Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Must Read for NY Veterans


Thinning of Veterans’ Ranks Leaves Breach in Collective Memory


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By CLYDE HABERMAN

Published: May 29, 2007


New York State’s veteran population is at its lowest point since before World War II, and the shrinking numbers have human consequences. NY Times Article

Monday, May 28, 2007

The unspoken war



The Cold War's battlefields may have been out of sight, but they're not out of mind to that era's veterans, who now want to honor these forgotten soldiers.


By John Barry
Published May 28, 2007












Frank M. Tims, 70, of St. Petersburg, is an officer of the Cold War Veterans Association. The organization lobbies on behalf of servicemen who died in the Cold War, but never received recognition for their service.
photo

[Scott Keeler Times]







photo


[Handout photo]
These are the medals that honor the Cold War Veterans, many who fought in secret conflicts and were never recognized for their service and for the ultimate sacrifice. There are more than 300 veterans who died in conflict during the Cold War.


The most famous Cold War veteran was:


Maybe Francis Gary Powers. He died in an accidental crash of a weather research plane after running out of oxygen. Or so his family was told. Then the Soviets produced a live Francis Gary Powers and put him on public trial. He had parachuted into their hands after they blew up his U-2 spy plane. The Francis Gary Powers affair was one big Cold War stink.


Or could be Elvis. He was drafted in 1957. He declined assignment as an Army entertainer, instead served in Germany in the 3rd Armor Division, tanks facing gun-barrel-to-gun-barrel with the Soviets. "I don't think Americans even want to know about this stuff, " Elvis said. "A lot of people back home think I'm out of my mind doin' what I'm doin'."


Either guy may have been most famous. But someone lesser known may have been more truly representative of a struggle that lasted 46 years, consumed almost 400 American lives in some of the most obscure places on Earth, then was celebrated as "the war America won without firing a shot."



"Only a handful of Americans have ever heard of Lt. Col. Seldon R. Edner, or attached much significance to his death, " Richard K. Kolb writes in his book, Cold War Clashes: Confronting Communism, 1945-1991.


Edner's Air Force AT-6 plane was shot down by guerrillas during the Greek Civil War in 1949. His misfortune was surviving the crash. Kolb writes: "He was lynched, stripped, garroted, scalped, his head crushed and body mangled."


If anybody ever earned a Cold War medal, it would be Seldon Edner. He never got one. No one ever got one.


Says Kolb, "The Cold War was the great unknown of modern American wars."


- - -


The recognition Cold War vets have sought may soon come about. A National Defense Authorization Act, which passed the House of Representatives this month, calls for a military Cold War Victory Medal. A similar bill, sponsored by Hillary Clinton, is pending in the Senate.


Until now most of the disparate efforts to honor Cold War veterans haven't involved the government. This was a mostly secret war, and most of the deaths were lonely ones in places Americans weren't supposed to be. Some families waited decades before even knowing that their son or father had died not accidentally, but fighting for his country in a place like Albania, or north China, or the Bering Strait.


Carrying flowers and a medal, Frank Tims led a delegation of Cold War aficionados to Arlington National Cemetery May 1. In the '50s, Tims had served in West Germany in "special operations research" for the Army. He's now writing a book about the Cold War at home in St. Petersburg. He helps run the Cold War Veterans Association.


The medal he and the others carried was not an official one. His was privately struck and can be had on the Internet for $24.95. Tims hopes the United States will one day issue an official "Cold War Victory Medal" and create a memorial in Washington. But he and the others wanted to start somewhere. They designated May 1 as their own remembrance day - the May Day once known for the annual display of Soviet nuclear missiles and tanks in Red Square.


As their first medal honoree, they chose a general named James A. Van Fleet, best known for leading the 8th Army in the Korean War. Except in Gator Nation, where he is best known for having coached the University of Florida football team in 1923-24. But Tims' delegation meant to honor him for a mission less remembered. In 1948, Van Fleet led 453 noncombatant military advisers into the Greek Civil War. They helped turn the tide against Communist guerrilla forces.


The ceremony was brief and modest. The group surrounded Van Fleet's grave in civilian suit and tie. As the others saluted, Tims laid upon Van Fleet's stone the $24.95 medal.


