September-October 2019



Borch, Mr. Fred

Mr. Fred Borch

Dear Fellow OMSA members:



Houston (2019). By the time you read this message from me, our Houston rendezvous will be in the past. For those of you who did not attend, I will give you some details in the November-December 2019 JOMSA.


Orlando (2020). We are in Orlando from August 13-16, 2020. Skip Pfeiffer is our man on the ground in Florida. Mark your calendars now and think about bringing family members given all there is to do in this great Florida location.


Milwaukee (2021). Greg Harper is our co-chair along with Director Nathan Weiss. The dates are Friday, August 6 through Sunday August 8, with set-up (for those who desire it) on Thursday August 5, 2021. As I said in my last message to you, your Board wanted to try a new format for our yearly gathering and so we have planned a three-day (Friday-Sunday) convention. Obviously, this will mean a tighter schedule with the first day of the bourse on Friday, but we will have all three seminars (United States, British, International), plus the usual business meeting, OMSA auction, and banquet. We will be at the Crowne Plaza Milwaukee Airport and, as we have been in Milwaukee under Greg Harper’s leadership in the past, this should be a great event. By the way, for those wanting to attend the American Numismatic Association (ANA) convention in 2021, there is no conflict on dates because the ANA Convention is in Illinois from August 10-14, 2021.


New Atomic Veterans’ Service Certificate. Section 581 of the recently enacted John McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 directed the Secretary of Defense to “design and produce a military service certificate, to be known as the Atomic Veterans Service Certificate (AVSC).” The intent of this law is to “honor retired and former members of the Armed Forces who are radiation-exposed veterans.” For example, under criteria announced in Section 581, soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who were present in Hiroshima or Nagasaki at any point from August 1945 to July 1946 are eligible for the certificate, as are those who participated in on-site tests involving the detonation of a nuclear device. For more information on this new Atomic Veterans’ Service Certificate and the program implementing its award, go to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency website at


Those of you who remember the controversy about whether the end of the Cold War would be commemorated with a medal or certificate will appreciate that there is a similar disagreement about whether radiation-exposed veterans should be awarded a medal or a certificate. While more than a few Cold War veterans lobbied for a campaign-type medal, they did not get one. Similarly, there are radiation-exposed veterans who desired a campaign-type medal as well. At this point, however, Congress has determined that the AVXC is sufficient recognition.



Best wishes to all, Fred