Cold War Veterans
Twain Harte Branch 172


The Bulletin

SIR group honors Cold War veterans


Pictured above, Top Row:  Jim Sullivan (USAF Chief Master Sergeant, Retired), Dick Anderson, Art Bartee, Henry Beltran, Dick Chimenti, Ray Cordoza, Lynn Felber, Joe Gil, Rocky Deal (CA Chief of Staff to US Congressman Tom McClintock).
Front Row:  Jim Johnson, Phillip Miller, Ed Nissen, Fred Petersen, Joe Smith, Harry Taylor and Glenn Vincent

By Lacey Peterson / The Union Democrat

Published Mar 3, 2016 at 06:36PM

The Twain Harte Sons in Retirement Branch 172 honored its Cold War veteran members at a luncheon Thursday at the Sonora Elks Lodge.

The men had varied scopes of service in the U.S. Navy, Army and Air Force ranging from driving a truck to listening to Russian radio chatter to working on a Nike missile.

Chief Master Sgts. Jim Sullivan and Jim Kearns, both retired U.S. Air Force officers, attended the event on behalf of the Non-Commissioned Officers Association. Sullivan helped introduce the veterans, while Rocky Deal, district chief of staff for Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Granite Bay, handed out certificates of special recognition.

Of the Twain Harte SIR’s 165 members, 91 are veterans, said Paul Halek, ad-hoc committee chairman.

“We just wanted to have a ceremony honoring veterans,” Halek said.

Generally speaking, the Cold War lasted from 1947 to 1991, according to historians, but for SIR purposes, veterans from 1955 to 1963 were recognized.

Some major events during that era from the end of World War II to the fall of the Iron Curtain included the Berlin Blockade and Airlift, the end of the Chinese Civil War, the Korean War, the Hungarian Revolt, the fight over the Suez Canal, the Cuban Missile Crisis and uprisings in Prague, Halek said during his presentation.

Cold War veterans honored at the ceremony included: Dick Anderson, Navy, 1958-60, Petty Officer Second Class, yeoman; Arthur Bartee, Army, 1956, Private First Class, truck driver; Henry Beltran, Air Force, 1957-61, Airman First Class, admin clerk; John Burnett, Army, 1960-61, Sergeant, medic; Dick Chimenti, Army, 1961-63, Sergeant, electronic technician; Ray Cardoza, Navy, 1958-62, Petty Officer Second Class, boatswain’s mate; Lynn Felber, Navy, 1956-60, Petty Officer Second Class, radioman; James Floyd, Army, 1957, Captain, signal officer; Joe Gil, Army, Corporal, platoon sgt.; Jim Johnson, Navy, 1957-60, Lieutenant JG; Phil Miller, Army, 1954-56, Corporal, medic; Ed Nissen, Army, 1956-58, Colonel, transportation corps officer; Fred Petersen, Army, 1957-58, Corporal, clerk typist; Joe Smith, Navy, 1956-60; Petty Officer Second Class, structural mechanic; Harry Taylor, Air Force, 1953-59, Lieutenant Colonel, intelligence; Glenn Vincent, Army, 1956-59, corporal, Nike Missile technician; and Richard Wattenbarger, 1959-61, Corporal, medical specialist.

The group also honored World War II veteran Edwin “Dewey” Main, who served in the U.S. Army from 1946 to 1948 and was part of the occupation force in Germany.

Sullivan presented Main with a special medal and declarations from the NCOA. Deal also gave him a certificate from Tom McClintock’s office.
Sullivan said the cost of world peace included the sacrifices made by soldiers from World War II.

“Your service as a member of the The Greatest Generation must never be forgotten. Your courage … has taught us the heroic price of freedom. We salute you,” Sullivan read from the certificate.

The Twain Harte Sons in Retirement have honored veterans from World War II, Korea and the Cold War, and will honor Vietnam veterans in July.