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Honoring Cold War Veterans

Eric Molinsky

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Scott L'Ecuyer
(Eric Molinsky)
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This weekend marks the 17th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the official end of the Cold War. Some Americans will be observing this weekend as if it were a holiday. These folks flew the Berlin Air Lift, or played cat and mouse games with Soviet subs, like in a Tom Clancy novel. Independent Producer Eric Molinsky says these retired servicemen are facing a new battle.

---

Bill Robinson was part of an elite crew: People who had their finger on the button. He flew a B52 bomber in 1968, circling the Arctic for 24 hours at a time. If given the order, he would've nuked Moscow. "We had one purpose and only one purpose, and that was to put our bombs on the target, regardless of battle damage, regardless of anything other than complete destruction of the airplane. So we all knew that we were basically flying a suicide mission."

Officially, they were called "Chrome Dome" missions. Bill worked for the Strategic Air Command, or SAC. They were tested constantly - rehearsing World War III over and over again.

"Every time we had a practice alert, we never actually knew whether if it was real or not," Robinson says. "But if it were the real thing, we would have nothing to come back to. In the back in our minds, and my mind, I knew that my family would probably be vaporized."

Bill and his crewmates were on the front lines of the Cold War. But when the Soviet Union fell, there were no victory parades and no medal ceremonies. Gorbachev was barely clinging to power. The first President Bush was worried about sparking a backlash in the Soviet Union if America appeared to be gloating. Bill Robinson gets that, but he still feels unappreciated.

"It would have been nice to have somebody say thank you." Bill says. "It would be nice to have somebody say, as my old OPS officer used to say, 'It was a real bucket of snot but thanks.'"

Bill is part of a growing movement of retired servicemen who support The American Cold War Veterans Association. The organization is lobbying Congress to create a Cold War Service Medal. They have the support of seven senators, but the Pentagon is against it.

Here's the problem: The Department of Defense does not consider The Cold War a real war. They're worried that if they give medals to people who didn't serve in combat, they'll water down the whole meaning of the word "veteran."

Scott L'Ecuyer believes that he was on the front lines of a real war. The contribution of his crew needs to be recognized.

"Sometimes I wonder, if President Regan was still around and conscious of this, would he recognize us?" Scott contemplates. "I've spoken to Ronald Reagan. On a Christmas day, when I was out on the missile site, he called us, and said 'Merry Christmas.'"

Scott spent four years as a chief mechanic at a nuclear missile silo. The job was grueling. The missiles were constantly malfunctioning, but the base had to be fully operational in case the Soviets took a first strike. The crew was tested every day, unaware if was the real thing or just a drill. One of Scott's roommates couldn't handle the stress. He was kicked out.

"I can't tell you how much that guy did for the mission," Scott explains. "He couldn't do the job, but he propped us up so much, he might as well have been the truck that drove us there. When they kicked him out, it was unbelievable to all of us, because he was like our parent. We didn't realize he couldn't go home because of family issues, and he hung himself in our room. I have a flag that's on my mantel right now that was flying over the squadron at the time, and I keep it in a box for his memory."

Those memories weigh heavily on Scott. He had trouble adjusting to the outside world. He had nightmares from underground in solitary confinement. Scott was eventually diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. He showed up at a local VA hospital, and that's when he discovered that he wasn't technically a veteran. He didn't serve during an official time of war, like Vietnam.

"I was locked out from being a new applicant," Scott says. "I went crazy. That's when I really got involved."

Scott recruits members for the American Cold War Veterans Association. He's hoping to change the system, which he thinks is unfair.

According to Scott, "Everyone's made hay on the Cold War, from authors to politicians to the media. Everyone for 50 years has made their careers on the Cold War, and it was us that carried out that mission, and the fact that we're forgotten is unbelievable."

Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton have pledged their support, but getting money is going to be tough. A new generation of soldiers is coming home, with pressing concerns. The Cold War veterans might have to hunker down for a long fight. The payoff may be years down the road. They're used to that.

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  • By James Maxey

    From Houston, TX, 03/07/2015

    I served in the 3d Sqdn 2d Armored Cav Reg from 1966 to 1969. I do not believe we should have a medal, but our assignment should be consider "Combat Related. We carried live ammo at all time along with pulling border patrol. We had an explosion post in Amberg in the summer of 1968 and the Russia invaded Checz in August of 1968. All leave was cancel. If that is not combated related there must be something wrong.

