Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Artist Will Pay Cold War Veterans for Posing

Yevgeniy Fiks, an artist and college professor living in New York City, is preparing an art exhibition dedicated to the Cold War history. As part of this exhibition, he is painting several portraits of American Cold Ward Veterans. According to his idea, these portraits will help articulate a link between past and present in his art exhibition. The exhibition will be on view at an art gallery or museum in New York City.

Mr. Fiks is looking for American Cold War Veterans who are interested to pose for a portrait. A portrait will be painted from life and it will take 2 hours. Painting can be done in his artist's studio in New York, or he can travel to where you are (up to 3 hours away from New York). Each participant will be compensated according to $25 in hour (normal painting session will take 2 hours). The artist will retain the finished portraits, but each participant will receive a high-quality framed reproduction of the finished portrait.

Yevgeniy Fiks can be contacted at email kunst11@earthlink.net or tel. 212.581.3676

Thanks again for your help,


-----Original Message-----

Sunday, August 26, 2007

VSO and Cold War Links


Welcome ,

We are The American Cold War Veterans a New Veteran Service Organization incorporated in the State of Florida and founded at The Truman Library inIndependence, MO. on August 18th , 2007. As a group we are dedicated to our all of our Brother and Sister Veterans no matter age, color, creed , with special dedication to those who served during the Cold War era September 1945 to December 1991.

Our Mission is to bring respect, recognition and awareness to Veterans of the Cold War era no matter what branch of service, unit , or military occupation. We are Committed to honoring the sacrifices made by millions of American men and women during the Cold War. As a group we are united in this goal and speak with one voice . If you believe in our mission please join us.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Cold Warrior recalls two worlds

By MICHAEL C. LEWIS / Journal Staff Writer

MARTINSBURG — It was the middle of the Cold War, in 1979, when a young Army soldier stationed in post-World War II Germany saw a country divided between East and West, veiled behind an Iron Curtain.

Assigned to G2 Division Intelligence, ex-Army specialist Michael Vaccaro guarded against enemy attacks by tracking Soviet troops entrenched along the East German border, a place where he said anything could happen at any time.

“Every mission we went on, we were made aware that a battle could happen tonight. We were trained to retaliate at anytime. You had to be alert and gung-ho,” Vaccaro said.

Vaccaro served as squad leader for three ground surveillance radar teams while attached to the 7th Cavalry from February 1979 to April 1981.

Germany was caught between two worlds, with the Soviet forces controlling one part of the country and British, French, and American forces defending the other part. The East German government decided to stop its citizens from fleeing to the West by building a concrete wall in Berlin and then laying hundreds of miles of mine fields and barbed-wire fencing between the two countries.

If a Soviet invasion were to occur, Vaccaro said, the prediction was troops would come through the Fulda Gap in the Alps, a few miles from a base called Weilfleken, where he was stationed in the heart of Germany.

“We were expendable. We were an acceptable loss,” he said. “That’s a tough pill to swallow.”

Several hundred meters away, armed soldiers positioned in gun towers dotted the horizon. For the communists living on the other side, it was “pure hell,” said Vaccaro, who often heard stories of concentration camps where people were “re-educated.”

“For those who tried to escape communism, they died for it,” he said.

A few East Germans managed to escape. Between 1961 and 1989 at least 80 people died trying to cross the border; they were either shot by border guards or killed in the minefields.

Vaccaro remembered two attempted defections happened while he was patroling the border.

“They got blown away before they hit the minefields. They thought once they got through the fence, they were free,” he said. They weren’t; they had another 100 meters and a minefield to cross.

“The East German soldiers usually picked them off,” Vaccaro said.

Officers gave strict orders not to return fire, he said. “A bullet could hit 3 feet to the right or 3 feet to the left, but we couldn’t shoot back. It kept us on our toes.”

Vaccaro, who grew up in Prince Georges County, Md., near Washington, D.C., was awarded the Army Accommodation medal for his service. “I served with a lot of smart, good guys. They made me successful,” he said.

Following his tour of duty in Europe, Vaccaro was honorably discharged in 1981. In 1990, the Berlin Wall crumbled with the collapse of communism, reuniting East Germany with West Germany and ending the threat of a Soviet attack.

