RECOGNIZING THE LAO AND HMONG-AMERICAN COMMUNITY
(Extensions of Remarks - December 12, 2014)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1840]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




            RECOGNIZING THE LAO AND HMONG-AMERICAN COMMUNITY

                                  _____
                                 

                             HON. JIM COSTA

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                       Friday, December 12, 2014

  Mr. COSTA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize and express my 
appreciation to the Lao and Hmong-American community in California's 
16th Congressional District and across the country, especially the 
veterans and their families. It is important to note their historic and 
positive contributions to California's San Joaquin Valley and their 
critical sacrifices in support of the United States during the Vietnam 
War.
  This year, my Congressional office was pleased to once again attend 
the memorial ceremonies held this past May in Arlington National 
Cemetery to honor those who served during the Vietnam War as well as 
their refugee families who were resettled in America following the end 
of the conflict.
  Each year, since May 1997, constituents from my district in the San 
Joaquin Valley travel a very long distance to Washington, D.C., to help 
organize and host this memorial service. Colonel Wangyee Vang, 
President of the Lao Veterans of America Institute, of Fresno, and 
Philip Smith, Washington Director of the Lao Veterans of America, 
worked closely with members of the U.S. Congress, Arlington National 
Cemetery, the U.S. Army and Department of Defense, and others, to 
coordinate the memorial service at the ``Laos Memorial'' in Arlington. 
A joint U.S. Armed Services Color Guard, the ``Old Guard,'' and a U.S. 
Marine Corps Honor Guard provide additional support for the events, 
which are attended each year by a delegation of Lao Hmong veterans from 
the Central Valley. A U.S. Army wreath-bearer and bugler contribute 
additional meaning to this moving ceremony. These important events, 
which my office has attended over the years, seek to honor the Lao and 
Hmong veterans and their U.S. Special Forces and CIA clandestine 
advisers.
  As always, I am grateful and proud of the historic and ongoing 
contributions of the Laotian- and Hmong-American community in the San 
Joaquin Valley and across the United States. We must not forget how 
Hmong veterans have sacrificed and struggled to help the United States 
during and after the war. These brave individuals have truly made the 
San Joaquin Valley a better place.
  Many of my colleagues in the U.S. House and Senate have been 
supportive of my steadfast efforts to introduce and advance the Hmong 
Veterans' Service Recognition Act (H.R. 3369), which continues to gain 
strong bipartisan support in Congress. I wish to thank the many 
Senators and Members of Congress for standing alongside me in this 
worthy effort. I must also thank the Hmong veterans and Hmong-American 
community, who seek to honor their veterans and historic legacy. It is 
my hope that this legislation will continue to progress as more of my 
colleagues in the Congress and the public become aware of the unique 
and important contribution that the Hmong people have made, and 
continue to make, to our nation.

                          ____________________