    By walter gomez

    From overland park, KS, 12/02/2014

    I was a medical corpsman in 1962 when I responded to an explosion in a B-47 on the tarmac at Whiteman AFB, MO. Several fire fighters suffered second and third degree burns. I remember the event as a combat-related incident. I and the other members of the medical group tried to treat the victims. Some died at the hospital; others were transported to Brooks AFB, Texas. I saw the death of these airmen. I feel guilty because I couldn't help them.
    Later, in Laos, during the Vietnam War, I felt the same helplessness as I witnessed the hanging deaths of my Laotian Forward Air Guides in that theater of the war. I was 10,000 feet above them in a C-130 airborne command and control capsule -- and again, I couldn't help them. they were both Cold War incidents.

    By walter gomez

    From overland park, KS, 12/02/2014

    I was a medical corpsman in 1962 when I responded to an explosion in a B-47 on the tarmac at Whiteman AFB, MO. Several fire fighters suffered second and third degree burns. I remember the event as a combat-related incident. I and the other members of the medical group tried to treat the victims. Some died at the hospital; others were transported to Brooks AFB, Texas. I saw the death of these airmen. I feel guilty because I couldn't help them.
    Later, in Laos, during the Vietnam War, I felt the same helplessness as I witnessed the hanging deaths of my Laotian Forward Air Guides in that theater of the war. I was 10,000 feet above them in a C-130 airborne command and control capsule -- and again, I couldn't help them. they were both Cold War incidents.

    By Arthur Hampe

    From Jewett City, CT, 11/18/2014

    Cold War veterans seek recognition for their service: They may have served in the U.S. military overseas or at a missile base in America. They may have been on secret missions in submarines, in aircraft or on the ground. Or they may have been, like Tom Cameron of Troy, Mich., driving a tank in Germany, always on guard. They are millions of Cold War veterans, who served in the military from September 1945 to Dec. 26, 1991 the day the Soviet Union dissolved during pockets of peacetime tension that came during the expansion of communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago Monday 2014. On each Veterans Day the only thing Cold War Veterans are doing is looking for a little recognition, a small piece of the pie say, an officially authorized service medal or a symbolic memorial in Washington, D.C. for example > Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press - EST November 11, 2014. Ive read through some of the posts on this site and I am prideful of some of what Ive read, neutral about a lot of posts And amazed by some blatant ignorance and sugar coated {Ex. > thank you all for your service, and hey > the Cold War was a make believe {fake} War} such as a post written by a Former Marine named Chris Smith on June 3, 2014 > {he is too to be considered an Ex. Marine}. Id love to see his questionable sorry ass stand in front of men, woman and children who lost family and friends, possibly limbs too have massive PTSD Scars both mental and / or physical, etc. as the result of the, as Chris Smith put it so ignorantly Fake Cold war hostilities that occurred from 1945 1991 {up until this very day if you look close enough}. Thank you for your service Chris, and youre welcome for my service which was between 1979 1985 aboard a ballistic missile Submarine {SSBN} one of the 41 for Freedom Boats {Subs}. We were a leg of the U.S. Nuclear Triad > Nuclear weapons produced paradoxical results. Their enormous power kept the cold war from turning into a hot war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union {Thank GOD for Chris}. Leaders on both sides recognized that such a war would be suicidal. AP Central Cold War and Global Hegemony 1945-1991. And let me reiterate that anyone who swore an oath and wore the uniform of their branch of service of these United States whether in peacetime or war for at least {I believe} 90 consecutive days > IS A VETERAN.

