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Monthly Archives: June 2007

CWVA Meeting Central Zone At Truman Library August 18th

The 2007 Central Region meeting will be held at the Truman Presidential Library on Saturday August 18 starting at 10:00 AM. Any CWVA and Eagles Club members are welcome to attend. Of special note will be a presentation by Frank Tims, a tour of the Library, and discussion of chapter development.

For those not able to attend I would be happy to meet in the area. I will be traveling through Illinois and Missouri stopping at the Chanute Air Musuem in Rantoul, IL as well as Fulton, MO, site of the famous Churchill speech. Please contact me with any questions.


Chris Sturdevant
Central Zone coordinator


Congressman Bart Gordon’s Latest Reply:

June 11, 2007

Thank you for contacting me about the Cold War Medal Act of 2007. Hearing from you helps me better represent Middle Tennessee.

Like you, I believe in the importance of honoring those who chose to serve their country during the Cold War era. The secretive nature of the Cold War meant that many of its most pivotal figures could not
receive the recognition they were due. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, however, there is no reason to deny these patriots the honor they have earned through many years of quiet and unsung service to our

Currently, the bill has only been introduced in the Senate, where it is
working its way through the committee process. I will support its passage once the bill is forwarded for consideration by the House of Representatives.

Thank you once again for writing me. If you have any other issues you’d like to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Stay in touch,
Member of Congress


(TRENTON) – Assemblymen Jack Conners and Mims Hackett, Jr., recently introduced legislation to recognize the service and enduring sacrifices of the men and women who served in the U.S. military during the Cold War era.

Under the measure (A-4366), the New Jersey Department of Military and Veteran Affairs would issue certificates of honor to Cold War veterans who are state residents or were residents on the date they commenced service with the U.S. Armed Forces. The bill covers Cold War service between September 2, 1945 and December 26, 1991.

To qualify, veterans should have been honorably discharged after completing at least 180 days of active service during the Cold War. Certificates also may be awarded to deceased veterans or military personnel missing in action during the Cold War era.

“The Cold War was a long and arduous struggle between the forces of freedom and democracy led by the United States and the forces of communism led by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.),” said Conners (D-Camden), a veteran and chairman of the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “Tens of thousands of soldiers, sailors, marines and air force personnel – Cold War veterans – underwent tremendous hardship and struggle to protect the freedom and democracy we have today. This measure honors their immeasurable sacrifice and contribution.”

“Scores of men and women in our armed forces paid with their lives to safeguard our democratic rights. They had a defining role in changing world history,” said Hackett (D-Essex). “The Cold War, which started after World War II, resulted in the collapse of the Soviet Union, the weakening of the forces of communism and strengthening of the forces of democracy. This measure recognizes the contribution of our veterans in shaping the destiny of nations and the fate of humanity.”


Assemblyman Conners(856) 461-3997

Assemblyman Hackett(973) 762-1886

Gita Bajaj (609) 292-7065

IAVA Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff talks with General Barry McCaffrey and others on MSNBC’s Scarborough Country about a report by a group of Army mental health experts recommending troops get a month off for every three months on the front lines.

Pass it on to your friends!

The CIA reveals it spied on opponents of the Vietnam war

CIA details Cold War skulduggery

The CIA reveals it spied on opponents of the Vietnam warThe CIA has made public the details of its illicit Cold-War-era activities, including spy plots, assassination attempts and experiments with drugs.

Documents declassified on its website include plans to use Mafia help to kill Cuba’s Communist leader Fidel Castro.

They reveal the extent to which the CIA spied on US journalists and dissidents and on the Soviet Union.

They are part of a report commissioned by a former CIA chief in 1973 in response to the Watergate scandal.

Press reports from the period had implicated the CIA in a break-in which took place at Democratic Party offices at the Watergate Hotel.

The Daily Show IAVA Appearance

IAVA Director of Government Affairs, Todd Bowers talks with Samantha Bee about counterinsurgency. He isn’t in it for long, but Todd plays a great fake serious tone for the segment. Todd served two tours in Iraq as a civil affairs sergeant with the Marine Corps and was wounded in Fallujah. Check it out and pass it on.


Legislative Update – June 25, 2007

In the FY 2008 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the House is a provision, SEC 556 COLD WAR VICTORY MEDAL. The Senate version does not include a Cold War Medal, but S.1097 “The Cold War Medal Act of 2007” is very much alive, and our greatest need is for enough cosponsors to show that it is the will of the Senate (and yes, I did deliver all the letters to Senators while I was at the Capitol – thanks to all of you who wrote)..

Options now: 1) We ask DOD to support this medal; 2) we get COSPONSORS FOR S.1097 ASAP and make a strong push for inclusion in the NDAA, 3) try for a floor amendment during Senate debate, and 4) push for a Cold War Medal to emerge from House-Senate conference. The best insurance we can get is to get cosponsors and pledges of strong support from our senators. Each of you has to try and get your two senators to cosponsor S.1097. We have to take all of these options seriously at this time. I will handle option 1, trust me on this. Sean is getting the petition bound for presentation to SECDEF Gates’ office. I have sent a message to DOD through one channel and am working on another, so I am asking all of you to work your senators NOW.

Debate on the NDAA in the Senate will likely take place in July, since the immigration bill is front and center at this time. So we have a window of perhaps 2 weeks to push for Senate action on S.1097, and demonstrate that this legislation has enough support that a Cold War Medal can emerge in the 2008 NDAA.

Regarding floor amendment, we only push for this if we have enough support. That is why cosponsors for S.1097 are so very important.

