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Public Statements

Never Forget our Vietnam Veterans

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. FILNER. Mr. Speaker, I have just reintroduced legislation intended to honor the service and sacrifice of many of the members of the United States Armed Forces who fought in Vietnam, the ``In Memory Medal for Forgotten Veterans Act'' (H.R. 540).

* Those so recognized are veterans who have died as a result of their service in the Vietnam war but who do not meet the criteria for inclusion on The Wall of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has a program called ``In Memory'' which has raised money for a plaque that has been placed near The Wall. The plaque honors ``those who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service.'' No names are on the plaque, but all names are kept in the ``In Memory Book'' at a kiosk near The Wall, and families can order a copy.

* My bill adds to this recognition by presenting the families of these veterans with a medal, to be known as the ``Jesus (Chuchi) Salgado Medal'' to be issued by the Secretary of Defense. Chuchi Salgado was an outstanding individual who lived in my congressional district, whose exposure to Agent Orange ultimately led to his death. His relatives continue to live in my district.

* Because of the boundaries that have been set for the names to be placed on The Wall, Chuchi and many, many other Vietnam veterans are not honored in this manner. Now, with new veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, we are all taking a second look and a closer look at how veterans from past wars have been treated. While we must care for our newest veterans, we must also take this opportunity to do right by veterans of Vietnam, along with those of other past wars and conflicts.

* I invite my colleagues to join with me in honoring these veterans. It is critical that we remember those who have fought so gallantly and sacrificed their lives for our freedom!


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