    By Arthur Hampe

    From Jewett City, 11/18/2014

    Cold War veterans seek recognition for their service: They may have served in the U.S. military overseas or at a missile base in America. They may have been on secret missions in submarines, in aircraft or on the ground. Or they may have been, like Tom Cameron of Troy, Mich., driving a tank in Germany, always on guard. They are millions of Cold War veterans, who served in the military from September 1945 to Dec. 26, 1991 the day the Soviet Union dissolved during pockets of peacetime tension that came during the expansion of communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago Monday 2014. On each Veterans Day the only thing Cold War Veterans are doing is looking for a little recognition, a small piece of the pie say, an officially authorized service medal or a symbolic memorial in Washington, D.C. for example > Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press - EST November 11, 2014. Ive read through some of the posts on this site and I am prideful of some of what Ive read, neutral about a lot of posts And amazed by some blatant ignorance and sugar coated {Ex. > thank you all for your service, and hey > the Cold War was a make believe {fake} War} such as a post written by a Former Marine named Chris Smith on June 3, 2014 > {he is too to be considered an Ex. Marine}. Id love to see his questionable sorry ass stand in front of men, woman and children who lost family and friends, possibly limbs too have massive PTSD Scars both mental and / or physical, etc. as the result of the, as Chris Smith put it so ignorantly Fake Cold war hostilities that occurred from 1945 1991 {up until this very day if you look close enough}. Thank you for your service Chris, and youre welcome for my service which was between 1979 1985 aboard a ballistic missile Submarine {SSBN} one of the 41 for Freedom Boats {Subs}. We were a leg of the U.S. Nuclear Triad > Nuclear weapons produced paradoxical results. Their enormous power kept the cold war from turning into a hot war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union {Thank GOD for Chris}. Leaders on both sides recognized that such a war would be suicidal. AP Central Cold War and Global Hegemony 1945-1991. And let me reiterate that anyone who swore an oath and wore the uniform of their branch of service of these United States whether in peacetime or war for at least {I believe} 90 consecutive days > IS A VETERAN.

    By george jauregui

    From hanford, CA, 11/16/2014

    i enlisted 11/18/1953 in usaf..intending to go to Korea after basic..but no I was cut orders to report to French morocco north Africa as part of the communications networks...with SAC what is my vet status Korean or cold war

    By george jauregui

    From hanford, CA, 11/16/2014

    i enlisted 11/18/1953 in usaf..intending to go to Korea after basic..but no I was cut orders to report to French morocco north Africa as part of the communications networks...with SAC what is my vet status Korean or cold war

    By joe van syoc

    From murray, IA, 11/11/2014

    I guess they are afraid they may actually have to give us some benefits. I have the utmost respect for wartime (and all) vets, but how is it fair that a guy who served stateside during the vietnam era and never went there, gets many more healthcare benefits than I do having served a year and a half later, overseas standing guard against the commies? If you served during any of the 22 year of "peacetime" during the cold war, you are so far down on the VA priority list, you might as well forget it

    By Craig Cook

    From Modesto, CA, 08/08/2014

    First of all, let's straighten something out up front; anyone who served in the military, wartime or not, is a VETERAN. People confuse this with terms such as 'combat veteran' or 'WWII Vet', 'Vietnam vet' etc. thus believing that you are only a vet if you served during a time of war. This is not correct. If you served in the military at any point in time, you are a military veteran. Regarding the pentegon, they have managed to morph this from an actual medal, to a 'certificate of apprecaition'. I know because I got mine through the VA site. In my opinion, this was done for two reasons; First, by issuing a certificate, they can say that the issue has been addressed, no mater what objection is offered in the future. Second, the military chiefs are of the strict opinion that medals should ONLY be handed out to those that participated in, or during, a bonified shooting war. That is,combat situations where US forces were dirctly involved. They believe that the cold war was nothing more than a holding action in which containment, not engagement, was the name of the game. While that may be true, strictly speaking, the US military was kept at wartime levels, regarding shear numbers of people and equipment, and there were numerous situations where we very nearly ended up in a shooting war with the USSR. People, like me, and many, many, many others were deployed overseas for years at at a time, to man the outposts and machines that would be the tools of war. The only thing we did not actually do is shoot, thank god. Make no mistake, we were on a war footing, and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to go back and read the history of the cold war, and not just the politics and news stories. Read the stories of the people who there, on the front line every day. We were all prepared to to do our jobs and, if necessary, give our lives to defend our country and the lives of the free world. If that does not deserve a medal, then the whole damn thing is a sham.