“I cried tears of joy and happiness for all the years the East Germans were oppressed,” Vaccaro said. “When the wall came down, it felt like what I was doing in Germany was worthwhile. It gave me a sense of pride and accomplishment.”

To this day, Vaccaro wishes he had stayed longer in the Army.

“The best thing I ever did was serve my country. I did well. I’m proud of my duty,” he said.

Now, Vaccaro spends some of his time helping others as a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic-based community organization designed to raise money for children and families in need.

“I enjoy the satisfaction of doing good and helping others,” he said. “I’m blessed because I’m alive. I’ve had a good life.”

— Staff writer Michael C. Lewis can be reached at (304) 263-8931, ext. 127, or at mlewis@journal-news.net


Friday, August 24, 2007

Senator Clinton Vows to Fight for Cold War Medal at V.F.W. National Convention in K.C.

Excerpt of whole transcript at Huffington Post:


Sen. Clinton

"And let's not forget that the war on terror, like the Cold War, is fundamentally a battle over ideas and values. I'm fighting for a Cold War medal for everyone who served our country during the Cold War, because you were on the front lines of battling communism.

Well, now we're on the front lines of battling terrorism, extremism, and we have to win. Our commitment to freedom, to tolerance, to economic opportunity has inspired people around the world. They're not just what we fight for. They can be our most powerful weapons in this fight.

I want to get back to a point where people respect and admire the United States again, not just because that would be a good thing, but because that's critical in our fight against terrorism."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

From the KDVA Morning Report: KDVA's statement of overwhelming support and endorsement of the ACWV.

21 AUG 07

Frank Tims, Legislative Director, of the new American Cold War Veterans announced this new veterans organization. They are not affiliated with Vince Milum's Cold War Veterans Association, and are a distinct new organization. He stated they are growing pretty fast and many former CWVA members and former CWVA leaders are moving over to the new ACWV. Their founding meeting took place at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library in Independence, MO on 18 August 2007. The founding meeting was well attended with most participants from outside the state of Missouri.

The meeting's first order of business discussed keeping up the built up momentum on CWVM legislation. Tims noted he really believes it is going to happen this legislative cycle. The Cold War Victory Medal was passed by the House as SEC 556 of the National Defense Authorization Act (HR.1585). On the Senate side, S.1763, The Cold War Medal Act of 2007 introduced by Senator Clinton (read and referred to committee) and her amendment to the NDAA was filed (SA.2163, to authorize a service medal for those who served in the Cold War). SA.2163 was cosponsored by Senator Susan Collins and Senator Blanche Lincoln, and thus has bipartisan support. When HR.1585 is taken up again in the Senate (September), SA.2163 will be considered. Because the ACWV considers SA.2163 a "must pass" amendment, they are asking everyone to get their two senators to cosponsor it.

They require a commitment of "Strong support" in the form of cosponsorship as the KDVA had with the KDSM. The boiler plate response of "keeping your views in mind" is not good enough. If the ACWV can get SA.2163 into the floor managers package of amendments it should ease passage. Strong support in the Senate will protect it during House-Senate conference. Even without the Clinton amendment, the Cold War Victory Medal must be considered in combined House/Senate conference this fall. Appeals to protect the Cold War Victory Medal in conference are being made to the committee chairmen, but the Clinton amendment will give the ACWV a much stronger case.

Tims has met with Brian Walsh of Senator Martinez' (FL) staff, and Monica Thurman of Bill Nelson's (FL) staff. Nelson has not committed to cosponsor, nor has Martinez, despite a flood of letters. Walsh, who listened sympathetically, said he had read the CWVM materials sent to him but thought, "if it has been introduced since 1997, somebody at DOD must oppose it." Tims pointed out that there is a new SECDEF who he believed would approve it if he knew about it. The ACWV has yet to get Senator Martinez to commit.

The new organization has established a forum at http://americancoldwarvets.aimoo.com/ for comments and as a means to provide important news and information. Those with interest in the CWVM are encouraged to visit and use this forum.

