November 11, 2012
Frank M. Tims, Ph.D.
Item: Cold War Service Medal: Since our legislative efforts have not met with success in getting the Cold War Service Medal authorized, we have appealed to President Obama and his Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta for an Executive Order establishing the Cold War Service Medal (CWSM). On August 19, with the concurrence of the ACWV Board of Directors, I wrote a letter to President Obama asking him to issue an Executive Order, and sent courtesy copies to the Vice President, Secretary Panetta, and Secretary Clinton (a courtesy since her name was mentioned in the letter as a sponsor of previous legislation). The letter was sent to each of the four addressees by priority mail, and hard copy of the letter handled personally by a contact in Washington, DC. Among the enclosures was a copy of the e-mail sent to our member Frank Almquist by President Obama when he was a US Senator (see copy on this website, below). I laid out in detail the argument for the CWSM, including deployments and campaigns not recognized by other medals, and ten enclosures to document my narrative. Our objective in using multiple channels for this letter and supporting documents was to see that it got the personal attention of the President, and did not wind up being simply "staffed" for a boilerplate reply. We all know that the President and his staff have been confronted with a multitude of pressing issues (in addition to campaigning for re-election) and we are prepared to wait. I have not posted a copy of the letter on the website out of respect to the President and his Cabinet - we want to give him full opportunity to make a reasoned decision.
We attempted the legislative route because we saw that as the most appropriate, but the Pentagon has been successful in countering our considerable legislative support (nine Senate co-sponsors in the most recent effort, including Senator Jim Webb, Chairman of the Committee on Military Personnel). We profoundly disagree with Assistant Secretary Elizabeth King's reasoning in objecting to the CWSM, and are appealing to the Commander in Chief, who has authority to establish service medals, just as Presidents Eisenhower (NDSM) and Kennedy (AFEM) have in the past.
So now we wait for the President's decision. Meanwhile, we will communicate further with our contacts in the Executive Branch, but we believe the President is a fair and just man, and appeal to him to do the right thing. We will continue to report to you, our members and supporters, on further developments.
Item: We continue to plan our annual meeting in Washington, DC, on May 1, 2013 with a general membership meeting from 1:00 to 3:00 PM, followed by our annual memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery, where many heroes of the Cold War are buried. Following the memorial service, we will have our usual placement of roses at the graves of men killed in Cold War operations and incidents. The venue for the general meeting has not been determined, but we expect that it will be at the US Capitol, as in prior years. More as this develops.
Item: Robert Shafer and his father, both Cold War veterans have organized a chapter in Easton, Maryland, with a total of seven members so far. They will meet informally on a monthly basis, and their first major task will be to recruit additional members and develop a program of activities.
Item: William Boyle continues his efforts to develop a national Cold War memorial in Washington, DC. He will report on this at our May 1 meeting.
Item: I presented a two lecture course at Eckerd College OLLI program on the Turkish Crisis of 1945-47, the American role in the Greek Civil War of 1947-49, and the Tito-Stalin split. On October 26, I also spoke at the monthly luncheon of the Cosmos Club Suncoast Group (held at the Field Club in Sarasota) on "The Cold War Remembered." We explored the early events of the Cold War, how it began with the Turkish Crisis and Russian occupation of northern Iran, the Truman Doctrine and the Greek Civil War, and the Marshall Plan (1947-51). I am scheduled to present a three lecture course at Eckerd in March on Nuclear Weapons and National Policy from the Cold War to the present day.
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