Veterans’ Affair

Posted February 2, 2004 at 3:42pm

Congress’ 12 remaining World War II veterans will be honored by America’s National World War II Museum in a gala event Wednesday, hosted by actor Tom Hanks and ABC News commentator Cokie Roberts.

Each of the 12 — Sens. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), John Warner (R-Va.) and Reps. Cass Ballenger (R-N.C.), John Dingell (D-Mich.), Ralph Hall (R-Texas), Amo Houghton (R-N.Y.), Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) and Ralph Regula (R-Ohio) — will receive an American Spirit Medallion from what had been known as the National D-Day Museum in recognition for their service in both Congress and in World War II. (The National D-Day museum was officially designated America’s National World War II Museum by Congress last fall.)

The “Salute to the Citizen Soldier,” which will take place at the National Building Museum, will also feature music by the Valley Forge Military Academy choir and band and a presentation on remembering World War II through the oral histories of veterans.

Along with the medal presentation, Hanks will kick off a new $150 million capital campaign aimed at tripling the size of the New Orleans-based museum.

Training Day. The Maryland facility used by the Capitol Police for training programs will open several new amenities in the coming months.

First, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Cheltenham will open its new firing range Feb. 15, pending approval from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The 151,605-square-foot indoor range will be used as a firearms requalification center for 61 Washington metropolitan area police agencies, according to a 2003 General Accounting Office report.

Additionally, Robert Smith, the Cheltenham site director, said in a recent interview that construction on the facility’s driver training course, which began in May, should be completed by late April. The course, which will be used to train officers in highway response, skid control, urban operations and non-emergency vehicle operations, is expected to be operational by June 30.

The Cheltenham facility, a former naval base acquired by FLETC in 2001, became the Capitol Police Department’s training academy in September 2002. The facility currently includes classrooms, computer laboratories, an auditorium and a visitor center.

— John McArdle and Jennifer Yachnin