    By Chris Smith

    06/03/2014

    First I'd like to thank you all of you for your service. None of you had a choice of when and where you served and behalf of a grateful nation I would like to offer my sincerest gratitude. However, if you are complaining about not receiving benefits or a medals akin to someone who actually served in combat during an actual war, then I would tell all of you to grow up. I am probably 30 years younger then everyone on this forum and I served in Afghanistan during my time in the Marine Corps. Many of you are telling stories about having to wake up early and conduct drills in the freezing cold. I would really like you to try and keep a straight face and tell these stories to the families of service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq or a Marine who lost a limb in Afghanistan. Seriously, be happy for your service, you did great things. But stop whining and respect the veterans who came before and after you who actually served during a time of war, not some made up fake "Cold War".

    By RUBEN BOLIVAR

    From rio rico, AZ, 03/08/2013

    mn

    By J Todd

    From Cleveland, OH, 01/28/2013

    I was in the Navy from 1979-85. It does seem that vets from 79 - 90 don't seem to be recognized. the fact the matter it should be recognized. Example, the pilot and NFO that crashed and died on the carrier I was on in 1979. I would recognize their sacrafice.

    By JOSEPH LOPEZ

    From OH, 06/11/2011

    AT WHAT POINT IN TIME, SOMEONE IS CONSIDER A COLD WAR VETERAN? CAN ANYONE LET ME KNOW,PLEASE!

    By JOSEPH LOPEZ

    From OH, 06/11/2011

    AT WHAT POINT IN TIME, SOMEONE IS CONSIDER A COLD WAR VETERAN? CAN ANYONE LET ME KNOW,PLEASE!

    By sheila webb

    From jacksonville, FL, 06/24/2010

    Why are the cold vets ignored even in employment. I served 1979-1985, we are not considered veterans, we served our time. This is our country, they are prejudiced against us. Our military diabled veterans are in front of course but our sworn in process should count. What is wrong with this picture?

    By lisa anderson

    From CA, 12/06/2009

    All I know is I served my country proudly 4 years active 3 years reserve 1983-87 & 87-90. Being stationed in Germany I remember very well the cold bitter alerts & Lybia. And not being allowed to go to certain places because they were not USA (especially militay)friendly.When I raised my right hand and signed the contract i thought nothing of it. So my question is why does is DOD and pentagon want to forget me. At least with vietnam the citizens didnt want to recognize our brothers and sisters in arms. But to have DOD & pentagon dismiss us? well there's nothing left o be said!

    By Debora Willard

    From Greenbush, ME, 11/11/2009

    I followed the wonderful vietnam vets and enlisted into the Air Force Service 1979-1985. As a military personnel we were sworn in like the other soliders before us. I served my 4 years active proudly and did 2 years reserve proudly. I went to recieve my veterans walking stick and I am told I am a cold war vet and veterans of the cold war do not count as veterans. I showed my DDform214 and certificate showing honerable discharge. I was still told cold war vets do not count as vets. If that is true what about the ones who gave their all during that time? what about the rest of us who gave our lives, time, dedication? Did we sign up to be used and abused by our country? This veterans day is the most painful veterans day I have spent honoring veterans of all wars. To know and feel I belong to a group of FORGOTTEN VETERANS is heartbreaking. Come on veterans we need to pull together and Let the Pentagon and Goverment Know we will not take this sitting down nor will we accept being forgotten.-Debbie Willard

    By David Marshall

    From Wayland, MA, 10/05/2009

    A trust betrayed?

    The Chief Judge of Congresss Court of Veterans Appeals stated that the, "Constitution, Statutes and Regulations" are "policy freely ignored" by both "The Veterans Health Administration" and the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), i.e.., the "STATE OF COURT" transcript PARAGRAPH 9 with Congresss law of the land U.S. CODE, TITLE 38, SECTIONS () 511 and 7252. Decisions of the Secretary; finality; REFERENCES [1], [2] & [3]. This is a no teeth Congressional LEGISLATIVE vs an independent from Congress and the DVA, Judicial Branch Court. The DVA Health Care laymen, "initial adjudicators" still are not held responsible for their "freely ignored" and medically ignorant "Schedule of Ratings for Disabilities" decisions..

    An example of the "initial adjudicators" to date "freely ignored" is this veterans 1957 DVA Physicians resultant, "MPerR PERMANENT" "SURGEON HQ ARRC JUN 25 58 MEDICALLY DISQUALIFIED FOR MILITARY SERVICE"!

