2020欧冠名单ATLANTA — South Korean allies during the Vietnam War fought for “freedom and human rights.”
Now, after a unanimous vote in the House, they are on their way to earning recognition for their service alongside American troops.
A bill passed on the House floor Tuesday, carried by Rep. Bill Hitchens, R-Rincon, a Vietnam veteran, that allows American allies who have become naturalized U.S. citizens to receive a veterans license.
“For me it was 54 years ago,” Hitchens told CNHI, “but Vietnam left an indelible mark for everyone there. I was an 18-year-old and it changed my life. ... Our allies, the South Koreans, were super fighters.”
If passed, members of the Georgia Chapter of Korean American Vietnam Veterans Association, many of them in their 70s, are among allied solders who could receive the same recognition and government support as American veterans.
2020欧冠名单Alexander Song, 72, served in the Vietnam War from 1968-72.
“We wanted the honor and recognition because we were fighting with American soldiers side by side,” Song said. “Now we are Americans.”
2020欧冠名单Rep. Al Williams, also a Vietnam veteran, spoke on the floor of the House about his experience with South Korean soldiers.
“Some of the hardest fighting and most disciplined soldiers in Vietnam were the soldiers of the South Korean army,” Williams said. “Their courage is legendary.”
For Peter Min, 76, it’s more than honor and recognition, but governmental support for the trauma that still lingers from their time there.
“We could not have benefits from Veteran Affairs ... because our nationalities are different,” he said. “But now about 80% of our members are naturalized Americans. Now that we have citizenship, we’d like to have some medical benefits and PTSD support.”
The bill extends to all recognized military personnel of another country who fought alongside American soldiers as allies during a time of conflict. Allies who immigrated to the U.S. and gained citizenship are eligible for a Georgia veterans license.
2020欧冠名单Yong Cho, 76, served for 20 months as a mission control operator. He said only a few words after the vote: “I am so happy. We did it.”
2020欧冠名单The fiscal impact of issuing veterans licenses to allied soldiers is next to none, Hitchens said.
2020欧冠名单“This is probably the best investment that the state of Georgia has ever made,” he said.