Monday, May 31, 2010

Take A Moment On Memorial Day

Take a moment today, Memorial Day
Pause for a time to reflect
On those who placed themselves in harms way
A time to honor and respect

All generations have lost their own
Fallen in places far from home
Often they died while all alone
As the fields of battle they did roam

Say a prayer for those who died
Fighting to protect our freedom
Let no one forget those fought with pride
They were not seeking fame or stardom

As they had pledged, they did their duty
Their lives cut short, horrible we agree
Thank you and God bless you for your sacrifice
Remember Freedom Is Not Free

Rest in peace, you are with Him
Know you are not forgotten
The light of liberty will not dim
Because of you who gave your all

Those you left behind
Those who follow in your footsteps
Know the truth: You Are Heroes
You are always in our heart and in our mind

We pay homage and respect
On this Memorial Day
To you our love is Heaven sent
You are remembered every day

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

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Number of veterans in Congress is diminshing

With the end of the draft in 1973, and the all volunteer military the number of vetrans
in Congress is shrinking. Is this a good thing? Should more veterans be in Congress
to help steer the ship?

There are currently only 25 senators who have served in the military, in 1981 there were
73. In the House the percentage of veteran in 1981 was 62 percent and today there is
a total of 94 veterans, a loss of 40 percent.

While it is not necessary to be a veteran to see our point of view, many members are
staunch supporters of the military and veterans. They have fought for a better military,
a stronger VA to support veterans.

But one has to wonder if the lack of veterans in Congress has had an adverse effect. Is
it possible that while a lot of verbiage is thrown out for the public to see; and yet
many projects and objectives are being ignored?

The military is a very large portion of the budget, and it is understood that any
increase in the defense budget takes money from other deserving and needed projects.
But, with wars on two fronts; and the possibility of even more hot spots breaking
out, then we must have a strong and vital military. The best equipment, the strongest
leaders, men and women dedicated and willing to do what ever is necessary to preserve
freedom and our country.

Many veterans, especially those from the Cold War Era are feeling ignored and disrespected. Could this be because of the lack of veterans in Congress? Can a
non-veteran every truly understand the stress, the danger, the long hard truth of
what it takes?

The Veterans Administration for the most part is doing an outstanding job
in caring for veterans. The VA budget is not big enough to provide the needed
care for out veterans. The survival rate of those injured in battle is higher
than ever, thanks to the improved care the wounded receive immediately.

Overworked and understaffed, the VA has its shortfalls, its problems but the
dedicated doctors and nurses do the best they can in most cases.

Yet veterans are turned away every day. Many have to travel long distances to
reach a VA hospital or clinic, and then be told they do not qualify. Or they
may be in the system, have an appointment; and when they arrive are told the
doctor is not there that day.

Would more veterans in Congress make a difference? There is no way to determine
for sure if that would help. One can only wonder and ponder all the what ifs.

The American Cold War Veterans do say thank you to all members of congress for
their service to our country. It is a hard and often thankless task. Not everyone
is up to the challenge.

As in life there are some good and some bad members. There are those who abuse the
power. It is hoped that the American public looks hard at everyone in government,
and takes note of failure to fulfill promises. When the time comes, vote out the
bad and replace them with what we hope will be a better choice.

Perhaps a new political party is needed, one that stands for good and proper governing of our country. One that will help put us back on course and return our country
to its rightful place in the world. A nation we can all be proud of.

A better and stronger United States, with caring and loving individuals; a nation
to be proud of is what we hope for.

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

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lancaster CA Cemetery to honor Cold War Veterans

The Lancaster California Cemetery will pay special tribute to Cold War Veterans on Memorial Day, using the ACWV logo on front of the program
Lancaster Cemetery

"Remembering Our Cold War Veterans" will be the theme of Monday's ceremony in the Veterans Court of Honor at the Lancaster Cemetery. The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. Keynote speeches will be given by Assemblyman Steve Knight and Antelope Valley Press Editor Dennis Anderson, both of whom served in Europe during the Cold War.

Memorial wreaths will be placed by the cemetery directors, Detachment 930 commandant Chandler and members of Antelope Valley Gold and Blue Star Mothers.