    It is now 15 years later without the Chief Judge's 1994 advised Congressional oversight. Please hold your U.S. House and Senate members accountable for Congresss perverted Veteran Care.

    REFERENCES:

    [1] The complete 16 paragraph "STATE OF COURT" transcript is available on request. Previously at, and now missing from the Chief Judges and state_of_court sites: www.goodnet.com/~heads/nebeker and www.firebase.net/state_of_court_brief.htm

    "STATE OF COURT

    CHIEF JUDGE FRANK Q. NEBEKER

    STATE OF THE COURT

    FOR PRESENTATION TO THE

    UNITED STATES COURT OF VETERANS APPEALS

    THIRD JUDICIAL CONFERENCE

    OCTOBER 17-18, 1994

    {as it appears in Veterans Appeals Reporter}"

    --------------------PARAGRAPH 9 of 16 in "STATE OF COURT" TRANSCRIPT records DVA laymen ignoring medical opinion without veteran recourse.-----------------------------

    "I believe my message is clear. There is, I suggest, no system with judicial review which has within it a component part free to function in its own way, in its own time and with one message to those it disappoints -- take an appeal. That is, I am afraid, what we have today in many of the Department's Agencies of Original Jurisdiction -- that is AOJs -- around the country. Neither the Court, through the Board, the Board, nor the General Counsel has direct and meaningful control over the Agencies of Original Jurisdiction. Indeed, it is also clear that the VHA -- the Veterans Health Administration -- ignores specific directives to provide medical opinions as directed. And this is resulting in unconscionable delays. Let us examine judicial review. Remember, the Court and the Board do not make policy, the Secretary and Congress do. The Court simply identifies error made below by a failure to adhere, in individual cases, to the Constitution, statutes, and regulations which themselves reflect policy -- policy freely ignored by many initial adjudicators whose attitude is, "I haven't been told by my boss to change. If you don't like it -- appeal it." (Emphasis added)

    The top medically ignorant "boss" is Congresss confirmed "Secretary" of the DVA.

    AND THE CONGRESSS "policy freely ignored" UNITED STATES CODE law of the land, Health Care take away from Veterans:

    [2] UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 38 > PART I > CHAPTER 5 > SUBCHAPTER I >
    511. Decisions of the Secretary; finality

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/usc...11----000-.html

    "(a) The Secretary shall decide all questions of law and fact necessary to a decision by the Secretary under a law that affects the provision of benefits by the Secretary to veterans or the dependents or survivors of veterans. Subject to subsection (b), THE DECISION OF THE SECRETARY AS TO ANY SUCH QUESTION SHALL BE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE AND MAY NOT BE REVIEWED BY ANY OTHER OFFICIAL OR BY ANY COURT, whether by an action in the nature of mandamus or otherwise." (Emphasis added)

    THEREFORE, NO COURT REVIEW OF THE MEDICALLY UNTRAINED DVA laymen and "Secretary" "schedule of ratings for disabilities" decisions as proven by:

    [3] UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 38 PART V > CHAPTER 72 > SUBCHAPTER I >
    7252. Jurisdiction; finality of decisions

    "(b) Review in the Court shall be on the record of proceedings before the Secretary and the Board. The extent of the review shall be limited to the scope provided in section 7261 of this title. THE COURT MAY NOT REVIEW THE SCHEDULE OF RATINGS FOR DISABILITIES adopted under section 1155 of this title or any action of the Secretary in adopting or revising that schedule." (Emphasis added.)

    By James Dhalluin

    From Hydro, OK, 05/05/2009

    I served on the USAF from 1958 to july 1962 and active reserve to 1964 on July 2.a month and 3 day shy of the Aug.5th. 1964 benefit date and was misled at my discharge that I would be included..this was not intentional, the date was yet to be written in stone.

    By Jerald Rubin

    From Evanston, WY, 03/24/2009

    I too served during the 77-84 both in Korea, and USAER 50 clicks from the Chec boarder, we were considered expendable in both. Without the ones who served during this period the Reds would have attacked. I fell the cold war never ended, just went into the dormit stage. The reds area still there, and the Korean War never ended.