That was for saving Western Europe from Communism.


- - -


The Powers family might have never known what really happened to their father if the Soviets hadn't exposed him, says the son of the U-2 pilot.


Francis Gary Powers Jr. was born after his father's 21-month Soviet imprisonment and heard all the stories growing up, including the government cover story about an accidental crash of a weather plane.


The son has worked more than a decade toward the opening of a Cold War Museum on the site of a former Nike missile base in Lorton, Va. He has 120, 000 square feet of missile storage space to work with. Among his artifacts are shreds of dad's plane wreckage, presented to him by the Russians during a Moscow "spy tour" he took in 1997.


After repatriation, dad was criticized for failing to stick himself with a poison pin that U-2 pilots carried on their flights. The pilot took most of it in stride. He had a stock response when asked how high he flew his U-2:


"Not high enough."


Powers had survived his shoot-down by a Soviet missile and years testing experimental aircraft only to die in 1977 in the crash of a TV traffic helicopter in Los Angeles.


Powers was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 2000.


- - -


The stories of Cold War sacrifice and the names that go with them have come finally from veterans and their families.


"They weren't in textbooks, " says Kolb, the author of Cold War Clashes, who is also executive editor of publications for the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City, Mo. "Families sent us the stories."


One included the last words of the first American soldier to die in Vietnam. He died of a machine gun bullet to the neck on Sept. 26, 1945, 14 years before Americans were supposed to have been there. Just before his death, Army Capt. Albert Peter Dewey sent a letter home.


"Now wouldn't it be stupid, " he wrote, "if I got myself knocked off in this two-bit civil war?"


John Barry can be reached at (727) 892-2258 or mailto:jbarry@sptimes.com



The Newark NJ Star Ledger electronic version came out this am with a great article for our cause. Tom Hester is the Author and he did a heck of a job.

I am copying and pasting the article below.


Sean P. Eagan
Northeast Zone Director
Cold War Veterans Association
CWVA NY 716-708-6416









Warriors of a forgotten conflict

Cold War veterans may soon receive a medal for their part in U.S. victory

Monday, May 28, 2007

BY TOM HESTER Star-Ledger Staff

William Boyle was studying modern history at St. Patrick's College outside Dublin in 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down.

"I looked at my professor and said, 'You know something, we just won the Cold War,'" he recalled.

Boyle, 48, of Plainsboro, did his part to help win the Cold War, a time when Americans and their NATO allies protected the world from the threat of nuclear war and which lasted from 1945 to 1991. He was an infantry squad leader in West Germany for five years, then re-enlisted and served another three years there as a munitions specialist handling nuclear warheads.

Bill Steimel of Belleville also had some harrowing times during the Cold War.

Steimel, 53, earned the rank of sergeant, serving four years as a generator mechanic with an Army air defense missile unit in bunkers hidden among West German farm fields and facing the East German frontier. Some 20 soldiers would be locked in a bunker for 24-hour stretches.

"Whenever the Soviets would move troops, we would go on alert," he said. "We had a hot battery once a month."

Boyle and Steimel would like some recognition for themselves and the 24 million who served as they did: a Cold War Victory medal.

After years of trying, a bill authorizing the medal, sponsored by Rep. Robert E. Andrews (D-1st Dist.), won approval in the House on May 17. The proposal has moved to the Senate, where Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y .) is the prime sponsor.

"Service to the country during those years was very critical in defending the freedom we have today," Andrews said. "Victory in the Cold War was pivotal in making the country more secure and less likely to face nuclear attack. I thought that commitment needed special recognition."

Supporters point out thousands in the armed services were involved in all-but-forgotten violent or white-knuckle incidents that left many dead or wounded. Others played roles in places ranging from Korea's DMZ and Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie to Greenland and South Pole outposts.

Some incidents were well known: In 1949, during the Berlin Airlift, when 31 servicemen died flying food and supplies over a Soviet blockade to aid the West Germans; in 1955, when Air Force fighters were attacked and shot down two Chinese MiGs over the Yellow Sea; in 1975, when Marines recaptured the SS Mayaguez from the Khmer Rouge and saved the crew but suffered 16 dead and 44 wounded. There were also showdowns in the 1960s when poorly-armed Coast Guardsmen in small patrol boats confronted Soviet spy ships off East Coast beaches.

