Sunday, September 28, 2008

**WORLD WIDE CALL FOR A COLD WAR MEDAL

British Cold War Veterans Organize and Call for Cold War Veterans to be Recognized



Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to UK politicians for their service during the cold war but our troops get nothing.



The call for a Cold War Medal has now reached global proportions with former service men and women in countries across the world calling for official recognition through the issue of a medal.

Cold War Medals For Our Leaders

Mikhail Gorbachev USSR Liberty Medal from the U.S
For his role in ending the Cold War, Gorbachev took a tremendous risk in bringing what we knew as the Soviet Union to the point where it is today. It was a dangerous time and it's hard for a lot of people today to remember what those times were like, how threatening it all was.

Lord Robertson UK Presidential Medal of Freedom
For his pursuit of the defence of freedom during the period of the cold war and in the establishing of the Russian-NATO Council.

Lady Thatcher UK Presidential Medal of Freedom
For her resolute defence of the unity of the west and overcoming post war division in Europe – in other words the ‘Cold War’

Ronald Reagan USA Honorary Knighthood
For his leadership during the cold war and services to the UK.

Nicolae Ceaucescu Romania Honorary Knighthood
The former Romanian dictator was given an honorary Knighthood by the British government for standing up to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Nobody looked too deeply at his domestic record, or cared, it seems.

Vaclav Havel Czech US Medal of Freedom
Czech President Vaclav Havel received the US Medal of Freedom for his stance on democracy in his homeland during the Cold War.

Helmut Kohl West Germany US Medal of Freedom
West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl received the US Medal of Freedom as the leader of a democratic Germany during the Cold War in which he visited the Soviet Union to seek assurances from Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that would eventually enable German reunification.

Tony Blair UK Presidential Medal of Freedom (Pending)
former Prime Minister Tony Blair is named to be a recipient of the Medal as well.

It has also been widely reported that the end of the Cold War saw a flurry of awards from the UK and US Governments to one another, close ideological friends seemed to be the criteria, with many top officials and civil servants being the beneficiaries (No surprises there then).

Cold War Veterans around the world know all too well how threatening it all was. They were the ones ready and willing to do the fighting (without recognition of any kind), not the ones sat securely in protected bunkers!

A Poignant Reminder From The Era

I SERVED as a Cold War warrior from 1972-84, including six years in Germany, where the invasion of West Berlin was taken as a real threat. When the Russians invaded Afghanistan, everything on wheels, tracks and jet powered was mobilised.

For nine months of the year we perfected our craft in the art of radio communications; all traffic was done in real time in all weathers under all conditions, and if you haven’t experienced a German winter at 2am on the Deiester Ridge you do not know what cold is.

All elements of the British Army of the Rhine were ready and willing to repel the Russian bear. When not on exercise we were putting out forest fires and patrolling the inner German border, guarding atomic rocket and warhead sites.

Living in field conditions, eating field rations, burdened with weapons and back packs month after month took its toll, but we did it with a will and solid determination.

Now I’m a civilian I have nothing to show that I served my country. That is why I will stand on the sidelines and applaud the be-medalled warriors who were able to prove themselves under fire – something I never had a chance to do.

The veterans’ badge I wear on my lapel is no substitute for a more tangible symbol of time served as a soldier, defending what’s left of Great Britain. A medal would suffice. –

Tony Levy, Served 1972-84
http://www.soldiermagazine.co.uk/mail_archive/medals.htm