Laos, Hmong Author Lauds U.S. Congressional Action on Veterans’ Bill

”This legislation, if enacted, will allow them to rest eternally near other veterans of that war. This will provide dignified recognition of their important and unique role in U.S. military history," Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt stated.

Online PR News – 31-July-2010 – – Washington, D.C., Madison and Green Bay, Wisconsin, Minneapolis & St. Paul, Minnesota and Fresno, California, July 31, 2010

U.S. Congressional action in support of Lao and Hmong veterans was lauded by noted Southeast Asia scholar, author and human rights advocate Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt.

On Tuesday, legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by the Honorable Jim Costa (D-Central Valley, CA) to seek to grant burial benefits to Lao and Hmong veterans who served in combat during the Vietnam War in defense of the Royal Kingdom of Laos and U.S. military and clandestine forces.

"Providing burial benefits in our national cemeteries for the surviving Lao Hmong veterans is a most meaningful way to honor the extreme sacrifices made by the Lao Hmong soldiers who were the backbone of the U.S. military effort in the Lao theater of the Vietnam War,” said Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt.

”This legislation, if enacted, will allow them to rest eternally near other veterans of that war. This will provide dignified recognition of their important and unique role in U.S. military history," Hamilton-Merritt said.

Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt has undertaken countless trips to Lao and Hmong refugees in Southeast Asia and has repeatedly testified in the U.S. Congress about the plight of the Lao Hmong people. She is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee for her humanitarian and human rights work on behalf of the Lao and Hmong.

Over the years, Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt worked with Members of Congress on this important veteran's issue. http:///www.tragicmountains.org

In 2009-10, she was again honored and recognized by the Lao Veterans of America Institute and Lao Veterans of America, Inc., and others, in Washington, D.C. and Fresno, California, for her important work on behalf of the Lao and Hmong people as well as to mark the 15th anniversary of the publication of her book “Tragic Mountains: The Hmong, The Americans and the Secret Wars for Laos.”

The historic legislation, House Resolutin 5879 (HR 5879) , was introduced by U.S. Representatives Jim Costa (D-CA), Devin Nunes (R-CA), George Radanovich (R-CA), Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Tim Holden (D-PA), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Bill Delahunt (D-MA), Steve Kagen (D-WI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Joesph Cao (R-LA), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Mike Honda (D-CA), Sue Myrick (R-NC), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Collin Peterson (D-MN), and others.

“Our Hmong veterans fought shoulder-to-shoulder with American soldiers during the Vietnam war,” stated U.S. Congressman Jim Costa.

“Many paid the ultimate sacrifice… Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to these patriotic individuals and their service should be honored with burial benefits in our National Cemeteries,” Costa said.

“We are happy and pleased… that if enacted, the legislation would provide full veterans burial benefits in American National Cemeteries to Lao Hmong veterans who served in support of U.S. forces in the Kingdom of Laos during the Vietnam War,” said Colonel Wangyee Vang, National President and founder of the Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI). http://www.media-newswire.com/release_1123225.html

“… we are very grateful to U.S. Congressman Costa and his colleagues in the U.S. Congress who have worked so very hard to help to make this legislation a reality and introduce it,” Vang commented.

Colonel Vang concluded: “Our Laotian and Hmong veterans and their refugee families across the United States are honored and deeply grateful for the potential opportunity… to be buried in U.S. National Cemeteries along with the American veterans we helped to defend and save during the Vietnam War; We fought side-by-side with American forces and clandestine troops of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in defense of the Royal Kingdom of Laos and the United States.” http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100728006607/en/Laos-Hmong-Veterans-Vietnam-War-Honored-Congress

“Clearly, U.S. Congressman Jim Costa’s bipartisan leadership, along with his colleagues in the U.S. Congress, in support of the Lao and Hmong veterans and their families across America, gives hope and dignity to the plight of the Lao and Hmong community and the veterans who seek to be buried with honor in America’s National Veterans Cemeteries,” said Philip Smith, Director of the Washington, D.C.-based CPPA. http://centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

Earlier this year, and in previous years, national memorial and policy events were conducted at Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Congress by the Lao Veterans of America, Inc., Lao Veterans of America Institute, Counterparts, Inc., Center for Public Policy Analysis, Hmong Advance, Inc., Hmong Advancement, Inc. in cooperation with other organizations and Members of the U.S. Congress. http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20100608007501&newsLang=en


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info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

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Juan Lopez
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202-543-1444

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