|Posted:||March 2, 2020 03:56 PM|
|From:||Representative Todd Stephens|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Resolution – Korean-American Vietnam War Veterans|
|In the near future, I plan to introduce a resolution beseeching Congress and the President of the United States to recognize Korean-American Vietnam combat soldiers, who are now American citizens, as veterans of the United States so they can be eligible for benefits they have earned.
The United States relied heavily on various groups and fighters throughout the Vietnam War. The Lao-Hmong, who performed very similar duties, were recognized as American veterans by the federal Hmong Veterans’ Naturalization Act of 2000. Subsequently, these individuals were granted eligibility for internment in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries. However, Korean-American Vietnam veterans continue to be excluded.
The Republic of Korea (R.O.K.) sent the most amount of combat troops to the region and was our largest ally throughout the war. They removed the Viet Kong and North Vietnamese Army from villages and prevented their return. In addition, the R.O.K. captured the vital supply route that stretched from Cam Rahm Bay to Quin Nhon and protected U.S. personnel moving along this route.
Furthermore, they protected U.S. troops as they withdrew from the region and sustained heavy casualties in the process, losing 5099 lives and sustaining more than 10,000 casualties. There are approximately 2800 Korean-American Vietnam combat soldiers who are American citizens but are unable to receive benefits from the V.A. as a result of their service in this war.
It is evident the R.O.K. provided critical support for U.S. personnel during the Vietnam War at a very high cost. Please join me in urging the President and Congress to recognize these individuals as veterans of the U.S. so that they may become eligible for the benefits they have earned.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Introduced as HR806