Frank Tims can be reached at 727-867-8137 or by Email at ftims@aol.com KDVA embraces the ACWV in this mission. We have taken this mission on as an official KDVA project and we created Resolution No. 22, Award a Cold War Victory Medal, in support. KDVA Chief of Staff, Charles Pepin, is leading this project and is our liasion to the ACWV. He can be contacted at 954-981-3690 or at Cpepinsigns@wmconnect.com . All are encouraged to read this resolution and become familiar with its points. A copy for downloading is available and we encourage all eligible veterans to send copies to their U.S. Senators with a request that they support and sponsor Senate bill SA 2163.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Letter from Navy S.V.A.


Mel Ramige, National Secretary
Navy S.V.A.
555 Fairview Ave.
Creve Coeur, IL 61610-3237 Ph:


Jerald Terwilliger

Assistant National Director/Maine State Rep.
American Cold War Veterans
307 Preble St.
South Portland, ME 04106 Ph:

Subject: Cold War Victory Service Medal

This is in reply to your e-mail message dated August 4, 2007, to me, informing the Navy S.V.A. of your Organization as a very new VSO and the upcoming organizational meeting to be held on August 18, 2007 at 10:00 AM in the President Harry Truman Library, Independence, MO, and requesting a representative from the Navy S.V.A. to be present at this meeting.

This was discussed during the business session of our National Convention recently held in Covington, KY on August 8-12, 2007, and the overwhelming consensus of the Delegates at our meeting agreed that we would support your effort to have Congress authorize and DOD to issue a Cold War Victory/Service Medal. Our Members are urged to contact their elected Representatives in Congress to thank them for passing HR 1585 the NDAA 2008 and to contact their 2 Senators from their State to urge them to vote for SB 1976 and S.Amd 2176 to authorize a Cold War Service Medal.

Unfortunately, no one of our Organization had an open schedule that would allow them to attend your meeting on August 18, 2007. We are anxious to be kept informed of the proceedings that take place at this meeting and to keep us on the mailing list for future events of the American Cold War Veterans.

We look forward to a future good relationship.


Mel Ramige, National Secretary
Navy S.V.A.
Copy to:
Dave Buchanan, National Commander

Monday, August 20, 2007

American Cold War Veterans meet at the Truman Library

On Saturday August 18th the founding meeting was held in INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - Cold War veterans from throughout the country attended a meeting creating a new veterans service organization."The time has come for those who served during the Cold War, America's longest war, to finally be recognized for their service" said Frank Tims, Ph.D. "It is time to tell the truth about the Cold War, and to recognize its forgotten heroes." Thanks to all who attended!

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In Texas they really do pull off the road and stop for funerals......nobody moves until the last car has gone by.

What follows is a message from Vicki Pierce about her nephew James' funeral (he was serving our country in Iraq): "I'm back, it was certainly a quick trip, but I have to also say it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. There is a lot to be said for growing up in a small town in Texas. The service itself was impressive with wonderful flowers and sprays, a portrait of James, his uniform and boots, his awards and ribbons. There was lots of military brass and an eloquent (though inappropriately longwinded) Baptist preacher. There were easily 1000 people at the service, filling the church sanctuary as well as the fellowship hall and spilling out into the parking lot. However, the most incredible thing was what happened following the service on the way to the cemetery. We went to our cars and drove to the cemetery escorted by at least 10 police cars with lights flashing and some other emergency vehicles, with Texas Rangers handling traffic. Everyone on the road who was not in the procession, pulled over, got out of their cars, and stood silently and respectfully, some put their hands over their hearts. When we turned off the highway suddenly there were teenage boys along both sides of the street about every 20! feet o r so, all holding large American flags on long flag poles, and again with their hands on their hearts. We thought at first it was the Boy Scouts or 4H club or something, but it continued ... for two and a half miles. Hundreds of young people, standing silently on the side of the road with flags. At one point we passed an elementary school, and all the children were outside, shoulder to shoulder holding flags . kindergartners, handicapped, teachers, staff, everyone. Some held signs of love and support. Then came teenage girls and younger boys, all holding flag! s. Then adults. Then families. All standing silently on the side of the road. No one spoke, not even the very young children. The military presence..at least two generals, a fist full of colonels, and representatives from every branch of the service, plus the color guard who attended James, and some who served with him . was very impressive and respectful, but the love and pride from this community who had lost one of their own was the most amazing thing I've ever been privileged to witness. I've attached some pictures, some are blurry (we were moving), but you can get a small idea of what this was like. Thanks so much for all the prayers and support."


