The U.S. Congress is advancing legislation in the House of Representatives that seeks to grant burial honors to Lao and Hmong-American veterans of the Vietnam War in Laos, according to the Washington, DC-based Center for Public Policy Analysis and Lao and Hmong veterans organizations.
“U.S. Congressmen Jim Costa, Frank Wolf, and a bipartisan group of twenty-two Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, continue to advance H.R. 3192 in Congress to seek to authorize the U.S. Secretary of Veterans of Affairs to allow Lao and Hmong veterans to be buried, or cremated, with honor at national veterans cemeteries,”
“We continue to work, and make progress, on this important effort in Washington, D.C., and on Capitol Hill,” Wangyee Vang stated further. “Additional Members of Congress are signing on as cosponsors and supporters of this bill to help honor our Lao and Hmong veterans and their families.”
The Lao Veterans of America Institute has helped to spearhead efforts in Washington, D.C., and across the United States, in support of the initiative to grant burial benefits to Lao and Hmong veterans. Delegations from the Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI) traveled to Washington, D.C., in October of 2011, to host special events and meetings in the U.S. Congress, and Capitol Hill, to help educate Members of Congress about the importance of granting veterans’ burial benefits to the former Lao and Hmong soldiers.
“Currently, a total of 23 Members of Congress from both political parties are officially signed on to the H.R. 3192 and more are likely to support in as it moves forward in the U.S. Congress over the coming months,” Colonel Wangyee Vang commented. “With the further help of our colleagues and friends in the Laotian and Hmong-American community across the United States, we expect more Members of Congress to support and sign on to this historic legislation that helps to honor our community and our people.”
“At present, H.R. 3192, if passed in the U.S. Congress and signed by President Obama, would amend title 38 of U.S. law, and authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to allow Laotian and Hmong veterans of the Vietnam war in Laos, to be buried or cremated in U.S. veterans cemeteries across the United States,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C.
“Clearly, it is important for the U.S. government to proactively recognize the legacy of the Lao and Hmong veterans, especially their critical contribution to U.S. national security during the Vietnam War, and grant them this special burial honor at U.S. national veterans’ cemeteries as well as Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.,” Smith stated. http://www.businesswire.com/
“The Lao and Hmong veterans’ extraordinary partnership with Arlington National Cemetery, the U.S. Congress, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, to host veterans’ ceremonies and seek burial honors continues to be a unique and important effort that has rightly gained recognition and further support on Capitol Hill,” Smith commented.
“It is hoped that the pending legislation will become law in a timely fashion, before more of the Lao and Hmong veterans pass away as they grow older,” concluded Smith.
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The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) is a Washington, D.C.-based public policy think tank, and non-governmental (NGO) research organization, focused on domestic and international issues-- and matters of concern to policymakers and the public..