Cemetery board chairman Hickling will give opening remarks, and Bob Alvis, president of Friends of the Lancaster Cemetery, will make closing remarks. Alvis, who served as a sergeant in the Air Force, is soliciting veteran involvement to register troops who served to apply for Cold War service certificates.

T.V. Hall will be master of ceremonies, while cemetery district manager Dayle DeBry will give the welcome and make introductions. The colors will be presented and the Pledge of Allegiance led by members of Boy Scout Troop 759 from Palmdale. All the military service flags will be presented, the service branch songs performed and their histories recounted.

Jon Roberts of Antelope Valley Church will sing the National Anthem, and Pastor Edmund Jones, a Navy veteran of Korean War service, will give the invocation and later lead the audience in the singing of "God Bless America."

The ceremony will also feature the reading of the poem "Memorial Day" by Wesley Wibowo and the presentation of the World War II monument by members of the student body at Hillview Middle School. Hillview students raised funds to have the engraving done on the monument, a re-creation of the original monument on Lancaster Boulevard.

Flags will be placed around the cemetery by members of Cub Scout Pack 31 of Lancaster.

If you are in the area please plan to attend and honor all veterans and special honor
to the often forgotten Cold War Veterans.

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

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Israel threatens to stop humanitarian aid ships

The Israeli navy has threatened to stop a flotilla of nine ships headed to Gaza. The Free Gaza flotilla has been at sea for several days and plans to reach Gaza by the weekend.

It is said that Navy Commandos will meet the ships and attempt to divert them to the port of Ashdod. From there Israel says they will deliver the supplies by truck, after
inspecting it for arms and munitions and other contraband.

Large tents and other facilities have been set up in the port of Ashdod, and the 800
or so aboard the ships will be offered deportation or detention. What a wonderful
choice, sent home in disgrace or jail.

Is this legal? Is this just? Is this humane? Is this going too far?

The navy has maintained a blockade of Gaza for three years and has refused to allow
previous attempts to deliver aid to Gaza.

These ships are carrying over 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid, including cement to rebuild houses that have been destroyed. They are also carrying food, lumber, wheel chairs, paper, medical equipment and supplies needed by the Palestinians.

Israel claims that Gaza is controlled by Hamas, and Hamas will use these supplies
to continue its attacks on Israel. Israel also claims there is no humanitarian crisis
in Gaza.

International organizations in Gaza differ greatly on that report. The United Nations
determined that about three-quarters of the damage done by the Israeli military has
not been repaired. Another report that the blockade was suffocating the agriculture
of the area and about 60 percent of the population was suffering from not enough food.

What will the rest of the world do? Just standby and watch the ships get turned away?
Probably exactly that.

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

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Do You Like the Oldies Music?

Here is a link that supposedly contains every song recorded during the Vietnam War.

A lot of songs from the Cold War Era. Click on a title and travel back in time. Enjoy
and don't feel old, just feel better.

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

President Obama at West Point Speech

Last Saturday President Obama spoke at the commencement ceremony at West Point.
During his speech the President touched on many subjects concerning the military and
its role in the world.

He made a very brief comment about the Cold War, stating that we won. That in itself was
good to hear, at least he acknowledged in part what we as Cold Warriors faced.

But near the end of his speech he made a statement that rubbed a sore spot that all Cold War Veterans have had to endure for too long.

His statement that the Berlin Wall fell "without a shot being fired", while technically
true; no shots were fired as the wall fell. But it also seemed to imply that the Cold War
was without incident, a fact that we all know is far from the truth.

Shots were exchanged during the Cold War: Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Granada, Panama Canal, Haiti, the Congo and other "hot spots". Our planes were shot down by Communist forces.

Who can forget the USS Liberty, the USS Pueblo(still held captive by North Korea), USS Scorpion(sank with all hands aboard under still mysterious circumstances).

There were many incidents to disprove that line of thinking. Lives were lost, we
faced a brutal enemy, and to say no shot were fired is like an insult to those who
gave their lives to protect freedom, and the American way of life.

President Obama, as Senator Obama, at least two times said that A Cold War Victory
Medal is deserved, and that he would consider signing legislation.

Now we ask you Mr. President, will you authorize a Cold War Medal by executive order?
You can do it. Do not forget your promise, and do not neglect Cold War Veterans.

