Veterans of Laos Secret War Mobilize on Capitol Hill

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Colonel Wangyee Vang, and the Lao Veterans of America Institute's delegation of Lao and Hmong leaders have traveled from the Central Valley of California, and across the United States, for crucial, high-level meetings on Capitol Hill and Washington, D.C., to seek to educate policymakers in the U.S. Congress and Obama Administration about the dire plight of Lao and Hmong veterans and their refugee families," said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA).

(Media-Newswire.com) - U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota and Fresno, California,October 23, 2009- Colonel Wangyee Vang, National President of the Lao Veterans of America Institute, meet with senior Members of the U.S. Congress and U.S. Congressional staff again today on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to seek to rally support to honor and grant veterans benefits to Lao and Hmong veterans who served in the “U.S. Secret Army” in Laos.

“Over the last week, and again today, I am here in Washington, D.C., to educate and provide critical information to the U.S Congress and Obama Administration about the Lao and Hmong veterans who should be honored and granted veterans benefits at the highest levels for their unique service to the United States to defend the Kingdom of Laos and Thailand during the Vietnam War,” said Colonel Wangyee Vang, National President of the Lao Veterans of America Institute ( LVAI ), the nation’s largest Lao and Hmong veterans organization. “We will not stop until action is taken to assist our Lao and Hmong veterans and we are appealing to key Members of Congress to help take the leadership in this noble and courageous effort to press forward.”

“We are here again to rally support in the U.S Congress and Obama Administration regarding the serious need for veterans benefits for the Lao and Hmong veterans,” explained Colonel Wangyee Vang from the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. “It is important for the U.S. Congress and Obama Administration to honor the Lao and Hmong veterans who served and suffered in the very heavy and bloody fighting as allies of the United States defending the Kingdom of Laos.”

“We are being told, and are hopeful, that potential legislation may be forthcoming soon from the U.S. Congress,” Mr. Vang concluded.

The potential development of 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 ), George Radanovich ( R-CA ), U.S. Congressman Devin Nunes ( R-CA ), U.S. Congressman Steve Kagen ( D-WI ), U.S. Congressman Tim Holden ( D-PA ), U.S. Congressman Frank Wolf ( R-VA ), U.S. Congressman Jim Langevin ( D-RI ), U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy ( D-RI ), U.S. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin ( D-WI ), U.S. Congressman Ron Kind ( D-WI ), 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 ) and others.

“Colonel Wangyee Vang, and the Lao Veterans of America Institute's delegation of Lao and Hmong leaders have traveled from the Central Valley of California, and across the United States, for crucial, high-level meetings on Capitol Hill and Washington, D.C., to seek to educate policymakers in the U.S. Congress and Obama Administration about the dire plight of Lao and Hmong veterans and their refugee families,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis ( CPPA ). www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“Clearly, there remains a long overdue need to honor and grant veterans burial benefits to those Lao and Hmong combat veterans who fought to assist the United States in its military and clandestine struggle in the Kingdom of Laos during the Vietnam War against invading North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao Communist guerilla forces,” observed Smith.

“The Lao Veterans of America Institute, the Lao Veterans of America, Inc., the CPPA and others in the Lao and Hmong community are seeking to develop awareness about the urgent need to grant honor and dignity to the Lao and Hmong combat veterans, especially as it relates to granting honorary burial benefits to them,” Smith said.

In 1997, the Lao Veterans of America dedicated a monument in Arlington National Cemetery to the Lao and Hmong veterans and their American advisors. www.media-newswire.com/release_1091987.html

The Lao Veterans of America spearheaded legislation in the House and Senate, signed into law by President Clinton in 2000, that granted honorary U.S. citizenship to thousands of Lao and Hmong veterans of the U.S. Secret Army in Laos.

Potential forthcoming 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 ), George Radanovich ( R-CA ), U.S. Congressman Devin Nunes ( R-CA ), U.S. Congressman Steve Kagen ( D-WI ), U.S. Congressman Tim Holden ( D-PA ), U.S. Congressman Frank Wolf ( R-VA ), U.S. Congressman Jim Langevin ( D-RI ), U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy ( D-RI ), U.S. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin ( D-WI ), U.S. Congressman Ron Kind ( D-WI ), 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 ) and others.

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