WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jim Webb (D-Virginia) and John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) today introduced the Cold War Service Medal Act of 2011, legislation to authorize the design and award of a service medal to honor America’s Cold War veterans. Such a medal does not currently exist.
“The commitment, motivation and fortitude of our Cold War Veterans was second to none,” said Senator Snowe. “The brave service members who served honorably during the Cold War should be recognized for their service, and this legislation is a long overdue step towards creating the service medal that they deserve.”
“This legislation will express our sincere gratitude to all Cold War veterans, including the thousands of those who served in Maine, for putting the comforts of civilian life aside to advance the cause of freedom,” said Senator Collins.
“The millions of Americans who served in uniform in the armed forces during the Cold War, spanning more than four decades, were the living embodiment of our nation’s strategy of deterrence,” said Senator Webb. “In their efforts to preserve peace, hundreds died during isolated armed confrontations when the Cold War flashed hot at remote locations around the world. This legislation will appropriately honor those who served in an effort that resulted in the largest single expansion in the number of democratically elected governments in world history.”
“For almost a half century, more than 20 million soldiers stood on the front lines of our nation’s Cold War defenses,” Senator Kerry said. “At a time when humanity itself hung in the balance, they were ready to spring into action if the Cold War became a shooting war, and they too were separated from their families and loved ones for long, difficult periods. They deserve full recognition for their service and sacrifice, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to enact this important legislation.”