"I think a lot of guys look at their service and they feel a little bit forgotten," said Army veteran Sean Eagan of Jamestown, N.Y., the Cold War Veterans Association's Northeast coordinator. "They look back on it fondly, they were young and serving overseas. But there is a large number of them who think they could have been recognized. They served in some hairy places."

The medal campaign, supported by every veterans organization, has not been an easy one. The idea has been opposed for the last six years by President Bush and the Department of Defense. The potential cost of $250 million, for hardware and administration, has been questioned at a time when the military is pleading it needs billions to cover war needs.

The Defense Department also argues Cold War service recognition already is provided in a certificate available to all veterans and federal employees of the period. Representatives from the department did not return requests for comment last week.

"I think there is a better outlook this time," Andrews said. "It is not a partisan issue, but there was tough sledding in the Republican Congress. I am much more hopeful this time around with the change in (congressional) leadership."

Under the bill, anybody who served on active duty for more than six months at home or abroad and received an honorable discharge -- including Korean and Vietnam veterans -- would be eligible. The bill's fate is expected to be decided by Oct. 1, the deadline for the military appropriations bill. Cold War veterans now range in age from about 37 to 82.

In New Jersey, legislation that would create a state-issued Cold War Victory ribbon for New Jersey veterans of the era is pending in both the Senate and Assembly.

The Cold War Veterans Association also has convinced the governors of 19 states, including Gov. Jon Corzine, to recognize May 1, the former Soviet "May Day," as "Cold War Victory Day."

Boyle, who is the New Jersey coordinator for the Cold War Veterans Association, also served in the New Jersey National Guard from 1991 to this year and took part in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort in New Orleans. He retired as a sergeant.

"It didn't have a bang or anything, but we have to officially memorialize the event," he said. "I think (the Cold War) was one of our best victories."

Steimel, who retired in 1993 with the rank of warrant officer, said recognition is overdue for Cold War veterans.

"It was hard duty serving over there," he said. "Dangerous duty. People don't realize that."

Tom Hester may be reached at thester@starledger.com or (609) 292-0557.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

American Legion Defends Religious Symbols on Veterans' Memorials





WASHINGTON (AP) -- This Memorial Day weekend, religious liberty groups are uniting with the American Legion to defend veterans memorials that include religious symbols.

The Alliance Defense Fund's Joseph Infranco says memorials that feature a cross or star of David honor "the faith and courage of veterans who paid the ultimate price to protect our freedoms."

The ADF and the Liberty Legal Institute are offering free legal help to government entities that are threatened with lawsuits over such memorials.

Former American Legion National Commander Thomas Bock says taxpayers shouldn't have to pay legal fees to groups whose lawsuits strip religious symbols from veterans memorials.

Infranco says Congress should pass a bill that bars the awarding of attorneys fees when the plaintiffs' only claim to harm is that they felt offended by viewing religious symbols.




Sacramento News 10 and AP

Friday, May 25, 2007

I'd like to take this opportunity to remind my fellow citizens that Memorial Day weekend means more than a family barbecue, a trip to the shore or taking advantage of the usual sales that will be offered.

Memorial Day is meant for us all to remember the sacrifice that our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have made to preserve the freedom and democracy that we enjoy today.

Were it not for the men and women who willingly gave their very lives to secure the freedom that currently exists in America, we may very well not have the ability to engage in the activities that have come to be part of the Memorial Day weekend.

Many ceremonies will be conducted during this period to remember those who have paid the ultimate price for the greatest democracy yet devised, and I encourage all New Jerseyans to attend their local ceremonies as a visible way of remembering those who gave their all and to let those men and women presently engaged in combat know that America supports its troops and shall never forget its fallen heroes.

