WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, introduced a resolution in support of the establishment of “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.” Designating March 30, 2009, as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” would properly honor the return home of our armed service members after serving in Vietnam. This legislation has bi-partisan support and is co-sponsored by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS). The House of Representatives passed a similar resolution introduced by Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA) on March 24, 2009.
“There’s no question that our troops served our country bravely and faithfully during the Vietnam War, and these veterans deserve our recognition and gratitude,” Burr said. “Unfortunately, when these service members returned home, they were caught in the crossfire of public debate about our nation’s involvement in the Vietnam War. As a result, these brave men and women never received the welcome reception and recognition they deserved.”
The United States became involved in Vietnam because policy-makers believed that if South Vietnam fell to a Communist government, Communism would spread throughout the rest of Southeast Asia. The US Armed Forces began serving in an advisory role to the South Vietnamese in 1961, and in 1965, ground combat troops were sent into Vietnam. After many years of combat, all US troops were withdrawn from Vietnam on March 30, 1973, under the terms of the Treaty of Paris. Therefore, March 30, 2009, would be an appropriate day to establish “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.”
More than 58,000 members of the United States Armed Forces lost their lives and more than 300,000 were wounded in Vietnam. The establishment of a “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” would serve as a small way to honor these men and women who served our country in Vietnam throughout the war.
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