Cold War Service Medal Act

Earlier this year, representative David Young(R-IA) introduced House Bill H.R.1419, which would issue a Cold War Service medal based on the following conditions:

This bill authorizes the military department concerned to issue the Cold War Service Medal to members of the Armed Forces who: (1) served on active duty for at least 24 consecutive months during the Cold War (September 2, 1945, through December 26, 1991), (2) were deployed outside the continental United States for at least 30 days during such period, (3) were members of a reserve component of the Armed Forces and were called or ordered to active duty to participate in exercises or operations directly related to the Cold War, or (4) performed other Cold War service as DOD may prescribe. Any such person who is already discharged or released from the Armed Forces shall be eligible only if the discharge or release was under honorable conditions.

This bill has been introduced many times, and has been shot down each and every one of them. Reasons included cost (estimated in the tens of millions), and the fact that the National Defense Medal was introduced in the 1980s as a sort of surrogate medal for soldiers who were never deployed to war zones.

A medal should be awarded to the veterans of the Cold War, who lived under constant threat of nuclear annihilation with the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact. Some have gave their lives, including Major Arthur D. Nicholson, who was shot and killed by a Soviet sentry in Germany. He is regarded as being the last official casualty of the Cold War.

This medal is long in the making. All veterans, whether Cold War era or not, please contact your representative for your district and ask them to support H.R. 1419.

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