Charles "Chuck" Robbins

N.J. State Commander

The American Legion


Originally published May 23, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Recent Letter to the Editor from a Fellow 528th USAAG Vet

Thank U.S. Rep. Tom Davis for his recent meeting
with Veterans For Peace and Virginians For Peace and
Accountability. I handed Mr. Davis a book containing
"Laws violated by President George W. Bush,
Vice-President Richard Cheney, public officials under
their authority, and members of the U.S. military
under their command, sufficient for impeachment." If
he reads the evidence presented to him, he will be
left with only one conclusion: that this
administration's war on Iraq is an unmistakable
violation of our Constitution and federal law which he
has sworn to uphold.
See
http://www.veteransforpeace.org/File/pdf/violations_documented.pdf

If tomorrow the government asked the American people
for $5,000 and a child to fight the Iraq war, the war
would be over the day after tomorrow. As a veteran
with an extensive knowledge of history I believe we
are unnecessarily locked in war for resources.
President Bush and Vice President Cheney chose not
emulate Nixon and his Open China Policy. Instead they
chose the path of war. We can lessen the consequences
if the following steps are taken now.
1) Impeach the President and Vice President
The best way for Congress to demonstrate its support
for the troops is to relieve the President and Vice
President.
2) Plan and execute an exit strategy from Iraq
A. Development of an appropriate international
peace-keeping force.
B. Support Iraqi self rule and free and fair
elections.
C. The U.S. should provide humanitarian aid to Iraq to
rebuild its infrastructure.

Anthony D. Teolis
Veterans For Peace Chapter 016
Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia
3249 Arrowhead Circle Apt. E
Fairfax, VA 22030
Tel : 703-352-1603
Website: www.vfpdc.org
E-mail: vfpdc@vfpdc.org
Here is a Freebie for Vets in Chicago Area


“A Million Thanks” Free White Sox Tickets For Active and Retired VETS

The Chicagoland Buick, Pontiac, GMC DealershipsMemorial Day Weekend Celebration with the White Sox at US Cellular Field on Saturday, May 26, 2007 (6:05 pm start)1250 FREE TICKETS to Active and Retired US MilitaryVeterans for a“Thank You”VIP Experience! www.bpgdrive.com

email: military@gillespiepontiac.com or call 800-906-8038 For Free Tickets!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Military Veterans and Supporters:

Join the Veterans Rally for Justice!


It’s Time for the City to

Stop Passing the Buck!



With over 300,000 veterans in New York City – and more returning from Iraq and Afghanistan everyday – the City DOES NOT provide

ANY Direct Services.


City veterans are going without needed health care, housing and

jobs because they don’t know where to go for help!


This Memorial Day, we will call on the city administration to fund

one-stop centers that will fight for veterans rights to get the information and services they need and deserve.


Join the Rally to Call for $5 million to Create Veterans Resource Centers



Who: Councilman Hiram Monserrate

Chair, City Council Veterans Committee


Coalition of Veterans Organizations (CoVO)

City Elected Officials


Where: City Hall Steps


When: 12:00 noon, May 23rd, 2007



For More Information, Please Call 718-205-3881,
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Friday, May 18, 2007

The National Journals Congress Daily Article on the Quest for a Cold War Medal

Megan ScullyDefense reporter

National Journal's CongressDaily

THE FRIDAY BUZZ

A Little Recognition, Please. Veterans who served during the 46 years of the last "Long War" fought by the United States want the government to say "thank you." For eight years, veterans of the Cold War have been lobbying for a medal commemorating their military service, over staunch objections from Pentagon officials. They hope they got one step closer Thursday, when the House passed the FY08 defense authorization bill containing language sponsored by Rep. Robert Andrews, D-N.J., that would require the Pentagon to issue the medal.

It may not sound like much of a gesture, but that "thank you," according to the Defense Department, could cost as much as $250 million -- at a time when the military services say they need billions of dollars to cover urgent needs in their latest extended war, the one on terrorism. But supporters of the medal scoff at that estimate, saying the cost would be closer to $11 million, largely because only 5 percent of the 24 million veterans eligible would actually apply for it. Earlier this week, CBO projected that 3 million, or 12.5 percent, of the 24 million Cold War vets would claim the medal at a cost to taxpayers of $32 million. Besides citing the cost, the Pentagon has opposed awarding the medal, arguing that it would be duplicative for many veterans who received other commemorations, backers of the medal say. While Pentagon opposition is expected again, efforts to obtain comment on this week's House action were unsuccessful.

