20 June 2011
Dear CAP Member
I’m asking for your help in honoring our CAP World War II volunteers for the hazardous combat and humanitarian missions they flew as civilians during the war. They never received the recognition and honors they deserved for their unusual service at a critical time for the nation.
Recently two bills (HR 719 and S 418) were introduced in Congress to award CAP the Congressional Gold Medal (CGM) for its World War II operations. CAP would receive a single CGM to honor our WWII members and each identified living veteran or the family of those deceased would receive a replica of the medal.
Because the CGM is considered the highest Congressional recognition given, Congress has set the bar very high for this award. Before relevant committees will consider awarding the medal to an individual or group each bill must have 2/3 of the House and the Senate as cosponsors. That is 290 Representatives and 67 Senators.
Your help is needed to get those cosponsors during a special National Call-In during June 29 and 30. During the two-day period I’m asking CAP members and friends to contact their Congressional Representative and two Senators to ask that they become cosponsors. Every call is necessary in order to fully gain the attention of those Members of Congress who have not yet become cosponsors.
This is our one chance to honor our World War II members before all are no longer with us. On May 25 we lost another Coastal Patrol veteran when Melvin Daniels of North Carolina passed on. Time is clearly running out.
Please join your fellow CAP members as they contact their Congressional offices on June 29 and 30. I’ve attached background information as well as some tips for your use. I also ask that you please keep your wing commander apprised of any results via email. Wing commanders should pass those results on to their region commander (who will forward this information to CAP’s Washington Representative, John Swain). If you have any questions you can email John Swain at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lt Colonel Jack Faas at email@example.com.
Thank you for your help with this very important matter.
AMY S. COURTER
Major General, CAP
Congressional Gold Medal Background
During the war CAP members, as volunteer civilians, flew combat and humanitarian missions in support of the U.S. military using their own aircraft and often at their own expense. During 18 months of combat operations between March 1942 and August 1943 CAP sank at least two enemy submarines and attacked 57 with small light aircraft armed with 50 and 100 pound bombs and 325 pound depth charges. Other missions throughout the war included target towing (where CAP aircraft were shot at by ground gunners and interceptor aircraft), search and rescue, border patrol, disaster relief and emergency transportation of people and cargo. It is estimated that 60,000 adult CAP members participated in the program. CAP adult members in the war had been promised veteran’s benefits which never materialized.
We need to obtain cosponsors for House bill HR 719 and Senate S 418. These bills would award a single Congressional Gold Medal to CAP for its World War II service. CAP WWII members (or the families of those deceased) would receive a replica medal at no cost to the government. This legislation involves only $30,000 in government funding (primarily to design and strike a single gold medal).
Gaining cosponsors for this legislation is critical because before any action will be taken within the relevant committees there has to be 290 House cosponsors and 67 Senate cosponsors listed on the bills.
H.R. 719 was introduced in the House by Representative Bob Filner on 2/15/2011. Members of Congress should contact Todd Ethington (202 225-8045) to be added as a cosponsor.
S 418 was introduced in the Senate by Senator Tom Harkin on 2/28/2011. Members of Congress should contact Tom Buttry (202 224-9604) to be added as a cosponsor.
Support materials including bills, cosponsor lists, background materials and other information can be found at: http://capmembers.com/cap_national_hq/cap_congressional_gold_medal.cfm
Tips for Contacting Members of Congress
- Find contact information for your Representative at: http://www.house.gov/representatives/
- Click on the word Representatives near the upper left and once you find your Representative go to their website
- Contact information for their Washington and district offices should be at the bottom of their home page
- Find contact information for your Senators at: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
- Click on the word Senators near the upper left and once you find your Senators go to their websites
- Contact information for their Washington and state offices should be at the bottom of the page
- It is best to call rather than write or send an email—many offices receive over 1 million emails annually
- Prepare an outline of what you want to say before the call
- If you already know the Member of Congress or someone on his/her staff it is best to contact that person – talking to people who know you can get a quicker response
- If you don’t know someone in the office ask for the staff member who handles veterans legislation or defense legislation
- Whoever you talk to be sure to get their name and telephone number
- Tell them that you are asking for their Member of Congress to support legislation to honor CAP’s WWII veterans
- These were civilian volunteers flying combat and humanitarian missions during the war
- They used their own aircraft and often flew at their own expense
- Their 18 months of combat missions (the Coastal Patrol) were highly unusual and helped force enemy submarines away from the coast/shipping during 1942
- CAP sank 2 submarines, attacked 57 and summoned help to attack 174
- They performed a myriad of other critical tasks including search and rescue, target towing, border patrol, critical transportation of personnel and parts
- CAP often flew in weather that grounded military aircraft
- CAP WWII members did not receive veteran’s benefits nor any real recognition of their service
- We only have about 30 confirmed WWII members, so far, who are still alive
- We are still looking for WWII members – if you can help with that let us know
- This bill is very low cost – only $30,000 for a single Congressional Gold Medal
- CAP WWII members or families of the deceased will receive replica medals at no cost to the government
- Make absolutely sure that they understand that their cosponsorship of the legislation is absolutely critical to the success of these bills – neither bill will go anywhere without the necessary cosponsors.
- Let them know that you are a constituent
- It is critical that you follow up to ensure that this matter is not forgotten
- Only becoming a cosponsor will ensure that these bills are acted upon
- Promises to help after the bill comes out of committee are meaningless and promises to vote for the bill after it comes to the floor are not very helpful
- Watch to see if the Congressman or Senator is listed on the CAP cosponsor lists at http://capmembers.com/cap_national_hq/cap_congressional_gold_medal.cfm
- You can also check for cosponsors by going to http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php and going to the search box labeled “Search Bill Summary & Status” in the center of the page—click “Word/Phrase” and type in Civil Air Patrol—click search to get the latest data of each bill
- If you Representative or Senator is not listed, please call back and speak to the same person or to someone in authority in the office—reiterate how important his or her becoming a cosponsor is
- Be respectful but keep this up until your legislator either agrees to be a cosponsor or states that he/she does not want to be a cosponsor