SACRAMENTO, CA – The State Senate Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs recently requested to have Assemblymember Janet Nguyen’s Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) 13 — that would urge Congress and the United States President to grant national cemetery burial and memorial benefits to Republic of Vietnam Veterans – be included in Assembly Joint Resolution 10 that passed the Committee unanimously yesterday.
AJR 10 now includes the successful efforts of both Assemblymember Janet Nguyen and colleague, Assemblymember Steven Choi to include both Republic of Vietnam and Republic of Korea Veterans. Members of both Armed Forces fought alongside members of the United States Armed Forces in the Vietnam War for freedom and democracy. AJR 10 now urges Congress to give these brave soldiers the same national cemetery burial and memorial benefits as their comrades in the United States Armed Forces.
As current law stands, a citizen of the United States who, during any war in which the United States has or may be engaged, served in the Armed Forces of any government allied with the United States during that war, whose last active service was terminated honorably by death or otherwise, and who was a citizen of the United States at the time of entry into service and at the time of death, is eligible for burial in a national cemetery.
AJR 10 would extend these same burial and memorial benefits to Republic of Vietnam and Republic of Korea Veterans who also served during the Vietnam War but who did not become United States citizens until after or during their service.
“These brave men and women who fought beside American troops, and who have become United States citizens, are more than deserving of a proper burial and memorial benefits in a national cemetery burial or in state veterans cemeteries,” said Assemblymember Janet Nguyen. “My family and I would not be here if not for the sacrifice of these war heroes. They deserve our utmost honor and respect.”
The Vietnam War ended in 1975 and brought about the loss of hundreds of thousands of members of the South Vietnamese Armed Forces and the United States Armed Forces who fought alongside each other for democracy and freedom.
Following the Fall of Saigon, many members of the South Vietnamese Armed Forces and their families were forced to flee for their lives to escape tyrannical authoritarian rule and oppression of the communist regime. Assemblymember Nguyen’s late father and uncle both served in the South Vietnamese Armed Forces. Her uncle, an officer, was executed during the last days of the Fall of Saigon. Assemblymember Nguyen and her family made their way to America in search of democracy and freedom.
In the United States, these Republic of Vietnam Veterans military continued to fight for democracy, religious freedom, and human rights in Vietnam and have contributed culturally and economically to our country and to the diversity of our nation. These veterans were fighting side-by-side with American soldiers against a common enemy and risked their lives to save many American lives.
“I am very happy with the work we have done to get this far for these Veterans. Excited to be working my colleague, Assemblymember Steven Choi to find a solution to make sure both Republic of Vietnam and Republic of Korea Veterans can be honored in this way,” said Assemblymember Janet Nguyen.
The bill has passed the California State Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee and is now headed to the California State Senate floor. Once it pass the Senate, AJR 10 will advance to the State Assembly.
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