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

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Memorial Day 2010-My thoughts

As Memorial Day, Monday May 31, rapidly approaches one must take time to contemplate its meaning.

It should be a day of somber reflection and dedication to the remembrance of all veterans, what they sacrificed for their
country. A National Day to honor anyone who wore the uniform of our nation.

Originally know as Decoration Day, a day set aside to honor those who died in the Civil War. It now commemorates all
men and women who died while in the military service, regardless of uniform worn or period of service. A moment of
remembrance takes place at 3:00PM local time. The U.S. flag is traditionally flown at half-staff from daybreak to noon
local time to honor all who died.

As changes were made to the date of Memorial Day through the years, it became a day of backyard barbecues, picnics
and a three day weekend evolved. Baseball games, auto races etc., and it became just another excuse to party.

The VFW in 2002 stated in their Memorial Day address "Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day"

Perhaps it is time to return to the original meaning and intent of this holiday. Honor and respect, dedication to those
who served, the ones who gave their all. Spend a moment in silence, visit the cemetery or memorial near you. Take time
to reflect on how great this country is, all it stands for; and remember those who serve(d) past, present and future.
Remember "Freedom is not free".

When you see a veteran say "Thank You". Think long and hard on what the future might hold, and what might
have been if not for our veterans.

We should on this day also recognize and honor all veterans, those who served in the field, on the front lines, those
who served "stateside" no matter where, or what the job description; they were there to do their duty.

Do not forget those who are currently on active duty, the ones now facing danger every day. We as veterans honor
and respect and offer our gratitude to you and your families. We understand the problems and hardships that you
face now and in the future.

A veteran placed their normal lives on hold, often far from home and loved ones. Many times in harsh and dangerous
situations. Of course there was the usual complaining and grumbling, but it was our sworn oath to protect freedom; to
uphold our constitution and all it stands for.

All veterans should wear their medals and ribbons with pride and honor, it is just and deserved; a small reward from
your country. It does not say "look at me, I am a vet", instead it says I am proud to be a veteran. my country called
and I answered.

As you attend the Memorial Day parades stand tall and salute Old Glory as the flag passes by. You can
indeed issue a "hand salute" in civilian clothes. If you are not a veteran, take off your hat, place your hand over your heart.
Show respect for the flag, and all it stands for.

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

Thursday, May 20, 2010

VA Handbook

The Veterans Administration has issued their new handbook for Veterans and Dependents
you can view it here
or you can contact your local VA facility to request a copy.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Cold War Certificate vs Cold War Medal

The U.S. Army Center of Military History in 2003 estimated that 18 to 22 million would be
eligible for the Cold War Certificate. This includes veterans and civil workers.

We can offer a rough guess that out of that number perhaps 8 million(a conservative guess) are civil workers.

They also estimated that about half of the eligible population would request a certificate. In 2009 I received information that 1.2 million had actually applied and
received the certificate.

Their guess on the cost...1.2 million certificates would cost $1.9 million

So if we subtract the 8 million civil workers that leaves 10 to 14 million veterans. Since these numbers were established in 2003, we know that the total has shrunk as
Cold War Veterans are growing fewer every day, as veterans pass away.

How many Cold War Veterans are still alive? Maybe 12 million.

If we use the DoD cost of $10 per medal(which we know is too high) this negates their
objection on a cost basis. DoD is currently paying about $1.60 for the Korea Defense
Service Medal.

Also there is a very fine Cold War Medal available from Foxfall Medals designed by Nadine Russell, the Chief of Creative Heraldry at the Army's Institute of Heraldry and the designer of many campaign and service medals, including the Southwest Asia Service Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, and the Outstanding Military Volunteer Service Medal.

This would eliminate the need for DoD to go through the process of having a new medal
designed, thus more cost would be eliminated from the program.

Not everyone eligible would apply in the first year, maybe 1 million or so. The numbers
might climb as word spreads and veterans finally get around to applying for the medal, but it would not be a rapid growth.

We also know that not every eligible veteran will apply, there are many who unfortunately consider the Cold War Medal as something they would not want. Those who
feel it to be a "gedunk medal".

