Friday, May 22, 2015

Press Release for Cold War Service Medal H.R. 2067

Here is the Press Release from Representative Steve Israel
As of today Fri May 22 there are 13 cosponsors to H.R. 2067
Please continue to contact your Representative to become cosponsor. Ask both of your Senators to introduce similar legislation in the Senate

News Release

Rep. Israel Recognizes Memorial Day and Honors Forgotten Heroes of the Cold War

Joins Local Veterans to Announce Bipartisan Legislation to Create Cold War Service Medal

Up to 35 Million Service Members May be Eligible for the Medal

Hicksville, NY— Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington) joined Nassau County Legislator Rose Marie Walker, Commander Bill Walden and over a dozen Long Island veterans to recognize Memorial Day, which falls on Monday, May 25th, and announce the introduction of legislation to honor members of the U.S. Armed Forces who served during the Cold War.

For generations, the United States has honored combat veterans or veterans of foreign wars proudly, but has failed to properly recognize the veterans who served during the Cold War in order to prevent a nuclear war. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, an estimated 35 million service members may be eligible for the medal.

“On Memorial Day we honor and remember the generations of brave Americans that selflessly gave their lives in defense of our freedoms,” saidRep. Steve Israel. “Today I ask that as a country we honor those forgotten veterans who bravely served our country during the Cold War without parades, celebrations or so much as a public thanks.  It is long past time that they receive the proper recognition that they deserve for protecting our country, and the world, from the grip of communism and nuclear war. New Yorkers have a long and storied tradition of honoring our veterans, and presenting these men and women with the medal they have earned is the least we can do to recognize their courage and sacrifice.”;
“As Vice Chair of the Veterans and Senior Affairs Committee, I thank Congressman Israel for his tireless work to support our veterans in Nassau County and across New York. Cold War Veterans have been overlooked for far too long and this medal will be a major step in helping them receive the recognition they deserve,” saidNassau County Legislator Rose Marie Walker.

“I am proud to join Congressman Israel in supporting a Cold War Service Medal because the men and women who served during the Cold War answered the call to protect our nation just like the veterans that came before them. Presenting them with a medal to honor their service will help future generations remember that their sacrifice helped prevent the next world war,” saidBill Walden, Commander of the Hicksville VFW.

North Shore LIJ Veterans Program Specialist Anthony Silvera said, “I want to personally thank Congressman Israel for giving me and the millions of other men and women who served during the Cold War the opportunity to be recognized for our service. This medal is a symbol for generations to come of our commitment to our country and our country’s commitment to our veterans.”;

"'Cold War' is a term that perhaps invites stereotypes, but involved many shades of warfare-conventional and unconventional, open and in the shadows. We served in places most of the world never heard of and in locations that routinely made headlines. Our numbers include volunteers and draftees, active duty service members, reservists and members of the National Guard.  For 46 years, Cold War veterans served with pride and honor around the globe as guardians of America's freedom.  Sometimes, the Cold War turned very hot, and we accepted that risk. Now we, our families, and our friends welcome the introduction of the Cold War Service Medal Act of 2015 by Rep. Steve Israel  to insure that the service and sacrifice of  Cold War veterans is understood, remembered, and recognized,” saidCharles H. Nalls, Director, American Cold War Veterans.  

Rep. Israel’s bipartisan legislation, The Cold War Service Medal Act of 2015 (H.R. 2067), creates the Cold War Service Medal, for members of the U.S. Armed Forces who were honorably discharged after having served on active duty during the Cold War, including service during the Korean and Vietnam wars. Eligible veterans must haveserved on active duty for at least 24 consecutive months during the Cold War, which spans from September 2, 1945 to December 26, 1991, deployed outside the continental United States for at least 30 days during that period, or performed other Cold War service as the Secretary of Defense may prescribe. 

Since joining Congress, Rep. Israel has been an advocate for local veterans, securing more than $8.1 million in overdue payments for Long Island veterans, and supporting improvements for veteran’s health care and veteran’s benefits.


---- 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

Friday, May 15, 2015

H.R. 2067 Cold War Service Medal Act of 2015

A new bill H.R. 2067 introduced by Representative Steve Israel and 7 other members of the House
of Representatives on April 28, 2015 would authorize a Cold War Service Medal.

