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Southeast Asian ‘Freedom Fighters’ Seek Congressional Recognition


US Congress, located in Washington, DC.

US Congress, located in Washington, DC.

Southeast Asian veterans who fought alongside US forces against Vietnam could receive official recognition nationwide.

Resolutions in both the House and Senate have been introduced to recognize “freedom fighters” from Cambodia, Laos and the Hmong population of Vietnam, who supported the US in its war against Vietnam.

“Introduction of this resolution is a dream that has come true for our veterans, as we would never thought we would have this opportunity in our lifetime,” Hoeun Hach, chairman of the International Khmer Assembly, said in a statement. “It is truly historic.”

The resolutions, put forward by House Rep. Sean Duffy and Sen. Marco Rubio, were pushed for by Southeast Asian groups in the US, such as the Minnesota-based International Khmer Assembly. A similar resolution was passed in Minnesota in 2012.

“These veterans rescued United States pilots shot down in enemy-controlled territory and returned them to safety, provided intelligence, captured and destroyed enemy supply lines, and provided food and shelter to US Armed Forces,” Duffy said in a statement. “These men deserve the grateful thanks of our nation, and this resolution awards them the recognition that they’ve long deserved.”

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