Why Should You Join JWV?
New veterans today are busy. They are coming out of the military, and they are turning around to jobs, classes and families – which can be a lot to juggle. So why would we suggest you add another thing to that list by joining a veterans organization? And why a Jewish veterans organization?
Because it can impact your life in a hugely positive way. Jews have been in the U.S. Armed Forces since the founding of our country. However, there is something distinct about the experience of Jewish service members. For instance, many Jews in the military have concerns about how they would be treated as a Jew if captured – whether by Nazis during World War II or Islamic extremists today. Sometimes the experience of maintaining their religious obligations in the field was a point of discussion. And of course – any Jew who has served in the Middle East must have sensed the presence of being near somewhere significant to their roots.
JWV gives you the opportunity to discuss your shared experiences with other veterans, but it can also be so much more. Since 1896, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States has been working tirelessly on behalf of Jewish veterans and Jewish service-members across the globe. We challenge this new generation of Jewish veterans to a mission – to remind America that Jews do serve and to remind the Jewish community that military service is valued.
So, how do you do that? This first step is signing up as a member of JWV. As a member, you are eligible to be part of our Project Maggid, where we deploy Jewish veterans to our communities to tell them stories of service and what it really means to selflessly serve. The next step is becoming involved in our Leadership Committees, where you can be part of a diverse group of Jewish veterans that advocates for a myriad of important issues that impact the lives of our veterans. From ensuring that our Blue Water Navy Veterans get the care they deserve to fighting for equal care for female veterans, our Leadership Committees are an essential and crucial part of what makes JWV so powerful.
Jewish Guards from Nuremberg to Gitmo
Jewish soldiers who served as prison guards from Nuremberg, Germany to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba met to discuss their experiences during a Jewish War Veteran speaker program at Albany Post 105 in April 2013.
WWII veteran Al Cohen, who fought in the Battle of the Bulge in the 90th Infantry Division, was assigned to the 1st Infantry at Nuremberg to guard war criminals at the war crimes trials. Al discussed his duties and responsibilities at the war crimes trials of leading Nazis.
His discussion was followed by New York Army National Guard 1st Lt. Doug Berinstein, who deployed with the 107th Military Police Company to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Doug was assigned to guard prisoners during our nation’s Global War on Terror in 2011-12. Doug discussed the scope of his duties handling what are considered some of the most dangerous terrorists in custody.
The two discussed the similar feelings they had when confronting America’s enemies up close – especially as Jews. Separated by some 66 years of service, their experiences reflect the common bond that Jewish service members face.