    By Gary Garrett

    From Ruidoso, NM, 02/10/2009

    I would agree that a Cold War Medal should be issued, however, I think a medal for all the vets who have been 100% disabled during war time would be needed first. These vets after all gave and continue to give everyday of their lives. Some suffer with a great deal of pain or have been crippled for life due to their service to our country during a time of war. If you were shot or wounded in combat you receive a Purple Heart, if you were disabled for life outside of a combat zone you get nothing. No recognition, no medal no ribbons, nothing. I do believe that all war time veterans should be recognized but those that continue to give everyday of their lives should be first in line. How about a Wartime Disabled Medal, then a Cold War Medal?

    By lee houser

    From kennewick, WA, 01/27/2009

    I CAME IN THE SERVICE IN 1979. I SPENT 8 YEARS ON ACTIVE DUTY 3 YEARS IN MANHEIM, GERMANY. DURING THAT TIME I WAS A PART OF A TEAM CALLED THE ALLIED MOBILE FORCE OR (ACE MOBILE FORCE) FOR SHORT AND WAS A PART OF SEVERAL EXCERCES WITH OTHER COUNTRIES. THE THREAT WAS ALWAYS THERE...COLD WAR MEDAL....YES.

    By Donald Harrington

    From Indianapolis, IN, 01/08/2009

    I was drafted in 1952 and served honorably during the Korean Conflict. I had no choice of where I would be stationed and could have been sent to Korea but served in Europe instead. While I am a veteran, the VA told me that I was not a veteran of the Korean Conflict and therefore my benefits were substantially less than those of someone who served in combat. Therefore, I am a veteran just not a combat veteran.

    By Rich Denikas

    From Beach Park, IL, 01/05/2009

    Hi, I was in S.A.C. also assigned to Grissom A.F.B. 305th A.R.W. ,Fire protection Spec.,1972-73 then 928th Chicago
    I was not sent to Nam. I was fighting the war in Indiana . We were always on alert when the Russians flew over the pole. Plus Air craft coming back from Nam [or going to] and over seas that had problems.
    I was given a application one time for benefits at the V.A. it asked me if I got a Vet Nam Service medal ? [the National Defense ribbon did not count] I said no , They said I did not qualify for some benefits and must pay cash for half of my treatments. The State of Illinois employment form also asked for the V.N. Medal as a determination for Veteran status. This Sucks!! We need some recondition now!!

    By Robert White

    From Riverdale, MD, 01/02/2009

    For those that don't know if, if you didn't serve during one of these periods then your not considered a "War TTime Veteran". As for actually serving in combat, until Vietnam less than 10% of the veterans that served in a combat AO were actually in combat, yet all that were in theatre are considered combat veterans. Also until this war (for the Army) if you didn't have the CIB, then you were not "really" a combat vet!!! Now with the CAB (combat action badge vs. combat infantrymans badge) anyone can be considered a combat veteran. The Navy and Marine Corps had the CAB since WWII. It is easier to prove one's PTSD is combat related if your in a shooting war than if your not. Having done claims for the State of Virginia for 3 years in the DC Metro Area, I have seen my share of cold war veterans get screwed out of benefits.


    §3.2 Periods of war.

    This section sets forth the beginning and ending dates of each war period beginning with the Indian wars. Note that the term “period of war” in reference to pension entitlement under 38 U.S.C. 1521, 1541 and 1542 means all of the war periods listed in this section except the Indian wars and the Spanish-American War. See §3.3(a)(3) and (b)(4)(i).

    (a) Indian wars. January 1, 1817, through December 31, 1898, inclusive. Service must have been rendered with the United States military forces against Indian tribes or nations.

    (b) Spanish-American War. April 21, 1898, through July 4, 1902, inclusive. If the veteran served with the United States military forces engaged in hostilities in the Moro Province, the ending date is July 15, 1903. The Philippine Insurrection and the Boxer Rebellion are included.

    (c) World War I. April 6, 1917, through November 11, 1918, inclusive. If the veteran served with the United States military forces in Russia, the ending date is April 1, 1920. Service after November 11, 1918 and before July 2, 1921 is considered World War I service if the veteran served in the active military, naval, or air service after April 5, 1917 and before November 12, 1918.

    (d) World War II. December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946, inclusive. If the veteran was in service on December 31, 1946, continuous service before July 26, 1947, is considered World War II service.

    (e) Korean conflict. June 27, 1950, through January 31, 1955, inclusive.

