Lao Hmong Veterans Bill Spearheaded in U.S. Congress by Jim Costa, Nunes, Cardoza, Radanovich, Kagen, Honda
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Colonel Wangyee Vang, of the Lao Veterans of America Institute in Fresno, California, has been in Washington, D.C. urging bipartisan support for U.S. Congressman Jim Costa's (D-CA) effort to honor Lao Hmong veterans with burial benefits. (Photo Credit: Center for Public Policy Analysis courtesy Lao Veterans of America Institute)
2009-10-27 16:21:28 - The hoped for, and anticipated, new legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, to seek to honor Lao and Hmong veterans and grant them burial benefits in the United States, has been spearheaded, or supported, by U.S. Congressmen Jim Costa (D-CA), George Radanovich (R-CA), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Steve Kagen (D-WI), Mike Honda (D-CA), Tim Holden (D-PA), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Jim Langevin (D-RI ), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Ron Kind (D-WI) and others.
Washington, D.C., Fresno, California and Green Bay, Wisconsin, October 27, 2009
A bipartisan coalition in the U.S. House of Representatives led by U.S. Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA) have expressed their intention to introduce legislation to honor and seek to grant veterans burial benefits at U.S. national cemeteries to Lao and Hmong veterans who served in defense of the Kingdom of Laos
during the Vietnam War.
“As you may know, Officers from the CIA's Special Activities Division trained and led Hmong men in Laos and into Vietnam during the war. These indigenous forces numbered in the tens of thousands and they conducted direct missions against the Communist forces and their North Vietnamese supporters, fighting shoulder to shoulder with US soldiers said U.S. Congressman Costa in a recent letter he sent to Members of Congress seeking support for his potential new legislation.
Congressman Costa continued: “Since the end of the conflict in Vietnam, thousands of Hmong families have resettled in many areas around the United States, and successfully integrated into American society"
The hoped for, and anticipated, new legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to seek to honor Lao and Hmong veterans and grant them burial benefits in the United States has been spearheaded, or supported, by U.S. Congressman Jim Costa ( D-CA ), Congressman George Radanovich ( R-CA ), U.S. Congressman Devin Nunes ( R-CA ), U.S. Congressman Steve Kagen ( D-WI ), U.S. Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA), U.S. Congressman Tim Holden ( D-PA ), U.S. Congressman Frank Wolf ( R-VA ), U.S. Congressman Jim Langevin ( D-RI ), U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher ( R-CA ), U.S. Congressman Dennis Cardoza ( D-CA ), U.S. Congress Delahunt ( D-MA ), U.S. Congressman Jim Moran ( D-VA ) U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy ( D-RI ), U.S. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin ( D-WI ), U.S. Congressman Ron Kind ( D-WI ) and others.
“We are very grateful for the crucial leadership of Congressman Jim Costa and the other Members of Congress from the Central Valley especially Congressman Devin Nunes, Congressman Dennis Cardoza and Congressman George Radanovich who have said that they will help to introduce this important bill to help our Lao and Hmong veterans with burial honors and benefits in the U.S. House of Representatives said Colonel Wangyee Vang, National President of the Lao Veterans of America Institute headquartered in Fresno, California. “The dignity and respect that this will help to bring our Lao and Hmong veterans is very important to the Lao and Hmong community and we appreciate very much the leadership of Congressman Costa and his colleagues in the U.S. Congress on this matter
“Led by U.S. Congressman Jim Costa, a bipartisan phalanx of Members of the U.S. Congress, appear to be poised to introduce historic new legislation to seek to grant burial benefits and help restore honor to Lao and Hmong veterans of the U.S. Secret War in Laos said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA).
The Lao Veterans of America, Inc., Lao Veterans of America Institute, Center for Public Policy Analysis, Counterparts, Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Department of Defense have held annual National Lao Hmong Veterans Recognition Day events in Arlington National Cemetery, the Vietnam War Memorial and U.S. Congress for over a decade to honor the Lao and Hmong veterans and their families. In 1997, a monument and tree was dedicated by the organizations in Arlington National Cemetery. www.media-newswire.com/release_1091987.html
The inscription on the monument reads:
The U.S. Secret Army
In The Kingdom Of Laos
1961 - 1973
In Memory Of the Hmong And Lao Combat
Veterans And Their American Advisors
Who Served Freedom's Cause In
Southeast Asia. Their Patriotic Valor
And Loyalty In The Defense Of Liberty And
Democracy Will Never Be Forgotten
YOV TSHU TXOG NEJ MUS IB TXHIS ( You Will Never Be Forgotten— Both in Lao Language and Hmong Language)
LAO VETERANS OF AMERICA
May 15, 1997”
Thousands of Lao and Hmong veterans and their refugee families from across the United States have attended the events in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. and Arlington Cemetery.
After a 10 year effort, in 2000, President Clinton signed into law the Hmong Veterans Naturalization Act spearheaded by the late U.S. Congressman Bruce Vento (D-MN) in 1989-2000, U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN) the Lao Veterans of America, Inc. and others. The legislation (known as H.R. 371) granted honorary citizenship to some 10,000-13,000 Lao and Hmong veterans who served in the U.S. Secret Army in Laos and Kingdom of Laos during the Vietnam War.
The Lao Veterans of America, Lao Veterans of America Institute, Center for Public Policy Analysis and a coalition of Lao and Hmong organizations have sought to educate awareness about the plight of Lao and Hmong veterans in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Congress. media-newswire.com/release_1103634.html
Mr. Juan Lopez or Ms. Maria Gomez
Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA)
Tele. (202) 543-1444