Further more, DoD claims "duplication of awards", which we know to be false and misleading. Many million veterans served their tour of duty with no award or medal of
any type. Back then there was no "Sea Service", Overseas Service, GWOT, GWOT Expeditionary or any of the recently adopted awards. The National Defense Service Medal
was issued in very specific time periods. And many, being given "early discharge", for the convenience of the DoD, did not even qualify for a Good Conduct Medal.

Why is there so much opposition from DoD, and several members of Congress to authorize
a Cold War Service Medal? Why all the disrespect towards Cold War Veterans? Why do we
face the "my war was better than your war"?

It is time to end the prejudice and discrimination against Cold War Veterans. Contact both your Senators ask the to cosponsor S.2743 The Cold War Service Medal Act 2009 and insist a provision be included in the National Defense Authorization Act 2011.
Contact you Representative ask him/her to cosponsor H.R. 4051 The Cold War Service Medal Act 2009, insist it be included in the House version of the NDAA 2011.

Thank all Cold War Veterans with this justly deserved recognition, 19 years since the end of the Cold War is too long to wait.

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

Monday, May 10, 2010

Russian Victory Day Parade

Russia celebrated Victory Day May 9. Western allies did march, including some 70 Americans. Is this right or wrong? Our leaders thought it was the thing to do as
a show of friendship and unity.

I know many of us Cold War Warriors feel this was wrong. We fought the long,hard
Cold War and WE WON. The Soviet Union collapsed and was no longer a threat.

Should we consider the new Russia as a friend? The way of the world would seem to dictate that we forgive and forget. The past is over and a new age begins.

There was dissent in Russia, the Communist party is still a large factor and they
did not like the see the West marching in Red Square.

But still there is no Cold War Medal. Tell your senators and representatives to cosponsor S.2743 and H.R. 4051 The Cold War Service Medal Act 2009. More important
ask them to ensure that a provision for the Cold War Medal is included in the National
Defense Authorization Act (NDAA} 2011.

A couple of articles on the great parade.

For some interesting video taken from ground vehicles and planes

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

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Why a Russian sub as a tourist attraction

For anyone who remembers the Cold War and the fear it generated. Most especially for
all those who served aboard submarines.

An article from the Daily Bulletin about a Russian sub as a tourist attraction. Why is
this allowed to happen? I wonder does the money charged to take a tour go to Russia?

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

Happy Mothers Day To Those In Uniform

Happy Mother's Day To Women In Uniform, Past Or Present

You served our Country proud and true
Even if it took you far from home and family
You stood tall, you did your best

You may have missed birthdays and all the holidays
School plays, band recitals your seat was there emptily
You may have wondered why am I here
Will they know me when I return

Then you came home, and without a doubt
You knew them by their happy, tearful shout
Welcome home Mom, we love you so
We missed you and were sad when you had to go

So even though, the times away were hard and trying
You knew you were doing your job, it had to be done
Now safe at home we offer our thanks
For a job well done

Now may God Bless you each and everyone
Your sacrifices, your honor to our flag
Will not be forgotten, we know your were there

So today we hope you and your family
Can celebrate together and find some joy
Try to forget those days you missed
Remember your brothers and sisters in arms

To all who are now serving our country
We owe you a debt that can not be repaid
You are there, where we once were
For you and all our troops we have prayed

Know that you are loved, honored, and respected
For all you have done and are doing daily
We know it hurts to be away, to miss another special day
You are in our hearts and minds

Thank you is not enough, mere words..
But from the bottom of our hearts we say

Happy Mothers Day

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

Cold War Veterans Say WHAT?? Are you nuts?

Cold War Veterans, contact your elected officials immediately. This should really make
you angry.

DoD refuses a Cold War Service Medal because it would cost too much, duplication of
awards etc..and this would cost how much?

The Cold War Service Medal which we have been attempting to have authorized since the end of the Cold War, is in limbo gathering dust in the Armed Services Committees.

Now some empty headed namby pamby wants to hand out a medal for "courageous restraint"

Do not fight the enemy and we will give you a medal.

This has to be some kind of parody article, maybe a late April Fools. If not, all veterans should storm the hill to protest.

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

Saturday, May 1, 2010

American Cold War Veterans Meeting in DC Followup

The American Cold War Veterans held their annual meeting on Wednesday, April 28th in
Washington, DC.

