There are some special benefits for Cold War veterans.
The Cold War Certificate Program is managed exclusively by the U.S. Army Human Resources Command, the official executive agency for the program. Cold War Certificates are available for eligible service-members, veterans, and civilians who faithfully served the United States during the Cold War Era, September 2, 1945 to December 26, 1991.
The certificates were authorized by the 1998 National Defense Authorization Act. In Section 1084 of the legislation, Congress noted that The Cold War was a global military rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union, “potentially the most dangerous military confrontation in the history of mankind that ended without a direct superpower military conflict.”
The Cold War is not included in the list of conflicts, operations or combat zones that convey certain VA benefits to war-time eligibility, including veterans’ preference for hiring or tax benefits by the Internal Revenue Service.
While your DD214 date of entry and date of separation will show that you served during The Cold War era, we can find no evidence that the Department of Defense has issued corrections to separation documents, including the DD214, in order to add service during the Cold War era.
There has been federal legislation for a Cold War service medal, including legislation introduced in June in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 4807, Cold War Service Medal Act of 2014). That legislation is currently sitting in the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel. There are also commemorative medals sold by private vendors, but they cannot be worn on military uniforms, according to the Department of Defense.
Even without serving during a designated war or conflict, veterans can file compensation claims with the VA on a fact basis by proving a service-connection between an injury, illness, or disease and their military service.