Cold War vets have been down this road before. Indeed, almost every year since 1999, at least the House or Senate has passed the language authorizing the medal, which would replace a Cold War Recognition Certificate that has been awarded to any federal employee who worked for the government during the Cold War. "A postal employee can get that certificate," sniffed Frank Tims, national legislative director for the Cold War Veterans Association. This rather generic award is signed by the Defense secretary, but includes no other mention of the military or the Defense Department. It simply reads: "In recognition of your service during the period of the Cold War (2 September 1945 -- 26 December 1991) in promoting peace and stability for this Nation, the people of this Nation are forever grateful."


Tims and Andrews, who is fighting this battle at the behest of veterans in his district, aren't going to surrender. They know a similar campaign for the medal is being waged in the Senate by presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a colleague on the committee. Tims, who compared the cost of the medals to the billions wasted in contracting in Iraq, said veterans deserve "the recognition that what they did was important to our national defense over a fairly long period of time." Andrews said the cost of the medals pales in comparison to the value of the veterans' service. "The United States would be a very different place today if the Soviet Union was still a viable, active military force," Andrews said.

-- by Megan Scully

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Minnesota Declares Cold War Victory Day




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Genral Casey and OPSEC May Have Dealt a Death Blow to Milblogging
The following is from Wired Magizine:
Army Squeezes Soldier Blogs, Maybe to Death

Noah Shachtman 05.02.07 2:00 AM

The U.S. Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer, Wired News has learned. The directive, issued April 19, is the sharpest restriction on troops' online activities since the start of the Iraq war. And it could mean the end of military blogs, observers say.

Military officials have been wrestling for years with how to handle troops who publish blogs. Officers have weighed the need for wartime discretion against the opportunities for the public to personally connect with some of the most effective advocates for the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq -- the troops themselves. The secret-keepers have generally won the argument, and the once-permissive atmosphere has slowly grown more tightly regulated. Soldier-bloggers have dropped offline as a result.

The new rules (.pdf) obtained by Wired News require a commander be consulted before every blog update.

"This is the final nail in the coffin for combat blogging," said retired paratrooper Matthew Burden, editor of The Blog of War anthology. "No more military bloggers writing about their experiences in the combat zone. This is the best PR the military has -- it's most honest voice out of the war zone. And it's being silenced."

Army Regulation 530--1: Operations Security (OPSEC) (.pdf) restricts more than just blogs, however. Previous editions of the rules asked Army personnel to "consult with their immediate supervisor" before posting a document "that might contain sensitive and/or critical information in a public forum." The new version, in contrast, requires "an OPSEC review prior to publishing" anything -- from "web log (blog) postings" to comments on internet message boards, from resumes to letters home.

Failure to do so, the document adds, could result in a court-martial, or "administrative, disciplinary, contractual, or criminal action."

Despite the absolutist language, the guidelines' author, Major Ray Ceralde, said there is some leeway in enforcement of the rules. "It is not practical to check all communication, especially private communication," he noted in an e-mail. "Some units may require that soldiers register their blog with the unit for identification purposes with occasional spot checks after an initial review. Other units may require a review before every posting." Read Whole Article

Saturday, May 12, 2007

New York Passes Cold War Service Medal Bill 133-0 in Assembly







S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

5156--A

2007-2008 Regular Sessions

I N A S S E M B L Y

February 12, 2007
___________

Introduced by M. of A. ORTIZ, N. RIVERA, COOK, LAFAYETTE, AUBERTINE,
BOYLAND, PHEFFER, ABBATE, NOLAN, SCHIMMINGER, CUSICK-- Multi-Sponsored
by -- M. of A. BENEDETTO, CANESTRARI, DelMONTE, FARRELL, MAYERSOHN,
McENENY, WEISENBERG -- read once and referred to the Committee on
Veterans` Affairs -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered
reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the military law, in relation to the issuance of a Cold
War medal

