Murkowski Amendment Honors Hmong “Stealth Heroes”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski filed an amendment that would allow Hmong covert operations volunteers during the Vietnam War to be buried in national cemeteries to honor them for their service to the United States. The action has been filed as an amendment (attached) to S.3254 the Defense Authorization Bill presently being considered by the U.S. Senate.
“Hmong-Americans who fought and risked their lives in secret for America deserve the same public respect and honor we give the men they served with and rescued,” said Murkowski. “There are thousands of these Hmong stealth heroes living in the United States now, and this bill would give them the opportunity to be buried with their brothers-in-arms in national cemeteries.”
How We Got Here: During the Vietnam War, the CIA conducted covert operations in Laos utilizing thousands of Hmong volunteers – a minority group persecuted by communists in their home country – who conducted stealth operations and crossed enemy lines to save pilots downed by Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire. Over 100,000 Hmong lost their lives in connection to U.S. involvement in Vietnam. In terms of precedent, the Veterans Benefits and Health Care Improvement Act of 2000 permitted Philippine veterans who helped America’s cause in World War II to be buried in national cemeteries.