Thursday, November 05, 2009

Webb joins in bill honoring Cold War vetera

November 5, 2009 by chrisgraham 

U.S. Sens. Jim Webb (D-Va.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) today introduced the Cold War Service Medals Act of 2009, bipartisan legislation to authorize the secretaries of the military departments to award Cold War Service Medals to American veterans. To date, no medal exists to honor the men and women who served and defended the United States during the Cold War. 

"The millions of Americans who served in uniform in the armed forces during the Cold War, spanning more than four decades, were the living embodiment of our nation's strategy of deterrence," said Sen. Webb. "In their efforts to preserve peace, hundreds died during isolated armed confrontations when the Cold War flashed hot at remote locations around the world. This legislation will appropriately honor those who served in an effort that resulted in the largest single expansion in the number of democratically elected governments in world history."

Specifically, the Cold War Service Medal Act of 2009 would allow the Defense Department to issue a Cold War Service Medal to any honorably discharged veteran who served on active duty for not less than two years or was deployed for thirty days or more during the period from September 2, 1945, to December 26, 1991. In the case of those veterans who are now deceased, the medal could be issued to their family or representative, as determined by the Defense Department.

The bill would also express the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Defense should expedite the design of the medal and expedite the establishment and implementation mechanisms to facilitate the issuance of the Cold War Service Medal. The award of the Cold War Service Medal is supported by the American Cold War Veterans, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and other veterans' services organizations.