Kuster Hosts Screening of “The Ghost Army” in Washington, and Urges Colleagues to Pass her Legislation to Honor Ghost Army Veterans
Kuster introduced legislation to award members of this covert unit with a Congressional Gold Medal for their courageous service
Washington, DC, February 26, 2016
Last night on Capitol Hill, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) hosted a screening of the PBS documentary The Ghost Army, which tells the story of a covert World War II unit that contributed to key Allied victories, including the Battle of the Bulge and the crossing of the Rhine River. During the screening, which Kuster cohosted with the documentary’s producer, Rick Beyer, Kuster discussed her legislation to award the members of the Ghost Army with a Congressional Gold Medal to honor their heroic actions.
“Using their creative tactics, the Ghost Army was responsible for securing some of the most momentous victories of World War II, including the Battle of the Bulge and the crossing of the Rhine River,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “Last night, we gathered together to honor these courageous men, including Mickey McKane of Keene, for their service as we viewed the documentary about their heroics. The event last night also served to underscore the importance of giving the men of the Ghost Army the recognition they deserve, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation to award members of the unit a collective Congressional Gold Medal.”
The 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, also known as the “Ghost Army,” used tactical deception to divert enemy troops. Recruited from art and design schools and from advertising agencies, these men created false radio transmissions, along with decoy tanks, planes, and other vehicles to deceive German soldiers, while concealing the true movements of Allied troops. The unit’s activities were classified until 1996, meaning that their heroic actions went largely unrecognized until recently.
This is the second screening of The Ghost Army that Congresswoman Kuster has co-hosted. The first was held in Keene, New Hampshire, where she honored the achievements of Mickey McKane, a Keene native who served in the Ghost Army. During the screening last night in DC, Kuster and Beyer emphasized the importance of passing legislation to honor the Ghost Army; last year, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Kuster, both of whom represent districts that were home to veterans of the unit, introduced H.R. 2170, the Ghost Army Congressional Gold Medal Act. This legislation would collectively award a Congressional Gold Medal to the unit’s members, providing a long-overdue honor to these courageous, creative individuals.
Congresswoman Kuster currently serves on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and last year she was selected by her colleagues to serve as Ranking Member of the Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation. The daughter of a WWII veteran, Congresswoman Kuster has long advocated for the needs of New Hampshire veterans, and she frequently hosts roundtables, forums, and job fairs for Granite State veterans.