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

1 Section 1. Section 247 of the military law is amended by adding a new
2 subdivision 1-b to read as follows:
3 1-B. THE GOVERNOR IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO PRESENT IN THE NAME OF THE
4 LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, A MILITARY DECORATION, TO BE KNOWN
5 AS THE "COLD WAR SERVICE MEDAL", BEARING A SUITABLE INSCRIPTION, DEVICE,
6 AND RIBBON, ALL OF WHICH SHALL BE OF SUITABLE DESIGN, TO ANY PERSON (I)
7 WHO IS A CITIZEN OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK OR (II) WHO WAS A CITIZEN OF
8 THE STATE OF NEW YORK WHILE SERVING IN THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED
9 STATES; (III) WHO SERVED IN THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES DURING THE
10 PERIOD OF TIME FROM SEPTEMBER SECOND, NINETEEN HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE
11 THROUGH DECEMBER TWENTY-SIXTH, NINETEEN HUNDRED NINETY-ONE, COMMONLY
12 KNOWN AS THE COLD WAR ERA; AND (IV) WHO WAS HONORABLY DISCHARGED OR
13 RELEASED UNDER HONORABLE CIRCUMSTANCES DURING THE COLD WAR ERA. NOT
14 MORE THAN ONE COLD WAR SERVICE MEDAL SHALL BE ISSUED TO ANY ONE PERSON;
15 NOR SHALL ANY CITATION BE AWARDED OR PRESENTED, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF
16 THIS SUBDIVISION, TO ANY PERSON WHOSE ENTIRE SERVICE SUBSEQUENT TO THE
17 TIME OF THE RECEIPT OF SUCH MEDAL SHALL NOT HAVE BEEN HONORABLE. IN THE
18 EVENT OF THE DEATH OF ANY PERSON DURING OR SUBSEQUENT TO THE RECEIPT OF
19 SUCH CITATION THE COLD WAR SERVICE MEDAL SHALL BE PRESENTED TO SUCH
20 REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DECEASED AS MAY BE DESIGNATED. THE ADJUTANT GENER-

EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
{ } is old law to be omitted.
LBD08958-03-7

A. 5156--A 2

1 AL SHALL MAKE SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS MAY BE DEEMED NECESSARY FOR
2 THE PROPER PRESENTATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH DECORATIONS.
3 S 2. Subdivision 4 of section 247 of the military law, as amended by
4 chapter 184 of the laws of 1998, is amended to read as follows:
5 4. This section shall not be construed to require that a recipient of
6 the conspicuous service cross {or}, the conspicuous service star OR THE
7 COLD WAR SERVICE MEDAL has been a resident of the state of New York at
8 the time of his or her entry into the United States army, air force,
9 navy, marine corps, or nurses corps.
10 S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
11 it shall have become a law; provided that the division of military and
12 naval affairs is authorized to promulgate any and all rules and regu-
13 lations and take any other measures necessary to implement this act on
14 its effective date on or before such date.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Forgotten Heroes of the Cold War at Arlington National Cemetary
On May 1st 2007



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Frank M. Tims, Ph.D. National Legislative Director Cold War Veterans Association at Gen. Van Fleet's Grave Presenting Cold War Medal on May 1st, 2007.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007



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Cold War Veterans Association


A Non-Chartered Organization
National Headquarters Address 13009 W. 102nd Street
Lenexa, KS 66215
(913) 492-0070
http://www.coldwarveterans.com
Officers
Presiding Officer: Vince . Milum, Chairman and President
Primary Contact Vince . Milum
Chairman&President
13009 W. 102nd
Lenexa, KS 66215
(913) 492-0070
www.coldwarveterans.com
Return to List of Organizations | Return to Home Page | Submit Corrections for this VSO

http://www1.va.gov/VSO/index.cfm?template=viewreport&Org_ID=287

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

If you think we can withdraw from Iraq and AfghanistanThink Again


Terrorists Plot foiled in NJ. Well if you think these people will stop you are wrong no matter how long it takes they will attack here again. I think America needs to wake up we are at war. A global war against a ideology that is hell bent on destroying us. No live and let live. A withdrawal from Middle East (Iraq) would only embolden these terrorist that have no value for human life.

What we need to do in my humble opinion is to escalate our efforts on all fronts at home in Iraq ,Afghanistan, Europe and Asia . Instate a draft, It is time for shared sacrifice and we need boots on the ground everywhere. Wake up America
!!!!


