Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cold War

Most people tend to forget (or forget on purpose) about the Cold War. People believe it was a "time of peace".
Many seem to ignore the fact that it was a time of great stress and fear. Those who are old enough may
remember fall out shelters, drop and cover(a rather useless attempt to ease the fears of everyone).

It was the US and our Allies against the Soviets and the Soviet bloc. The Soviets wanted to expand their
sphere of influence, while our side tried to stop the spread of Communism. Each side insisted that "the enemy"
must capitulate.

This led to many stand-offs, the rapid build up of military forces; and of course Nuclear Weapons. Though
weapons of assured mutual mass destruction, the world teetered on the brink of "Nuclear Winter". Neither side
wanted to use them, but were fearful of the other side making a first strike.

Through all this, our military stood ready and armed at all times. There was of course loss of lives as our planes
were shot down by enemy forces. Our ships were attacked and in one case the USS Pueblo(AGER 2), captured, and still held captive by North Korea.
The USS Scorpion (SSN-589) sank with 99 hands aboard, under still suspicious circumstances.

There was the Congo, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Berlin, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Granada, and
scores of other instances of potential all out war. We stood toe to toe with the enemy and hoped never to
hear the words "the balloon went up"; which would have meant the end of all we held near and dear.

And as of today there is still no authorized medal or award authorized to honor those who served during
the America's Longest War. The time has come and gone for these brave men and women to be recognized.

This could be the year of change. Right now there are bills in both houses of Congress that would authorize a
Cold War Service Medal to all who served in the military from Sept. 1945 to Dec. 1991.

Please contact both of your Senators ask them cosponsor S. 2743 The Cold War Service Medal Act 2009
and urge them to have it included in the National Defense Authorization Act 2011.

In the House of Representatives are a couple of bills of great interest to "Cold Warriors". Ask your Congressman/Congresswoman to cosponsor H.R. 4051 The Cold War Service Medal Act 2009, and be
sure it gets included in the NDAA 2011.

Another bill, H.RES. 900 would designate May 1 as Cold War Veterans Recognition Day. Ask your Representative to become a cosponsor of this bill also. This would be an easy and no cost way to honor
our veterans.

The Cold War ended in 1991, nineteen years is a long time to wait. Let this year be the year that our
country finally says Thank You to our veterans, many of these men and women served their tours and
never received any type of medal or award. Change this unequal treatment of veterans. We as a nation
should show our gratitude now and forever.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans, Inc.