U.S. Rep. Steve Israel, D–Huntington, Friday announced the introduction of legislation to honor veterans who served during the Cold War.
The Cold War Service Medal Act of 2011 would create a new military medal for those veterans.
Eligible for the medal would be members of the armed services who were honorably discharged after having served on active duty for at least 24 consecutive months during the Cold War (Sept. 2, 1945, through Dec. 26, 1991), deployed outside the continental United States for at least 30 days during such period, or performed other Cold War service.
The Cold War Service Medal Act has bipartisan support and was introduced in the United States Senate by Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.
"Our Cold War Veterans served during a time of high tension and great hazard. They maintained and defended missile silos and checkpoints. They served on remote B-52 bomber bases and storm-tossed Navy ships. And when they returned, there were no parades, no public thanks, they simply went quietly back to their jobs," Israel said. "It's time to say thank you to those veterans who kept the peace while facing the threat of nuclear catastrophe."
Last March, Rep. Israel's resolution honoring Cold War Veterans was passed in the House of Representatives.
"On behalf of the Cold War Veterans Association (CWVA) (www.coldwarveterans.com), I would like to personally commend Rep. Israel for sponsoring the Cold War Service Medal Act," said Vince Milum, chairman of the Cold War Veterans Association. "By sponsoring this act, Rep. Israel has demonstrated his appreciation for the contribution of America's armed forces in winning hearts and minds to the cause of liberty. We cannot thank Rep. Israel enough."