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Cold War Service Medal awarded to Bradford County veteran

The Cold War is not officially considered a war but try telling that to Jim Cahill of New Albany.

NEW ALBANY, Pa. — The Cold War refers to a period of tension between the United States and the former Soviet Union between 1947 and 1991. It's not officially considered a war but try telling that to Jim Cahill of New Albany.

"They would bring the shells on a skid, and then we'd unload the skid and carry it to the tank and hand it up," Cahill recalled.

Cahill, 86, served in the U.S. Army from 1957 until 1963, retiring as a corporal. He served primarily in Germany, working with explosives during the Cold War Era.

Since the Cold War is not recognized as an active conflict, Cahill was unable to join the VFW until recently.

"Veterans of Foreign Wars and freaking East Germany is definitely foreign," Cahill said.

Cahill had never received a medal for his service until now. He was surprised at the Mildred Active Living Center near Dushore. Cahill was presented with a Cold War Medal for his service.

"It is specifically for veterans who served during the Cold War. As I said, the recognition for them is becoming more known. We're trying to honor as many as we can," Karen Bombria of the Mildred VFW said.

Congress passed the Cold War Service Medal Act in 2021. Cahill was surprised and speechless when he got his.

"That's good. I needed that. I never got a medal," Cahill said.

His fiancée Elaine Richlin was on hand for the ceremony and is proud.

"It's great. It will make him feel so much better," Richlin said.

Contact your local Veterans Affairs or Area Agency on Aging offices if you believe you are eligible for a medal.

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