Ef­fort to honor WWII spies stalls in House

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

Spies don’t work for fame or acclaim. But af­ter 75 years, the men and women who served be­hind the en­emy lines in Nazi Ger­many and the Pa­cific the­ater dur­ing World War II wouldn’t mind some recog­ni­tion.

Leg­is­la­tion to award the spies the Con­gres­sional Gold Medal has passed the Se­nate and has more than 300 spon­sors in the House, yet the bill is be­ing held up by House Repub­li­cans, who re­cently en­acted rules that re­quire a spe­cial waiver to grant the medal to groups of peo­ple.

“I would be ex­tremely proud to get a gold medal for what we did for our coun­try,” said Frank Glea­son, 96, one of the few re­main­ing vet­er­ans of the Of­fice of Strate­gic Ser­vices, the World War II-era fore­run­ner to the CIA.

The holdup frus­trates a group of vet­er­ans whose num­bers con­tinue to dwin­dle as time marches on.

“We’re all in our mid 90s,” said Irv Re­fkin, 95, who was re­cruited by OSS be­cause of his Ger­man lan­guage abil­i­ties.

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