United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.) has joined Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.) in introducing the Cold War Service Medals Act of 2009, bipartisan legislation to authorize the secretaries of the military departments to award Cold War Service Medals to American veterans. To date, no medal exists to honor the men and women who served and defended the United States during the Cold War.
"For 46 years, the United States and our allies engaged in a worldwide battle against communism," said Sen. Landrieu. "During that time, countless Americans served in our nation's Armed Forces and played a critical role in maintaining our freedom. These men and women, who sacrificed so much for so many, deserve to be awarded the Cold War Service Medal in recognition of their faithful service to their country and tireless defense of freedom around the world."
Specifically, the Cold War Service Medal Act of 2009 would allow the Defense Department to issue a Cold War Service Medal to any honorably discharged veteran who served on active duty for not less than two years or was deployed for thirty days or more during the period from September 2, 1945, to December 26, 1991. In the case of those veterans who are now deceased, the medal could be issued to their family or representative, as determined by the Defense Department.
The bill would also express the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Defense should expedite the design of the medal and expedite the establishment and implementation mechanisms to facilitate the issuance of the Cold War Service Medal. The award of the Cold War Service Medal is supported by the American Cold War Veterans, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and other veterans' services organizations.