in Washington, ask them to introduce legislation to
authorize, and DIRECT DoD to issue a Cold War Service Medal.

No longer should these brave men and women be ignored and dishonored. We have been snubbed too often for too long. Tell your Senators and Congressmen/women that enough is too much. Give these veterans the recognition and honor they deserve.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Vice Chairman/Treasurer
American Cold War Vetrans, Inc.
"We Remember"