Trust me on this, I am also in communication with DOD asking them to support a Cold War Medal, but we REALLY NEED two cosponsors from EACH STATE to get this thing moving. Clinton and Collins (Democrat and Republican, respectively) are sponsors of S.1097. NOW, we need Snowe and Schumer (NY), ffice:smarttags” />Martinez and Nelson (FL), Chambliss and Isakson (GA), Inouye and Akaka (HI), Warner and Webb (VA), and ALL THE OTHER SENATORS to sign on as cosponsors of S.1097. If we can show solid support for S.1097 – or for a floor amendment in the Senate – we can win this time. The only way to get 2 senators per state is for those who live in those states to e-mail, telephone, fax, and ask, ask, ask, urge, point out how important this is, that it has been repeatedly introduced in Congress since 1997 and now is the time to show support.

Tell them the certificate is inadequate, and about to be discontinued anyway (sunsets 2008). Point out that a single day of civilian service during the Cold War earns the certificate, and the men and women who protected America in uniform deserve more than a piece of paper.

Now, many will say “I support,” but we need hard support, strong support — co sponsorship. If there are enough cosponsors for S.1097, we may be able to get a floor amendment in the Senate during debate of the NDAA – think what that will mean!!!

LET’S WORK ON COSPONSORS FOR S.1097, The Cold War Medal Act of 2007. Let’s get solid support in the Senate!!!

Senator Sherrod Brown Wishy Washy on Cold War Service Medal

Dear Mr. Burden:

Thank you for contacting me regarding S. 1097, the Cold War Medal Act of 2007.

This legislation would direct the Secretary of each military branch concerned to issue Cold War service medals to those veterans who served honorably during the Cold War era (September 2, 1945 through December 26, 1991).

As a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, I believe that we must ensure our Nation s veterans receive the thanks and respect they deserve. S. 1097 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Armed Services, but should it come for a vote before the Senate I will be sure to keep your views in mind. Thank you again for contacting me.

Sherrod Brown

Steven T. Banneker Burden
Disabled Veterans International

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Thank you for writing Sen. Brown and sharing the response. If you get anymore feedback from lawmakers on this issue we are trying to put a scorecard together for the Senate especially to see who is and isn’t supporting this measure. If you could post a message to your membership to contact their Senators in their home state on S 1097. I think messages from veterans and service members overseas who vote absentee maybe persuasive, look at Fla. in 2000. Thanks again.

Best Wishes,

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

Russian Army = lots of Nookie
Check out this recruitment video

– Idaho Statesman
Edition Date: 01/22/07

Not many people can claim to have driven a truck down an icy road into the Bruneau Canyon pulling a trailer with a nuclear warhead on it. Andy Kimbrell is one of them.

Kimbrell was among those who responded to a Statesman story last week on the Cold War nuclear-missile complexes buried in the deserts of Ada and Owyhee counties in the 1960s.

When I was writing the story, I couldn’t find a single one of the people who worked at the sites. Since it was published, they’ve been doing everything but crawling out of missile silos.

Roy Coon of Emmett helped build the Ada County site. Boisean Merlyn Knight learned computer skills on the guidance computer from one of the underground complexes. Kimbrell, also of Boise, worked at all three of the sites.

The stories they tell are of an era and mindset that now seem like science fiction.

“I’ve been a carpenter all my life, and that was the biggest project I ever worked on,” Coon said. “It had steel and concrete doors 4 feet thick. The underground power house and other buildings were mounted on springs. They said it would survive anything but a direct nuclear hit.”

Kimbrell trained for a year before being assigned to Mountain Home Air Force base as a 21-year-old warhead technician.

“I was a science-fiction fan, and it was like walking into a sci-fi novel,” he said. “Everything was remotely controlled, there were TV cameras watching us, and everything was designed to survive anything short of a nuclear blast. The tunnels had flexible junctions to withstand shock. The toilets were mounted on shock-absorbing pads 4 inches thick.”

Kimbrell helped mount the first nuclear warheads installed on Idaho’s Titan I missiles and maintain the missiles throughout their short life. They went on line in 1961 and were deactivated in 1965, after more advanced models made them obsolete. I asked him whether working with warheads capable of eradicating cities made him nervous.

“Not really,” he said. “The main thing other than making sure they went off when they were supposed to was making sure they didn’t go off when they weren’t. They were incredibly safe, and the work was mostly routine, repetitive procedures using checkoff lists.

“Every one once in a while, though, there were incidents that made you realize what you were working with. One was reaching into a missile to change a part and realizing that I was up to my shoulder in a nuclear weapon. Another was driving into the Bruneau Canyon on a slick road with a nuclear warhead on the trailer behind us. It made you think about how careful you had to be.”

Kimbrell was stationed at Mountain Home when word came of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. “We were at lunch when a siren went off and we dropped everything and went back to work. When we got there, our old sergeant was so pale that it was the only time I saw anyone who qualified as being as white as a sheet. He said, ‘boys, this ain’t no game.’ “

For the next week, the world teetered on the brink of nuclear war and Kimbrell worked 12-hour shifts. When the Titan sites were deactivated, their equipment was returned to the Air Force or sold as scrap or surplus. One of the guidance computers ended up in Nampa at Northwest Nazarene College, now Northwest Nazarene University. Knight was among the student beneficiaries.

“It was 20 feet long and got so hot it had its own air-conditioning system,” Knight said. “It wasn’t real practical as far as doing anything, but it was a great learning tool. I programmed it to play tic-tac-toe. It was the most useless but used program on the computer. Read More