    (f) Vietnam era. The period beginning on February 28, 1961, and ending on May 7, 1975, inclusive, in the case of a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period. The period beginning on August 5, 1964, and ending on May 7, 1975, inclusive, in all other cases. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 101(29))

    (g) Future dates. The period beginning on the date of any future declaration of war by the Congress and ending on a date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or concurrent resolution of the Congress. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 101)

    (h) Mexican border period. May 9, 1916, through April 5, 1917, in the case of a veteran who during such period served in Mexico, on the borders thereof, or in the waters adjacent thereto. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 101(30))

    (i) Persian Gulf War. August 2, 1990, through date to be prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 101(33))

    By Bill Robinson

    12/31/2008

    Unfortunately, I have not been able to listen to the broadcast of this Cold War program, but based upon the write up that appears on the Weekend America web site and from a personal standpoint as an interviewee who is cited in the article associated with the program, there are a couple of things which need to be clarified.

    First: I flew the B-52 bomber and the F4 Phantom II during the Cold War, which included flying 106 combat missions in Vietnam. I personally do not feel and never have felt "unappreciated" with regard to my Cold War service. That inference in the write up is possibly taken out of context, since I had a total of about 40 minutes of interview, and only about 5 minutes are in the program.

    I am also not a part of any "movement" promoting a Cold War Victory Medal, although I have a high regard for the American Cold War Veterans Association, and might even join some time when I know more about them.

    Second: I do feel that most Americans these days are woefully ignorant of that 40 plus year period of international conflict in which both the Korean War and the Vietnam War were embedded. I would also say that all veterans and their service have never been fully appreciated regardless of the era in which they served. In this regard Kipling had it about right:

    ".....It's Tommy this, and Tommy that, and cast ‘im out, the brute.
    But it's, ‘e's the saviour of the nation, when the guns begin to shoot."

    Third: Whether or not a Cold War Victory Medal, as opposed to a special Cold War Victory Award (such as the USAF's Combat Readiness Award), or a Cold War Victory Service Ribbon is necessary or not, I am agnostic. On the other hand, if the motivation for a Cold War Victory Medal is to make it easier for military veterans of that era to get treatment from the Veterans Administration, then it may have some merit. It strikes me, however, that this may be more of a problem with the VA, than an "Cold War veterans appreciation problem."

    Every one who has worn the uniform is a military veteran. Some served in combat and some didn't. All veterans should be appreciated and appropriately honored for their service, whether it was flying airplanes, serving aboard ships, stomping through the "Habu Patch" with a M-16 slung over their shoulder, or typing reports in some unit admin section.

    By Neil Corkhill

    From Lindenhurst, NY, 12/30/2008

    I was in Berlin 1962 and was captured by the DDR. I am still trying to get some benifits

    By Gale Wursthorn

    From Cleveland, OH, 12/29/2008

    In 1962 I held my breath for 13 Days in October at a Naval Air Station in Florida knowing we could very well be a target. As a Journalist,from 1963 to 1965 I interviewed kids, now hardened combat veterans,who had come back from the front. As Viet Nam veterans we were not welcomed home or thanked for our service, but we all know what we did.We are veterans and we are proud. Today I make it a point to shake hands and thank every serviceman or woman I see and thenk them for their service. As an American it's my job. So thank all you guys who are reading this for your service,
    JO2

    By Wil Corcoran

    From NH, 12/28/2008

    As a combat veteran of Vietnam, I salute each and everyone of you who signed up, swore an oath to protect and defend our country with your lives, and then did what you were trained to do. You are as much veterans as i or any other serving American citizen. Thank you for your service.

    By Robert Hedger

    From dayton, OH, 12/28/2008

    I,served in W.Germany from '74-'77,we had the Fulda Gap to defend,we were told we would have about 8 Min.to survive if war broke out with the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries!Where's our medal?

    By John Saxton

    From St.Louis, MO, 12/22/2008

    Good story (unlike many of your more liberal ones - like on illegal immegrants). But this story implied that you have to been in "war" to be a vet. I've never heard this. I thought anyone who served was a veteran; but not obviously a vet of a certain war (WW2 Vet of instance). SSgt USAFR (22yrs. in reserves and after being activated after 9-11 consider myself a vet.

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