Sunday, May 17, 2009

Did Mr. Rieckhoff Go Far Enough?

Many veterans are still fuming from the initial remarks by Iran-Afghanistan Veterans of America Director Mr. Rieckhoff, in which he took what many feel was a slap at Vietnam Veterans, and by association anyone who might have been drafted. Or just served before his time.

In case anyone missed the flap here are links to his first press release and then his apology.
http://iava.org/blog/tragic-shooting-incident-camp-liberty-illustrates-stress-deployed-military
His (non)apology can be found here
http://www2.iava.org/o/436/t/8492/content.jsp?content_KEY=5776

Now if you feel this is a proper apology to the millions of those who served with honor and
distinction, that is your choice.

We at the American Cold War Veterans do not think so. Many of the Cold Warriors were
part of an all volunteer force. Even those who were drafted were under the same strict
and honorable conditions. We served, we did our duty; and beyond.

To question our loyalty or our performance is something that no one should just take as
another of the many and never ending kicks to all those who served.

This is what the Cold War Veterans faces everywhere we go everyday. We are told we
are not "veterans", our service apparently does not matter. Most of us are not eligible for
the VFW and many are excluded by the American Legion.

Our fight to bring equality to ALL veterans goes on. We are asking congress for a Cold War Victory/Service Medal, and bring us up to a par with other veterans.

I have asked Mr. Rieckhoff to extend his apology to all veterans; do not forget us
the Cold War Veterans, and to join with us the American Cold War Veterans in our quest.
So far I have received no reply.

We wait, and watch, and remember, and wonder: Are We Vets Or Not?

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