Please contact your Representative asking him/her to become a cosponsor to H.R. 2067 The Cold
War Service Medal Act of 2015. It is very important that members of Congress see that there is
strong support for this bill and medal within the Veteran Community. Veterans are a very large
voting block and if enough veterans reach out to their elected official, said officials will take notice.

Cold War Veterans have been attempting to have this medal authorized for several years. Bills have
been introduced in both the Senate and the House, these bills have been read and the  sent to the
Armed Services Committee of the Senate/House for further consideration.

There have been provisions written into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to
authorize the medal. In 2001 the NDAA included such a provision. The wording of that provision
was that "the Secretary "may" issue a Cold War Medal. At that time the Department of Defense (DoD)
declined to allow the medal to be issued.

DoD has objected on two main issues: Cost, DoD has vastly over estimated the cost of issuing this
medal. Not every Cold War Veterans would apply for the medal at one time. It would take several
years for word to spread, and many veterans might not even apply for the medal. So this objection
is not strong enough to deny the medal.

The other reason DoD has objected is "duplication of awards" There have been instances when
both the Armed Forces Service Medal and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal have been
issued. So this objection also is meaningless and invalid.

Another fallacy is "not a shot was fired", many lives were lost during America's Longest War,
lasting from Sept. 1945 to Dec. 1991. Communist forces shot down our planes from the sky,
our ships were attacked, troops on the ground were attacked. There are still over 120 Missing
In Action fromt he Cold War.

America won the Cold War, we stopped the spread of Communism and freed millions of people
from the oppressive regimes they suffered under.

President George H.W. Bush and many other leaders of our nation and other countries all
have made comments abut the end of The Cold War.

Now some 24 years after the end of the Cold War our veterans are still not recognized or
remembered. Often Cold Warriors are told they are not "veterans" as they did not serve
in a combat zone.

Yet the many places where American blood was spilled, and lives were lost, Armed Forces
members injured or captured can not be ignored. Do not forget that Korea, Vietnam and
other "Hot Spots" were all part of the Cold War.

Our numbers are steadily declining as we grow older and depart this mortal plane. Is that why
DoD continues to block all attempts for recognition-they are just waiting for us all to pass away?

So now is the time, contact your Representative asking them to cosponsor H.R. 2067 The
Cold War Service Medal Act of 2015 and urge for the bill to be brought to the full floor for
a vote; and vote for passage.

Also contact both of your Senators asking them to introduce a bill with the wording of
H.R. 2067.

---- Jerald Terwilliger,  Chairman Emeritus,  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

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Cold War Service Medal Act 2015

On April 28, 2015 Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY3), and Congressman David Jolly(R-FL13)
introduced a new bill H.R. 2067 The Cold War Service Medal Act 2015.

This bill was introduced with 7 cosponsors, and has been sent to the House Armed Services Committee.

The Cold War was waged for more than 45 years as the United States and our allies combated
the spread of Communism, from 1945 through 1991.

There were many lives lost in this decades long battle. Despite the common misconception that
"Not a shot was fired", our planes were shot down from the sky by Communist forces, our ships
were attacked and damaged, troops on the ground were attacked and killed and or wounded

Korea, Vietnam, the Congo, Lebanon, Granada, Panama, Dominican Republic and many other
"hot spots" were all a part of the Cold War.

Many members of the Armed Forces were placed in dangerous and difficult situations on a daily
basis; often during missions that even today remain classified, and we were not; and still not
allowed to speak of what we did to family or friends.

Now, more than 25 years since the downfall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War;
we should finally bestow on our veterans the thanks of a grateful nation. It is time to offer these
veterans the respect and honor they so deserve.

Contact your Congressman/Congresswoman urging them to become a cosponsor to H.R. 2067
and demand the bill be brought to the full floor for a vote, and vote for passage.

Please also contact your Senator asking them to introduce a similar bill in the Senate immediately,
let us not wait another year, do it now.

No longer allow our Cold Warriors to be a forgotten and dismissed generation of veterans.

---- Jerald Terwilliger Former  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