They Need Our Prayers

"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they

protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they

perform for us in our time of need. I ask this in the name of Jesus, our

Lord and Savior. Amen."

Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine &others deployed in harm's way, Prayer is the very best one!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Over 60 Servicemen have been court martialed on murder related charges I think it is time private contractors are held to the same standard or the ROE needs to change for everyone not just American soldiers.

Iraq Contractors Accused in Shootings

There are now nearly as many private contractors in Iraq as there are U.S. soldiers - and a large percentage of them are private security guards equipped with automatic weapons, body armor, helicopters and bullet-proof trucks.

They operate with little or no supervision, accountable only to the firms employing them. And as the country has plummeted toward anarchy and civil war, this private army has been accused of indiscriminately firing at American and Iraqi troops, and of shooting to death an unknown number of Iraqi citizens who got too close to their heavily armed convoys.

Not one has faced charges or prosecution.

There is great confusion among legal experts and military officials about what laws - if any - apply to Americans in this force of at least 48,000.

They operate in a decidedly gray legal area. Unlike soldiers, they are not bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Under a special provision secured by American-occupying forces, they are exempt from prosecution by Iraqis for crimes committed there.

The security firms insist their employees are governed by internal conduct rules and by use-of-force protocols established by the Coalition Provisional Authority, the U.S. occupation government that ruled Iraq for 14 months following the invasion.

But many soldiers on the ground - who earn in a year what private guards can earn in just one month - say their private counterparts should answer to a higher authority, just as they do. More than 60 U.S. soldiers in Iraq have been court-martialed on murder-related charges involving Iraqi citizens.

Some military analysts and government officials say the contractors could be tried under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, which covers crimes committed abroad. But so far, that law has not been applied to them.

Read the whole Article

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ok the Few, The Proud, No wait The Fat & Old and The Junkies Check out New Standards or lack There of

WASHINGTON - Need a down payment for your home? Seed money to start a business? The Army wants to help — if you’re willing to join up.

Despite spending nearly $1 billion last year on recruiting bonuses and ads, Army leaders say an even bolder approach is needed to fill wartime ranks.

Under a new proposal, men and women who enlist could pick from a “buffet” of incentives, including up to $45,000 tax-free that they accrue during their career to help buy a home or build a business. Other options would include money for college and to pay off student loans.

An Associated Press review of the increasingly aggressive recruiting offerings found the Army is not only dangling more sign-up rewards — it’s loosening rules on age and weight limits, education and drug and criminal records.

It’s all part of an Army effort to fill its ranks even as the percentage of young people who say they plan to join the military has hit a historic low — 16 percent by the Pentagon’s own surveying — in the fifth year of the Iraq war.

Recruitment target not met

In June, the Army failed to meet its recruitment target for the second month in a row, although it apparently met its goal to recruit 9,750 troops in July and is on target for 80,000 for the year that ends Sept. 30.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007



Honorably discharged veterans and active-duty personnel who served at any time during the Cold War period: September 2, 1945 to December 26, 1991, including Guard and Reserves.


Join fellow Cold War Veterans at the Truman Presidential Library, Saturday, August 18th, 2007, as we perform the founding of...

American Cold War Veterans

...the newest veterans service organization

  • Be a part of the founding process.
  • Hear the latest on the Cold War Victory Medal
  • Become a 'founding member'
  • See the outstanding Cold War Exhibits

NOW is the time! We will establish a Cold War veterans organization which will honor its members with brotherhood and fairness; honor our fallen Cold War veterans with dignity; and educate the public about the valiant service of American Cold War Veterans.

YOUR PARTICIPATION IS URGENTLY NEEDED in this founding meeting. Put it on your calendar and make plans now to be there.

REMEMBER! Saturday, August 18th, in the Whistlestop Room at the Truman Presidential Museum and Library, 500 West U.S. Highway 24, Independence, Missouri (Just outside Kansas City).

Friday, August 03, 2007

Announcing The Formation of a New VSO

American Cold War Veterans

special thanks to Hector Ed Autry and Frank Tims for collaborating on the design. Look forward to our founding meeting August 18/ 10AM at the Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Missouri

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Check out our New Forum