6 arrested in plot to attack Fort Dix

By Josh Meyer, Times Staff Writer
10:54 AM PDT, May 8, 2007


WASHINGTON -- Federal authorities have arrested six men and say they were plotting to attack the Fort Dix army base or a nearby military installation in southern New Jersey with automatic weapons in an effort to kill U.S. soldiers.

At least one of the men was a sniper in Kosovo, according to a lengthy complaint and supporting affidavit by FBI Special Agent John J. Ryan. The court documents said another suspect was a former pizza deliveryman whose family owned a restaurant near Fort Dix, and that he provided the group with a map of the military base so they could better spot their targets and make a quick getaway.

The court documents identified the men as Dritan Duka, Eljvir Duka, Shain Duka, Serdar Tatar, Mohamad Shnewer and Agron Abdullahu. Authorities said one of the suspects was born in Jordan and another in Turkey, but that the rest were believed to be from the former Yugoslavia, and that many of them were living illegally in the United States.

Many of the alleged admissions made by the men--in which they discussed attacks on U.S. bases--were made to a paid and confidential FBI informant, whom the court documents say had prior experience in the Egyptian military.

The six were scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Camden, N.J., later today to face an assortment of charges, up to and including conspiracy to kill U.S. servicemen. Law enforcement officials also were scheduled to hold an 11:30 a.m. PDT news conference in Camden to provide more details of the investigation, which has been underway since at least last summer, the court documents indicate.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said the six men "are not being charged with being members of an international terrorism organization." Saying "at least at this point there is no evidence they received direction from international foreign terrorist organizations," Snow said "their involvement in weapons training, operational surveillance, and discussions about killing American military personnel warranted a strong law enforcement response."

An FBI official in Washington also expressed caution, saying that the case may amount to men who were more wanna-bes than actual terrorists bent on launching an imminent attack.

"We're not going to over-hype it," said the FBI official, who said he could not discuss the matter publicly because he was not authorized to do so. "This is some guys who wanted to get a bunch of guns and shoot up some people. When or if they were going to shoot, we don't know."

Monday, May 07, 2007

Outrageous Bonuses for VA Bureaucrats

A Paul Rieckhoff MySpace Bulletin








Dear friends,

IAVA on ABCJust when you think you've seen it all, the top bureaucrats at the VA manage to set new standards in rewarding incompetence. It turns out that back in 2005, only months after admitting that they had underestimated the cost of veterans' care by more than $1 billion dollars, VA officials involved in the foul-up each got bonuses of up to $33,000!


The total cost of these bonuses? Over $3 million dollars.


IAVA responded to this news immediately, pushing back on the VA, demanding the Senate investigate and fighting to keep this story in the press.


Click here to read yesterday's article from the Associated Press, quoting IAVA. We were also featured in ABC's coverage, which you can watch now online. You can also get the full list of bonuses here - see if someone in your area was involved.

For those of you who can't keep track of all the different ways returning troops are getting the run-around, here's a quick recap of what we saw in 2005:



  • In their budget request for 2005, VA based their numbers on the data from 2002 -- before the war in Iraq even started. As a result, they expected only 23,500 new veterans to seek services, instead of the 103,000 new veterans who returned from war needing care. So the VA asked Congress for $1 billion less than they would actually need.
  • While local facilities were flooded with new veterans and forced to ration care, VA bureaucrats spent six months telling a concerned Congress that there wasn't a problem. As late as summer 2004, VA Secretary Nicholson assured Senate leadership that "the VA does not need emergency supplemental funds in FY 2005." Eventually, the VA finally admitted the billion-dollar shortfall and requested emergency funding, but not before thousands of veterans were affected by the six-month budget crunch.

So what happens to the people responsible for this fiasco? Are they fired, or even reprimanded? No -- they are rewarded with handsome bonuses that draw millions of dollars away from crucial VA programs.


What else could the VA have done with $3 million? Here's an idea. The entire 2006 budget for the Defense and Veterans Traumatic Brain Injury Center was only $14 million dollars. And last year, they faced a staggering budget cut of 50%. Three million dollars would have gone a long way to helping the estimated 150,000 troops with a brain injury. Instead, it went into the pockets of some bureaucrats.


Stories like this show why it's so important that we work together to make sure our troops and veterans get the care and respect they have earned.


