Friday, May 23, 2014

Cold War Veteran Honors Fellow Cold Warriors

Press of Atlantic City

By LUCIA C. DRAKE, Staff Writer
Robert Haller will spend this Memorial Day as he has for many years, remembering and honoring all members of the American military.
But there is one group of veterans in particular that the Egg Harbor Township resident thinks about especially at this time of year: those he refers to as the Cold War veterans.
A South Jersey native, Haller is himself a Cold War veteran, serving in the U.S. Navy and in the U.S. Merchant Marine from 1974 to 1992.
Haller served in Operation TAGOS, a mission to collect underwater acoustic data in support of Cold War anti-submarine warfare operations during the 1980s.
It is his belief that the Cold War with the former Soviet Union is too often overlooked in history, and the dangerous work done by those enlisted men and women in the early days of nuclear activity and the Iron Curtain has gone widely unrecognized.
Now semi-retired, he feels compelled to get more support for Cold War veterans and to show how important they were in this country's fight against terrorism.
"Those were dangerous missions, and our job was to protect the United States of America," Haller, 57, said recently from his home. "I voluntarily served because I love my country so much. I have always lived by the code of duty, honor and country."
Mostly, he said, he would like to see credit given that is justly due.
The author of two books, "Life of a Bluenose" (2006) and "Adventures of a Cold War Veteran" (2009), Haller has spent years lobbying the Department of Defense for legislation to authorize a Cold War Victory Medal for veterans.
Commemorative Cold War medals are available for sale by private vendors, and Congress did issue a certificate in 1999, but to date there is no official congressional medal, he said.
"I just feel so strongly about the work we did," said Haller, who served aboard the sub-hunter USNS Stalwart and achieved the rank of QMED, the highest unlicensed position in the Merchant Marines, before becoming an officer. "We were the first lines of defense during the height of the Cold War."
With U.S. troops still fighting terrorism, an official Cold War medal would validate the important role men and women in the armed services provided at that time, he said.
In writing of his military service, his goal was to educate readers about the sacrifices members of the military made in the fight against communism.
A member of the American Legion, AmVets, the Navy League and Knights of Columbus, as well as an associate member of several F.O.P. lodges, Haller said he knows what it's like to experience post-traumatic stress and hopes his insights can help other veterans.
An avid writer of fiction, poetry and commentary, Haller also dabbles in art work and plays classical violin. He is working on another military memoir about the Cold War, which he said might be called "Life of a Bluenose, Part II."
"There's a lot to get off my chest, a lot of things that need to be said on behalf of all Cold War vets," he explained.
When he raises his American flag this Memorial Day, as he does daily, Haller said he will offer a silent prayer for all service members who gave so much to help make possible the freedoms every American enjoys today.

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

Monday, May 5, 2014

America It Is Time To Recognize And Honor Cold War Veteans

Cold War Veterans in the United States have been ignored, disrespected and forgotten since the
end of the Cold War.

The American Cold War Veterans have been attempting to convince Congress to authorize and direct DoD to issue a Cold War Medal, so far we have been unable to get that done.

Another of our goals is to have a Cold War Memorial built in Washington, DC to honor all those
who served during America's Longest War, even if it was undeclared. We have not yet seen that
come to fruition.

Well, it seems that we are getting beaten again, Russia is going to erect a Cold War Memorial
before we get ours out of the planning stage

memorial commemorating Soviet soldiers who died in conflicts around the world during the Cold War era will be built on Poklonnaya Hill in Moscow. 

Russian lawmaker Frantz Klintsevich told journalists on February 11 that the memorial will form an architectural ensemble around an existing monument honoring some 15,000 Soviet soldiers who died during the Soviet war in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989.

According to Klintsevich, the names of about 10,000 Soviet soldiers who perished in conflicts in other countries will be inscribed on stone tablets along the alley leading to the memorial complex, which will be completed this summer.

The Soviet Union was involved in more than 30 conflicts in some 29 countries, including Afghanistan, Angola, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Nigeria.

So now once again we say Wake Up America. Stand up for our veterans, it is past time to
honor and recognize these brave men and women.

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

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Military Veterans Serving In Congress Decline Again

Perhaps the biggest reason that Congress is ignoring or downplaying our military and our
veterans is the fact that each year fewer and fewer Members are veterans or still serving
in the military

The 113th Congress now is session has only 108 members or 20 percent that are veterans or
still serving in our military. That figure is 10 less than the 112th Congress.

These numbers break down to 88 veterans in the House-this includes 2 female Members and also
2 delegates. The Senate has 18 veterans of Military Service.

According to lists from GQ Roll Coll, these Members have served during WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo as well as during times of peace
(read Cold War). Many have served in the Reserves and National Guard.

Eight House Members and one Senator are still serving in the Reserves, and six House Members
are still serving in the National Guard. Of special interest, Both female veterans are Combat

The diminishing numbers of veterans follow the steady decline of the number of Members who
have served in the military. In 1981-1982 the 97th Congress 64 percent were veterans, and in
1971-1972 the 92nd Congress 73 percent were veterans.

So, as the number of veterans in Congress declines, so to does the number who would look
favorably on current military and our veterans.

It also means that fewer understand the Cold War and it's meaning. The Cold War gets pushed
further into the corner of darkness, neglect, and indifference.

And, the chances for a Cold War Service Medal seem to shrink exponentially, it seems that
no one wants to remember the Cold War. No on except those veterans who placed their lives on
the line and faced danger every day in places far from home in harsh and trying times. Never
sure if "this is a drill" or if "the ballon went up."

The number of Cold War Veterans is also rapidly declining, as age creeps up on us and silently
steals away one more life, leaving one less voice to be heard that wants to tell our story.

Before the last Cold War Veteran passes away America it is time to say Thank You to these
brave men and women.

Urge Congress that this year our nation will remember and recognize these veterans. Ask your
elected officials to introduce legislation that will authorize and DIRECT DoD to issue
a Cold War Service Medal.

Yes, bills have been introduced in the past, but they either are removed during the House/Senate
Committee meetings, or even worse: lie on the desk in their respective Armed Services Committee
and never get to see the light of day; are never brought forth for a vote.

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