The meeting went very well, with about 30 people in attendance. It was a big day on the Hill with some important votes being taken, which sad to say prevented any Senator or Representative to attend. Congressman Israel sent a letter, read by a member of his staff expressing his regrets and voicing once again his strong support for our organization and our goals.

We did have in attendance Ms. K. J. Lee, President of Global Trade and Finance, along with several members of her corporation. Ms. Lee was 6 years old when the North Koreans invaded the South, and has strong feelings for all Cold War Veterans.

Ms. Lee provided several bottles of Korean Alkaline Water, and indicated she would like to connect our group with her water distribution.

Dr. Lee Edwards gave a very inspiring speech during which paid tribute to those who lost their lives during the Cold War. Dr. Edwards was very expressive about how those lives should be honored and not forgotten.

Dr. Edwards as a Distinguished Fellow of the Heritage Foundation, and Chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and Chairman of the Global Museum on Communism. Dr. Edwards expressed his total belief in our goals; and offered the support of his organization and it's legislative personnel to help persuade Congress
to authorize our medal.

Military Order of Foreign Wars of the US Senior Vice Commander General, Major Wulf Lindeneau US Army(Ret)also spoke quite rivetingly on the Cold War. He also offered the full support of his organization, and also indicated that the Army-Navy Union is also in favor of our medal.

A vote was taken and approved by all present to adopt the Foxfall Cold War Medal as our official medal. We can wear this medal to meetings, parades and other functions. The only exception would be for active duty personnel,
who would not be allowed to wear the medal on their uniform.

More information will be posted shortly on pricing and how to order this medal

ACWV Secretary Al Lepine, Don Levesque, Maj. Lindeneau and I had a meeting with Senator Snowe and Joe Sixeas her National Security Advisor; who has been very helpful to our cause. During this meeting Senator Snowe expressed her total support of all veterans. Senator Snowe was very pointed in remarks that Senator Webb
will attempt to insert a provision for the medal in the NDAA2011. Senator Snowe said "you will get the medal,
Senator Snowe does not take NO for an answer".

We adjourned to Arlington National Cemetery, and unfortunately the planned Color Guard from Georgetown
University did not arrive as planned; so we had to do without our usual posting of the Colors.

Dr. David Clevenger provided us with a very touching ceremony. Ernie Gallo spoke very thoughtfully and heartfelt
about the attack on the USS Liberty. He also spoke of the search for the TRUTH, his organization, our brother group
The USS Liberty Association, has been attempting for so many years to find. We ended with the ringing of a bell
21 times to stimulate a 21 gun salute.

We then broke into small groups to place flowers on the graves of some of the Forgotten Heroes of the Cold War.
These flowers were presented with military honors and a hand salute.

Thursday ACWV National Membership Director Scott L'Ecuyer and I have a very good meeting with Alison Hamilton,
Legislative Fellow (and an active duty Major) for Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. Alison listened very intently and
expressed her support for our goals. She said she would do a little more reading and research and then write a report to Congresswoman Tsongas to support and cosponsor the bill H.R. 4051

We also had a meeting with Brian Miller, National Security Advisor for Senator Judd Gregg. Brian listened to
our presentation and said he would report to Senator Gregg our views.

Side trips were taken to Ft. Myer adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery, the National Security Archives at George Washington University,where more information concerning the USS Liberty is available and was provided to the members of the USS Liberty Association.

We also took time to visit various memorials on the Mall to pay our respects to all who have given their lives to protect our country, and preserve our freedom. As we all know
"Freedom Is Not Free".

In addition the board of directors met with Steve McCurdy, author of "The Whiteman Affair"(to be renamed "Missiles Rising"). Steve was a Missile launch officer and has
written a tale of "what could have been".

Mr. McCurdy is also planning a movie based on his book. A fact based fiction of
the possible launch of our missiles at the Soviet Union.

More important Steve
also wants to produce a series of television documentaries titled "Give The Guy A Medal",

In this series, each week a Cold War Veteran would be interviewed about his
experiences during the Cold War. At the conclusion of each show a Cold War Medal would
be bestowed by a dignitary upon the veteran.

This is an excellent opportunity to help spread the word, and remind the country of just how important, and at times stressful the Cold War really was. To give a veteran
the chance to tell his story. A very worthy project, one we feel is something very
much needed.

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