Saturday, May 7, 2011

American Cold War Veterans May 1 Meeting Follow-up

The American Cold War Veterans held our annual meeting in Washington, DC on May 1st
and 2nd. 

At our annual meeting, in DC this year accomplished quite a few things, and set some new goals.
Although the turnout was not quite what we expected we did the best we could.

Our thanks to "Doc" Dianne Meyers a member of the European Defense Veterans of America-EDVA for attending. Dianne also agreed to be our liaison with EDVA, and to act as our Women's Coordinator.

Thanks also to Joe Martin, USMC for attending and presenting his "Cold War Blanket" to us. He made the blanket using patches from military and veteran organizations that back Cold War Veterans. He also gave a very inspired speech about the injustice and inequality of treatment from the VA when it comes to Cold War Veterans.

William Boyle agreed to head the committee to create a memorial to the Cold War. Volunteers are need to assist Bill in this endeavor. It will be a long, hard process; to find a proper location, drum up support in Congress and the Federal Parks Commission, and to raise the necessary funding.

Al Lepine offered several suggestions that will help us grow and move forward. More on this later as ideas are discussed and finalized.

Following the general meeting we all traveled to Arlington National Cemetery to hold a Memorial
Service to honor the Forgotten Heroes of the Cold War. The service was conducted by our Chaplin
Dr. David Clevenger. The Color Guard was provided by the Carson Long Military Institute, New
Bloomfield, PA.; complete with bugler playing taps.

After the conclusion of the service we separated into small groups to place flowers on the graves of the
Cold War Heroes interred there. It was a very moving experience for all of us. 

Due to the small turnout, I was the only person walking the halls(was a pretty small "storm the hill").
The members of Congress were just returning from their recess, so everyone was unavailable
I did meet with staff members from several Senators and Congressman, everyone I talked to was
very receptive and promised to bring it up at the next staff meeting, pass along the info to their boss.
Two points that was stressed: We need something on the House side; and we must have a provision
(with the same wording) included in both versions of the NDAA. The House is doing the mark up this week and the Senate will do the mark up in June.
It is very important to keep up the pressure. Email or fax all those you can. and is a good
place to contact your elected officials. Ask both of your Senators to cosponsor bill S.402 The Cold War Service Medal Act of 2011, Ask you Congressman/woman to introduce legislation with the same wording in the House.

Contact all members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees
and most important members of the Personnel subcommittees should be asked to ensure that a provision using the same language as SEC. 566 of the Senate version of the NDAA 2011 be written into the NDAA 2012

William Boyle and I had a very good meeting with Kevin Secor, the Veterans Service Organizations liaison to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He have us some useful information to help get our organization listed in the VA Journal (and when it returns) the VA website listing.

We hope that in the near future we will complete this goal.

We are also looking for volunteers for a committee to organize next years meeting.

We apologize to Joe Martin, USMC for the error in original post

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996