Dear Mr. President
I am writing you today on behalf of American veterans who served during the Cold War era 1945-1991. We served all over. The Cold War was global in nature, and many facets and changing strategic considerations. During some parts of the period, actual shooting wars were involved, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Beirut, and Persian Gulf . Many of the losses in the Cold War were on missions that were under the veil of secrecy. A total of 123 of those lost (in addition to those of the Korean and Vietnam wars) are still classified as Missing in Action (MIA).The Cold War was a unique period in our history, and deserves a unique medal. Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) called it the most significant victory since World War II. It did not often have the kinds of dramatic battles that make newspaper headlines. It was the day-in-day-out routine where a successful mission meant you returned safely to port after patrolling the coast of Communist China or North Korea, or landed safely after evading Soviet interceptors. President Kennedy termed it the "long twilight struggle, neither war nor peace." It called for dedication to duty, production of good intelligence, or manning a guard post along the border with East Germany through a harsh winter. Its casualties were less frequent, but real nonetheless.
The "Recognition Certificate" falls far short of the recognition such service merits. The certificate can be awarded to any government employee, whether they were flying a U-2 over Cuba or a civilian clerk in the GSA in Kansas City. A service medal, on the other hand, recognizes military service. Congress has recommended that a medal be authorized. The Department of Defense has never substituted a certificate for a service medal in the past â€” our brave service men and women deserve a medal for Cold War service.
On July 8th 2008 NY Governor Paterson vetoed a New York State Cold War Service bill that passed the Assembly and Senate unanimously citing a inflated cost figure. We honor and appreciate those who serve today, all we ask is that our government honor the living who served during the dark days of the Cold War. It will cost something, but our government should never be cheap where honor is concerned.
I humbly ask the President to issue a executive order establishing a Cold War Service medal to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall 1989. I appreciate your time and consideration of this request.
"America's line of defense is the Elbe River "
General D.D. Eisenhower, 1951
"There is only one sure way to avoid global war, and that is to win the Cold War. "
President D.D. Eisenhower, 1953
"By the grace of God, we won the Cold War. "
George H.W. Bush, 1992
"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
"The Cold War was a war, and we won it. "
Donald Rumsfeld, 2005
Chaiman Sean Eagan (Cold War and Gulf War Veteran)
American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
Blog: Cold War Veterans Blog