CONNERS COLD WAR VETS BILL PASSES ASSEMBLY
(TRENTON) - The Assembly today passed legislation Assemblymen Jack Conners sponsored to honor the thousands of New Jersey military veterans who served in the U.S. Armed forces during the 46-year Cold War era.
"Thousands of New Jerseyans served this nation admirably during the Cold War, one of the most tense and stressful periods of our nation's history," said Conners (D-Burlington/Camden), a veteran and chairman of the Assembly's Veterans' and Military Affairs panel. "Although many never saw direct combat, the mean and women who served during the Cold War era played a role in the ultimate defeat of Soviet Communism. It is time these unsung heroes finally receive the recognition and appreciation they deserve."
Under Conners' measure (A-787), the state Department of Military and Veteran Affairs would issue certificates of honor Cold War veterans who are state residents or were residents on the date that they commenced service with the U.S. Armed Forces. The honors apply to veterans who served between September 2, 1945 and December 26, 1991 - a time period spanning from the Japanese surrender that ended World War II to the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Qualifying veterans must have been honorably discharged after completing at least 180 days of active service during the Cold War. The measure also would allow certificates to be awarded for deceased veterans or military personnel who went missing in action during the Cold War era.
The measure passed the Assembly 67 to 4 with five abstentions. It now heads to the Senate for further consideration.