Authorize the Cold War Victory Medal

Authorize the Cold War Victory Medal

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Stanley Buliszyn started this petition to President Joe Biden

According to The Hill (Oct 29, 2021), The Biden Administration is considering giving $450,000 per person to non-citizens separated at the border. There are still 1,727 children who have not been reunited with their families since being separated under the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy. Depending on how much is doled out to settle each claim, the cost to taxpayers could approach $1 billion. President Biden’s $1.8 trillion “American Families Plan” will spend $109 billion over the next decade to make community colleges free, which will be available to some non-citizens. “In early July, the U.S. Education Department under President Joe Biden canceled nearly $56 million in student loan debt for some 1,800 borrowers, bringing the administration’s total to about $1.5 billion erased” (CNBC Jul 19, 2021).    

     With the Biden administration willing to add trillions of dollars to the debt and billions on illegal aliens, I’d like to suggest that this may be a good time to bring up the “Cold War Victory” medal, again. Just to remind everyone, especially your elected officials in Washington.

WBFO- (NPR) National Public Radio November 12, 2003 Buffalo, NY – US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton says she's introducing legislation to establish a military service medal for those who served during the Cold War. Such medals are usually reserved for veterans who serve in traditional wars. But Clinton says millions of Americans who protected this country from the threat posed by the Soviet Union are due a similar honor. "There's just something about a medal," Clinton said. "It's a very emotional recognition." Clinton said she's not sure how many Cold War veterans would receive a medal. But she says it's a "very worthy step to correct an omission."

     In October 2001, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)[3] for fiscal year 2002, which is signed into law on December 28, 2001 by President George W. Bush. In the NDAA approved by both houses and signed into law by the president, was a Sense of the Congress resolution that the Secretary of Defense should consider authorizing the issuance of a Campaign medal, to be known as the Cold War Service Medal, to each person who while a member of the Armed Forces served satisfactorily on active duty during the Cold War. The then-Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, did not create such a medal ( Cold War Victory Medal-Wikipedia). Secretary Rumsfeld decided to stick with a certificate only.

     As posted on January 21, 2021, The Cold War was a prolonged state of tension between the U.S. and the USSR, lasting from the end of World War II until December 26, 1991, the day the Soviet Union fell. The two superpowers were rivals on all fronts: political, economic, military, athletics, and, of course, in myriad Hollywood storylines. But the world’s most iconic ideological struggle doesn’t have a medal to call its own.

     American veterans of this era were prepared for a potentially catastrophic war at a moment’s notice. They patrolled the Berlin Wall, the Korean DMZ, the jungles of Vietnam, and flew long patrol missions around the Arctic Circle to deter Russian aggression. Despite no direct war between the U.S. and Russia, proxy wars in Korea and Vietnam served as battlefronts between capitalism and communism while Eastern Bloc and American troops did find themselves shooting at each other on occasion. This worldwide struggle went on every day for 46 years.

     Traditionally, service medals are awarded for prolonged campaigns or for those who fulfilled specific service requirements. Two such current medals are the National Defense and Global War On Terror Service Medals. Those involved in the current campaign against ISIS were just authorized the Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal for the two-year-old conflict in Iraq and Syria. Yet, When the Iron Curtain fell in 1991, American military veterans serving during this period received no authorized service medal, such as a Cold War Victory Medal or Cold War Service Medal. They are not authorized to wear the National Defense Service Medal, despite the high military tension during the time period.

     There have been bills introduced in several separated Congresses to authorize a medal (the most recent being 2015 – that bill has been assigned to a committee) but none of them have made it very far. The reasons vary. The Cold War was not an actual “war” but a state of political conflict, according to a 2011 letter addressed to the Senate Armed Service Committee, written by then-Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs Elizabeth King. The letter also states that establishment of a Cold War Service Medal would duplicate recognition of service medals already authorized during the era. Cost was also a factor according to King’s letter. The average cost of producing, administering, and mailing a Cold War Medal would be $30 per medal. The price would exceed $440 million for 35 million eligible personnel or their next of kin….

      In 2007, (The Hill) predicted cost was estimated at $10 per medal for 24 million veterans, but that is neither here nor there. Three states award two different Cold War Service medals to their National Guard. Alaska and Louisiana award the same and Texas another. The Louisiana The Cold War Victory Medal was designed by Nadine Russell, the Chief of Creative Heraldry at the Army's Institute of Heraldry and the designer of many campaign and service medals, including the Southwest Asia Service Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. This design could be adopted without any design cost to the (DOD) Department of Defense. Also, I don’t believe the cost needs to be as high as claimed. Using Joe Biden and Democratic logic, it would not cost anything, but the DOD would have to authorize its wear, to see exactly what it would cost, sound familiar?   

     December 26, 2021 will be 30 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union. There can’t be very many Cold War veterans on active duty, so the DOD would not have to worry to much about that cost. Many veterans, like myself, have already purchased the Cold War Victory Medal for display purposes only. Those who wished to have a medal could purchase one from an authorized government retailor, who would sell the medal direct to the veteran, at a reduced price of $15. Why $15? Because the inflation rate from 2007 to 2021 would raise the 2007 $10 cost to about $13, and I added a little to it, Washington style. Those who wish to amend their DD214, with the additional award, could request it by filling out the proper form. Congress could authorize veterans to deduct the cost of the medal from their income taxes. The DOD      

cost for the medal would be zero, the cost to the veteran would be zero and the Cold War Victory Medal would be authorized to wear on all military uniforms. Viola! Washington logic. Some will say the VA could use more money before spending it on medals but like I have shone, it does not have to cost what is predicted and the government is spending billions on non-citizens, so why not this?

     The DOD says it already acknowledges Cold War service and does not duplicate recognition awards and that is true. What needs to be done first is stop playing word games and call it what it is. The Cold Wat Victory Medal. The Soviet Union was defeated, and it collapsed. From 1945 to 1991 the Berlin Airlift, Korea, Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, Grenada and even Beirut were all part of the Cold War, battles so to speak. A war whose victory freed Eastern Bloc countries like Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, and Soviet Union satellites like Ukraine and Georgia, to mention a few. It’s been 30 years since over 24 million men and women served their country and over 10 million drafted into that service.

    Washington may be afraid that naming it the Cold War Victory Medal might be a poke in the eye to Russia, but it was a kick in the pants to the former Soviet Union and communism. Russia was forced to break up its hold on many countries and embrace capitalism, to a certain degree (like China has). What’s in a name? victory is what it was and what it should be, then the DOD could not argue with authorizing the medal. After World War I in 1918, the Victory Medal was authorized in 1919. After World War II a “Victory Ribbon” was authorized in July 1945 but was replaced by the World War II Victory Medal in 1946. During WWII, the American Campaign Medal, European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic–Pacific Campaign Medal were issued for service those areas. If Congress and the DOD is afraid to call it a Cold War Victory Medal, then President Joe Biden should step up and order its authorization. Didn’t you just award Congressional Gold Medals to Capital law enforcement officers for their service during the supposed Jan 6th insurrection? Man, Joe’s got the power.

     Send this or your opinion to your elected officials, friends and President Joe Biden. Let’s get this settled once and for all, it’s been 30 years. Mid term elections are coming up in 2022 and another presidential in 2024. If money is to be or not to be spent, I’d rather it goes for veterans than deadbeats and non-citizens (illegal aliens).

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