Sunday, April 06, 2008

Atomic Veterans Medal - HR 3471

I ask everyone to spread the news about the attempt of Congress "To provide for the award of a military service medal to members of the Armed Forces who were exposed to ionizing radiation as a result of participation in a test of atomic weapons."

To provide for the award of a military service medal to members of the Armed Forces who were exposed to ionizing radiation as a result of participation in a test of atomic weapons.

(a) Service Medal Required- The Secretary of Defense shall design and produce a military service medal, to be known as the `Atomic Testing Service Medal', to honor members of the Armed Forces who were exposed to ionizing radiation as a result of atomic weapons tests conducted by the United States between 1945 and 1963.
(b) Distribution of Medal- The Secretary of Defense shall issue the Atomic Testing Service Medal to each person who, while a member of the Armed Forces serving on active duty, was exposed to ionizing radiation as a result of atomic weapons testing conducted by the United States between 1945 and 1963. In the case of any such person who is deceased, the medal shall be issued to the next-of-kin of such person.

Please support this legislation to honor those veterans who were victims of the atmospheric testing. Although it will not affect veterans like me, who were exposed in the underground testing in later years,these veterans in their 70's and 80's deserve our respect before they die. It is their Purple Heart.

Call your Georgia Congressman and ask for support of HR 3471

District #, Name, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses for Georgia's 13 Congressmen.

GA-01 Jack Kingston (202) 225-5831 jack.kingston@mail.house.gov (202) 226-2269
GA-02 Sanford Bishop, Jr. (202)225-3631 http://bishop.house.gov/display.cfm?content_id=229 (202)225-2203
GA-03 Jim Marshall (202)225-6531 http://www.house.gov/writerep/ (202) 225-3013
GA-04 Hank Johnson (202)225-1605 http://www.house.gov/writerep/ (202) 226-0691
GA-05 John Lewis (202)225-3801 http://www.house.gov/johnlewis/contact.html (202) 225-0351
GA-06 Tom Price (202)225-4501 http://tom.house.gov/html/contact_form_email.cfm (202)225-4636
GA-07 John Linder (202)225-4272 http://linder.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home (202)225-4696
GA-08 Lynn A. Westmoreland (202)225-5901 http://www.house.gov/writerep/ (202) 225-2515
GA-09 VACANT (202) 225-4101 http://www.house.gov/writerep/ (202) 226-0776
GA-10 Nathan Deal (202)225-5211 http://www.house.gov/deal/contact/default.shtml (202)225-8272
GA-11 Phil Gingrey (202)225-2931 http://www.house.gov/formgingrey/IMA/issue.htm (202)225-2944
GA-12 John Barrow (202)225-2823 http://barrow.house.gov/contactemail.asp (202) 225-3377
GA-13 David Scott (202) 225-2939 http://www.house.gov/writerep/ (202) 225-4628



Letter about the Atomic Veteran's Medal:
September 6, 2007
United State House of Representatives
Washington, DC

Open letter from Kansas to all members,

The American public requests your assistance and support with honoring the Atomic Veterans of unrestricted atmospheric and underwater atomic testing which was conducted between July 16, 1945 and 1963. These veterans patrolled ground zero at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and served with the Navy, Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and National Guard over an 18 year period that would see 235 surface, air and underwater detonations. They would charge ground zero from the trench lines of the Nevada Test Sites, board vessels of the target fleet, fly through, track and sample the explosive aftermath, collect debris, recording instruments, targets, construct, repair and rebuild test sites and work to clean up and secure hazardous test sites in the Pacific.

Rarely, and perhaps never before, have the citizens of this nation asked congress to honor a select group of military personnel. The Atomic Veterans and their families have paid a very high price for their service; - service that did not simply end with their release from active duty. For many, the unseen enemy nurturing itself within their bodies would wreak havoc as the debilitating after effects of their exposure in the form of cancers would commence their deadly march through their lives leaving them to wage a very personal battle for survival.

Because of the national security restriction placed upon them and not lifted until 1996, they were prohibited from communicating their despair and needs with the public. Their service and sacrifices are virtually unknown to the average citizen and even you.

This is not a self-seeking request from Atomic Veterans for recognition. This is a unique and heart felt petition of our
Government, by average American citizens of all ages to say "Thank you", on our behalf, to a group of veterans that have served us well and far beyond what we would have ever requested of them.

Kansan's have clearly spoken to this issue. Our Representatives in the US House heard the voice of our citizens, the Kansas membership of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, our State Legislators and Governor. On September 4, 2007 they stood together and introduced HR 3471 cited as the "Atomic Veterans Medal Act of 2007" for us and for your consideration.

We are doing everything within our means to inform the rest of the nation and solicit their support for this bill. We hope in the coming days you will hear from many of your own constituents, but we must understand that time is not a friend when it comes to honoring the atomic veterans still with us today. The vast majority are in their 70's and 80's. Father-Time will not allow us to hold these national treasures close for much longer. We must act soon if this effort is to be anything other than a memorial tribute.

Today, we ask that you extend your hand and support to the Kansas delegation by co-sponsoring HR 3471. Our goal, while bold, is to obtain 435 co-sponsors in the Congressional record for this bill an send an unequivocal "Thank you" message to the Atomic Veterans from a grateful nation. They deserve nothing less.

Respectfully,
Lawrence M. Halloran
Chairperson, KS Committee for Recognition of
American Atomic Test Veterans
414 Rucker Ave.
Mulvane, KS 67110