It is important to remember that when writing a letter to Congress there are certain guidelines to follow. So here's a reminder of the do's and don't's we agreed on before, and a selection of prewritten draft letters you can use.
Points that may be included in any letter
Second attack that day on the same battery.
Enemy waiting for them.
Lives saved on Utah.
Medal of Honor was earned.
Eyewitness started this campaign for the medal.
Precedent for upgrade/presentation years after the events.
First time in combat for all of the men as well as the Major.
Congress reference number.
State purpose of letter in first paragraph.
Keep letter to one page.
Address letter to "The Honorable………." with either the Senator or Congressmens full name.
Reference number HR 3121.
Petition with every living member of the assault squad name plus over 23,000 others
Points to avoid
Mention of the TV mini Series.
Mention of the book "Band of Brothers.
Mention of the "One MOH " Policy.
Mention of "negative" words like downgrade.
Mention of Stephen Spielberg
Mention of Tom Hanks
Draft letter no1
Congress Bill No_HR 3121
With reference to the above mentioned Bill, I am writing to request your support for this procedure, which would award Major Richard D. Winters the Medal of Honor.
This bill refers to the courageous action by Major Winters at Brecourt Manor, Normandy, on the 6th June 1944, when with a small group of twelve men, he planned and led a successful attack on a battery of four enemy 105mm guns, that were firing on the landing force of the 4th Infantry Division landing on Utah Beach.
This attack has now become the standard procedure for an assault on a fixed position, and as such, is still taught today at the United States Military Academy West Point.
I urge you to support this bill, and present the Medal of Honor to this true American Hero.
Thank you for your assistance.
Draft letter no2
Major Richard D Winters (Ret.), 506th PIR 101st Airborne
As you are aware, a bill has been introduced before Congress number HR 3121 that would present the above named officer the Medal of Honor for his actions on D-day, 6th June 1944.
Briefly, this action involved Major Winters (then a lieutenant) and twelve men attacking and destroying a battery of four German 105mm howitzers that were firing onto the landing troops from the 4th Infantry division on Utah Beach.
One of the most impressive aspects of this action is the fact that the same enemy battery had repulsed an attack by a company of other American soldiers earlier the same day.
In destroying these guns, this action saved countless lives on Utah Beach, and enabled the 101st Airborne to take and hold the vital causeway off the beach area.
I urge you to support this bill and present Major Winters with the Medal of Honour for which he and his men risked their lives.
Thank you for your support
Draft letter No 3
Congressional reference number HR 3121.
Major Richard D Winters 506th PIR, 101st Airborne.
This is in regard to the current effort to present Major Richard D. Winters (Ret.) the Medal of Honor for his actions in occupied France on D-Day, 6 June 1944.
A member of the 506th. Regiment, 101st. Airborne, Major Winters, then a Lieutenant, took command of E Company immediately following his landing on the Cotentin Peninsula. This command resulted from the loss of the previous commanding officer during the drop just hours before.
With only twelve men, Major Winters led a heroic assault on a battery of four German howitzers, manned by approximately fifty enemy soldiers that were firing on the 4th. Infantry Division troops landing on Utah Beach. Through meticulous planning, extraordinary leadership and personal valor above and beyond the call of duty, the enemy battery was overcome and destroyed. This action saved an untold number of lives among the incoming troops and enabled the movement of tanks from the beach to the causeway, and then inland.
For Major Winter's action on D-Day, the regimental commander, Colonel Robert Sink recommended the Medal of Honor. The Distinguished Service Cross was awarded and several years ago, this campaign was initiated to upgrade that award to the one originally intended.
I am requesting your support for the bill that will enable Major Winters to receive the appropriate and long over due honor he earned that day over sixty years ago. Thank you.
Draft letter No 4
Medal of Honor for Major Winters Congress reference HR 3121
This is regarding a bill reference number HR 3121 currently before Congress which would present the Medal of Honor to Major Richard D. Winters of Hershey, Pennsylvania. Major Winters' bravery and heroic leadership on D-Day, 1944 represents the true spirit of that award, the highest our nation can present to its military personnel.
On 6th June 1944, Major Winters (then a Lieutenant) parachuted with the 506th. Regiment, 101st. Airborne as part of the Normandy invasion force. Due to the loss of the Company Commander during the invasion, Major Winters took command of Easy Company. His first objective was to silence a battery of four German 105 mm howitzers that were shelling Utah Beach and the incoming infantry troops there. Assembling twelve men, who, like Major Winters had not been in combat before, he carried out a reconnaissance of the area, planned a quick frontal assault with a base of fire, and then personally led the attack. The enemy guns were destroyed and countless lives were saved on the beach as a result. Additionally, Major Winters captured maps which located the sites of all the enemy guns on the Cotentin Peninsula.
It was Major Winters' courageous and dynamic leadership, skill at arms and willingness to place himself in a position of greatest risk that enabled this small group to defeat a defending force four times its size.
Major Winters' plan of attack in this situation is now taught at the United States Military Academy, West Point, as the standard, or text book method of assault on a fixed position.
I respectfully urge you to support this effort to present Major Winters with the Medal of Honor he earned and for which he was recommended sixty years ago. Thank you for your assistance.
Draft letter No.5
Major Richard Winters (Ret.) Reference HR 3121
A resolution has been presented to the United States Congress reference HR 3121 by the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania regarding the awarding of the Medal of Honor to Major Winters for his exemplary service to his country on D-Day, 6th June 1944.
On that date, having just parachuted into Normandy, Major Winters (then a Lieutenant)acquired command of Easy Company, 506th. Regiment, 101st. Airborne due to the loss of the previous commanding officer during the troop drop. Through his courageous action in the planning and execution of an assault on four 105 mm howitzers and fifty enemy soldiers, he led twelve men through their first experience in combat. Although outnumbered 4 to 1, Major Winters and his men destroyed the battery, greatly reducing the danger to incoming troops on Utah Beach and saving many lives in that section of the invasion.
This action is all the more remarkable because it was the second attack on the same battery that day. The first assault by a company of American troops had been soundly repulsed by the elite paratroopers guarding the guns, and they were now alert and awaiting a second attack
The effort to have Major Winters presented with the Medal of Honor was initiated by those men, present that day at the site of that action, Brecourt Manor. These were the men he commanded under fire, leading that assault as the first man into combat and the last man to withdraw when the objective was accomplished.
Our country has a proud history of honoring those who valiantly serve above and beyond what is considered the norm. Major Winters is an example of this type of courageous individual. The Medal of Honor has been presented in the past both as an upgrade from another award, and at times many years after the incident of combat occurred. Precedents for this situation are on record. Therefore, proper acknowledgement of his heroic achievement would be appropriate at this time.
I urge you to support the presentation of the Medal of Honor to Major Winters. Thank you.