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 for its World War II operations. CAP would receive a single Congressional Gold Medal to honor our World War II members, and each identified living veteran or the family of those deceased would receive a replica of the medal.
Because the gold medal 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 two-thirds of the House and the Senate as co-sponsors – 290 representatives and 67 senators.
Your help is needed to get those co-sponsors during a special National Call-In on June 29-30. During that two-day period I’m asking CAP members and friends to contact their congressional representative and two senators to ask that they become co-sponsors.
Every call is necessary in order to fully gain the attention of those members of Congress who have not yet become co-sponsors.
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 June 29-30. 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 Swain at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lt. Col. Jack Faas at email@example.com.
Thank you for your help with this very important matter.
Maj. Gen. Amy S. Courter
Congressional Gold Medal Background
During the war Civil Air Patrol 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 from March 1942-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 co-sponsors for House Bill HR 719 and Senate Bill S 418. These bills would award a single Congressional Gold Medal to CAP for its World War II service.
CAP World War II 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 co-sponsors for this legislation is critical because before any action will be taken within the relevant committees\, 290 House co-sponsors and 67 Senate co-sponsors must be listed on the bills.
HR 719 was introduced in the House by Rep. Bob Filner on Feb. 15. Members of Congress should contact Todd Ethington (202-225-8045) to be added as a co-sponsor.
S 418 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Tom Harkin on Feb. 28. Members of Congress should contact Tom Buttry (202-224-9604) to be added as a cosponsor.
Support materials including bills, co-sponsor 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 his or her website.
Contact information for Washington and district offices should be at the bottom of the home page.
Find contact information for your Senators at: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.
Click on the word “Senators” near the upper left, and once you find your senators go to their websites.
Contact information for 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 more than 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 or 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
Be sure to get the name and telephone number of whomever you talk to. Tell them you are asking for their member of Congress to support legislation to honor CAP’s World War II veterans -- civilian volunteers who:
- Flew flying combat and humanitarian missions during the war, using their own aircraft and often flying at their own expense.
- Forged a highly unusual record of 18 months of combat missions as the Coastal Patrol and helped force enemy submarines away from the coast and from shipping in 1942.
- Sank two submarines, attacked 57 and summoned help to attack 174 more.
- Performed a myriad of other critical tasks, including search and rescue, target towing, border patrol and critical transportation of personnel and part.
- Often flew in weather that grounded military aircraft.
- Did not receive veteran’s benefits or any real recognition of their service.
So far, we have only about 30 confirmed World War members who are still alive. We are still looking for wartime members, so if you can help with that, let us know
Make absolutely sure the person you speak with understands that co-sponsorship of the legislation is absolutely critical to the success of these bills.
Neither bill will go anywhere without the necessary cosponsors. Let them know you are a constituent
Here are the co-sponsors so far.