Effort to honor WWII spies stalls in House
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.