Over the next few weeks we'll be keeping you up to date on this and other issues facing the VA. Keep checking your inbox and http://www.iava.org/ for ways you can help, and consider inviting your friends to sign up as IAVA supporters.


Thank you for your continued support.


Sincerely,


Paul


Paul Rieckhoff
Iraq Veteran
Executive Director/ Founder
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Sunday, May 06, 2007

AMVETS: WASHINGTON IS WORST FOR VET CLAIMS


The worst city in which to file a veterans’ benefits claim is Washington, where 63 percent of claims take longer than six months to resolve, according to a major VSO.

AmVets, a 60-year-old group that helps veterans with about 24,000 claims a year, says a survey has shown veterans in Fargo, N.D.; Boise, Idaho; and Providence, R.I., have the fastest service, with only 6 percent to 7 percent of claims taking longer than six months to resolve.

Washington may be the worst, but other major cities also are slow. In Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Montgomery, Ala., AmVets says about 40 percent of the claims take longer than six months to process. One reason for the differences is that the number of people assigned to process claims in some VA regions does not match the claims caseloads in those areas. For example, VA workers in Hartford, Conn., handle 92 cases a year, while workers in Augusta, Maine, handle 57 cases a year, AmVets officials said.

The Bush administration has proposed hiring 450 additional claims processors to try to reduce the backlog, but AmVets officials have warned that more people will not solve the problem and, unless the caseloads are more evenly spread, will not eliminate delays for some people. AmVets is pushing the idea of allowing electronic claims filing and other efforts to use technology to help process claims.
[Source: Navy Times, 20 April 2007]
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Cold War Times — Spring 2007

auf Deutsch

Friday, May 04, 2007

A Moving Photo Essay Saluting the Troops

A Must View

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Note do not look for this video on my space I just used their flash player so you could view it embedded on this page if you would like the html for it just email me I will be glad to send it to you.

A special Thanks to Mike Fisher and his friend Carolyn for passing these great images on.

A Message from Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson

America's veterans are the face of America. They come from all walks of life, all ages, all ethnicities. They served our Nation honorably and well and we honor that service, but how do we honor the veteran – the individual who put on the uniform and gave his or her all for our country?

In the spring of 2006 I had the privilege of attending the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day ceremonies in Sydney, Australia. ANZAC Day is the most important national holiday in Australia, a combination of Memorial Day and Veterans Day.


It was established to commemorate the more than 8,000 Australians killed in the battle of Gallipoli in World War I, and now honors all Australian and New Zealand
veterans.


Secretary of Veterans Affairs R. James Nicholson
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson


One of the things that stood out during the day-long ceremonies was how all of the veterans and surviving family members wore their medals and campaign ribbons. It focused public pride and attention on those veterans as individuals with personal histories of service and sacrifice for the common good.


That is why I am calling on America's veterans to wear their military medals on Veterans Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Wearing their medals demonstrates the deep pride our veterans have in their military service and reminds all American citizens of the sacrifices our veterans have made.


Veterans, wear your pride on your left side on patriotic holidays! Let America know who you are and what you did for freedom.


News Release

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a link below to see the correct order of precedence for each military service's awards.

Army

Marine Corps

Navy

Air Force

Coast Guard



Click on an image, below, for enlarged view

miniature medals
large medals
large medals, device and unit awards


  • Reconstructing Lost Records (VA Fact Sheet on reconstructing records lost in the 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis)
  • Memorial Day 2007 Material
Veterans Pride Poster

Veterans Pride Brochure
Poster
(455 KB PDF)

Brochure
(582 KB PDF)

Two-sided brochure - poster


PDF Documents - To read PDF documents, you need a PDF viewer. A free PDF Reader is available here.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Pleased to Announce The Cold War Veterans Association and Disabled Veterans International will be working together on several issues for the benefit of all Veterans. Establishment of a Cold War Memorial ensuring proper recognition and benefits for Cold War era and all Veterans are tops among CWVA and DVI common Goals. Please go check out the DVI website and if you are eligible seriously think about joining a great organization.
Link is in mp.3 format you can download and open or Windows Media Player will open
Cold War Veterans Association Podcast
Listen to Podcast