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Vets Issues

VFW Resolution No. 307 COLD WAR SERVICE MEDAL

WHEREAS, millions of unrecognized American troops served overseas around the globe in waging and winning a clear-cut victory in the Cold War (1945-1991); and

WHEREAS, the VFW was in the forefront of the worldwide struggle to defeat international communism since its inception and actively promoted anti-communism as a tenet of membership; and

WHEREAS, membership eligibility already includes service in six separate areas that were Cold War flashpoints recognized by the Army of Occupation Medal, China and offshore waters under the China Service Medal (1945-1957), as well as 17 distinct military actions (1958-1983) covered by the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; and

WHEREAS, 382 Americans lost their lives in hostile incidents with Soviets and their surrogates, Chinese, North Koreans and Cuban-supported insurgents along the Iron, Bamboo and Cactus Curtains (over and above the full-fledged wars in Korea and Vietnam) and other combat endeavors as evidenced by the Cold War VFW magazine series (1996-98 and book in 2004); and

WHEREAS, uncounted numbers of the United States military enforced the containment policy in inhospitable environments ranging from the shores of Greenland, the barren Aleutian islands, North Pacific skies, depths of the Arctic Ocean, Latin American jungles to remote outposts stretching from Ethiopia to Pakistan, without official or public recognition; and

WHEREAS, an all-encompassing precedent (Public Law 104-3) as has been set with the universal opening of membership to all veterans of Korea war service regardless of direct exposure to enemy attack; and

WHEREAS, as a matter of fairness and a means of rectifying a continuing injustice to Americans who performed arduous duty during the Cold War in most cases equal to that of combat, closing this gap in Cold War recognition, is the right thing to do for our veterans; and,

WHEREAS, Congress has currently proposed legislation (S.2743 and H.R.4051) that provides for the award of a military service medal to members of the armed forces who served honorably during the Cold War and assisted in its final successful outcome; now therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, that we support the federal legislation to award a Cold War Service Medal to veterans who were involved in that historical endeavor.

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