ST. PAUL, Minn. (Nov. 9, 2014) — Local veterans and community supporters are making final preparations to visit their U.S. Congressmen and women to press them to pass House Resolution 596 the first federal resolution formally recognizing Khmer, Lao and Hmong veterans service to the United States during the Vietnam War.
Twenty local Khmer and Lao will join eighty more veterans from eleven other states Australia and Cambodia to learn good citizenship and meet their Congressman on Monday and Tuesday of next week. A coalition of Southeast Asian veterans from a number of veteran associations including US military will gather in Silver Spring, MD and attend classes taught by the International Khmer Assembly and prepare to meet their Congressmen. They will travel to Washington DC and attend previously scheduled meetings.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee has had the resolution since June 22 but it has stalled due to a number of pressing issues the committee has had to deal with this year. The United States Senate passed the resolution on July 24 of this year, thirty days after its introduction. The Coalition hopes to persuade the Foreign Affairs Committee and Speaker Boehner to take up the resolution and pass it before the 113th congress adjourns in mid December.
Local congressmen the Veterans have contacted for as scheduled meeting include Betty McCollum, Erick Paulson, Tim Walz, Keith Ellison, Michelle Bachmann and John Kline who is a cosponsor of the resolution. The Coalition will also hold a special twilight memorial service at the Vietnam War Memorial on Monday evening. The public is welcome to attend.
The Khmer Veterans Project is the second major project of the International Khmer Assembly, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit humanitarian organization incorporated in the State of Minnesota. The IKA International Khmer Assembly is located at 1404 Concordia Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104. More information can be found by visiting www.IKAinternational.org.