Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Aruguments for Cold War Service Medal

While the last few years have seen bills introduced in both houses of Congress to authorize a
Cold War Service/Victory Medal, we have yet to achieve our goal. There are many reasons, and
we have heard them all. "No shots were fired", "No lives were lost" etc.
Here I have listed several arguments why a Cold War Medal should be issued.

Please feel free to use this in contact with your elected officials, letters to the editor, radio and tv
stations, other websites you might visit.

Send a copy to the Department of Defense, Under Secretary of Defense for Military Policy
Military and Personnel Awards.

Keep up the fire, we must keep our name out in front. Also make mention of the fact that the Department of Defense recently conducted a poll and the number one question was Sec.Gares
do you favor and will you issue a Cold War Medal this year. Also tell them that President Obama stated he was in favor of a Cold War Victory Medal.


Arguments for a Cold War Service Medal:

1. No Campaign Medal exists to recognize the dedicated participation of these service members who "Stood Watch" in the cause of promoting world Peace and stability, and who also participated in hundreds of military exercises and operations that occurred between the start of the Cold War on 02 September 1945 and the end of the Cold War on 26 December 1991.
a) Although there have been some instances where a medal or ribbon such as Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, KDSM, Vietnam Service Medal have been issued; the vast majority of veterans did not receive any medal.
b) Service members stood on the line in the Fulda Gap, facing a force ten times their size. They did this knowing that they
were present only to "slow down" the Soviets.
c) Missile silos, ships and submarines SAC planes were all armed and ready 24/7

2. Millions of Cold War Veterans prevented communist world domination and nuclear war, and it is fitting that these service members who served Honorably during this era receive proper governmental recognition for their efforts in the form of the timely award of the Cold War Service Medal.
a) Another reason many Cold War Veterans received no awards was due to so called "early discharge", at the discretion
of the Secretary of Defense, as reduction in force. This means they did not even receive a Good Conduct Medal.
b_ Many of our allies have either issued a Cold War Medal or are in the process of debating and issuing a medal.
c) Since 1991 several medals and ribbons have been issued: Overseas Service, Sea Service and others, which our Cold War
Veterans were not eligible to receive; having been released from duty prior to that date.

3.During this period, thousands of these service members were killed, wounded, and became missing in Cold War overseas operations, which were separate and distinct from other recognized wars such as the Korean War and the Vietnam War. In addition many were exposed to chemicals, atomic radiation, and other substances that created health problems; without the
service members knowledge.
a) Although the VFW reports approximately 380 deaths in the Cold War, there were in fact many more that were reported as
"operator error", "training accidents"; which were in fact due to hostile actions.
b) These incidents made the "morning report", but not the morning newspaper
c) Veterans exposed to Atomic Radiation are just now being recognized for their valor, and dangers they faced.
d) Many service members were treated with serums untested and not approved by FDA. Service members used as
human guinea pigs, nothing was explained as to possible risks, and they were unable to refuse these treatments.
e) Korea, Vietnam, Beirut, Granada, the Congo, Hati, Dominican Republic were all part of the Cold War

4.The United States Government has not properly recognized the dedicated service of these Veterans who sacrificed so much, with many of their actions and activities shrouded in secrecy to this day, more than seventeen years removed, so that they receive and maintain no identity as Cold War era Veterans.
a) The National Defense Service Medal, which today is issued to recruits when basic training is completed, is another example.
Prior to 9/11 2001 this medal was only issued in specific time periods. Once again many veterans due to the period of their
service missed this medal.
b) The Global War on Terrorism and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary were also issued after the fact for our veterans.
c) The Armed Forces Service Medal was issued in 1996, it was not made retroactive, thus we missed again.
d) Many service member received "early discharge", at the discretion of the Secretary of Defense, as "reduction in forces".

5. The award of the Cold War Service Medal to these Veterans by the United States Congress, via the Secretary of Defense, is supported by the American Cold War Veterans, and supported via resolution by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMVETS, the Air Force Sergeants Association, the Naval Reserve Association, the State Guard Association of the United States, and other Veterans organizations.
a) These VSO's support the Cold War Service Medal as an honor that is just and due.
b) Said VSO's are also fighting loss of membership and see this medal as a possible means to increase membership.

6. Advocates For Cold War Veterans' Honor, feels that concerned People who support the award of the Cold War Service Medal to these service members, that they begin to heal the wounds of Cold War Veterans, their families and friends affected by that, and that they bring Honor back unto their loved ones, themselves and their country.

a) Our veterans have waited for too long to be recognized and remembered.
b) 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the 17th anniversary of the demise of the Soviet
Union, and thus the end of the Cold War.
c) That makes this year as celebrations around the world take note of the fall of the Berlin Wall a most opportunistic time
to remember and honor our veterans, too long forgotten, a Cold War Medal.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman

American Cold War Veterans