[continued from above]
Having viewed the certificate, I feel that it is a major disappointment,
and, yes, to some degree an insult to all Cold War veterans.
However I am not personally blaming Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld, whose signature originally appeared on the document
until replaced by that of Robert M. Gates in 2007.
I understand that the document had to be written and portrayed
in a way as to not offend today's Russia and other former states
of the Soivet Union, our primary Cold War adversary. (This need
- not to "rub salt into the wound" - is probably why
we will never see an officially sanctioned Cold War medal.) But,
unfortunately, the Washington planners have produced a certificate
that is needlessly plain and unimaginative in its graphics, vague
in its wording, and thoroughly uninspiring overall. I must ask:
"Is this what we've waited over a decade for?"
During the first year of its debut (April, 2001 - April, 2002),
more than 250,000 veterans applied for the Cold War Veteran Recognition
Certificate. I understand that requests have continued to flood
in, to the point where a wait of at least six months is expected
before mailings occur. If all veterans could see the above sample
first, my guess is that requests would drop by 50% or more.
On the Army website shown at the top of this page is a fax
number where you should consider lodging a complaint, as well
as with your local congressman. Hopefully thousands of veterans
will do so, by asking that the certificate be revised to become
a document that is more official looking, more dignified, and
more descriptive of exactly how important the Cold War victory
was to our nation and to the future of the world.
[NOTE: Spearhead veteran Ken Robinson
of Washington state is well qualified to offer opinions on issues
related to the Cold War. Following his time with the 3rd Armored
Div. Public Affairs Office in Frankfurt during 1967-68, he served
as Editor-in-Chief of the Berlin Brigade newspaper during 1968-69.
The Brigade was based 110 miles inside the Iron Curtain.]