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House OKs ‘Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day’

HB281 sets aside March 30 annually to honor servicemen and women

Monday, February 20, 2012, Juneau, Alaska – A bill marking March 30 of every year as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” is heading to the Alaska Senate after winning unanimous passage in the House.

House Bill 281, sponsored by Joint Veterans Caucus Co-chair Bill Thomas, is meant to honor Vietnam veterans on the anniversary of the U.S. Armed Forces’ withdrawal from South Vietnam.

“The return home for many of our servicemen and women wasn’t a welcome one, myself included, and that’s a tragedy,” Thomas, R-Haines, said. “To this day, when one Vietnam Vet sees another we say ‘Welcome Home,’ showing the support for each other that we were not shown upon our return. Many Vietnam Vets are among the first to welcome our troops back at the airports when our soldiers return home from Afghanistan and Iraq. They are sure to show the support to our new vets that many of themselves did not receive. March 30 is a reminder to my fellow vets to ‘welcome home’ one another.”

HB 281 is a priority for the Legislature’s Joint Veterans Caucus, co-chaired by Senator Charlie Huggins.

HB 281 now moves to the Senate for consideration.

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