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AJR-10 Veterans cemeteries: Republic of Korea and Republic of Vietnam veterans.(2021-2022)

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AJR10:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  July 15, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  July 08, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 03, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Joint Resolution
No. 10


Introduced by Assembly Members Choi Choi, Nguyen, and Quirk-Silva
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Nguyen, Voepel, Aguiar-Curry, Arambula, Bauer-Kahan, Bennett, Berman, Bigelow, Bloom, Boerner Horvath, Burke, Calderon, Carrillo, Cervantes, Chau, Chen, Chiu, Cooley, Cooper, Cunningham, Megan Dahle, Daly, Davies, Flora, Fong, Frazier, Friedman, Gabriel, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gipson, Lorena Gonzalez, Gray, Grayson, Holden, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Kalra, Kiley, Lackey, Lee, Levine, Low, Maienschein, Mathis, Mayes, McCarty, Medina, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, O’Donnell, Patterson, Petrie-Norris, Quirk, Ramos, Rendon, Reyes, Luz Rivas, Robert Rivas, Rodriguez, Blanca Rubio, Salas, Santiago, Seyarto, Smith, Stone, Ting, Valladares, Villapudua, Waldron, Ward, Akilah Weber, Wicks, and Wood)
(Coauthors: Senators Melendez and Umberg)

March 01, 2021


Relative to Republic of Korea veterans and Republic of Vietnam veterans who served in Vietnam.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AJR 10, as amended, Choi. Veterans cemeteries: Republic of Korea and Republic of Vietnam veterans.
This measure would urge the United States Congress and the President of the United States to permit states to extend burial and memorial benefits in state veterans cemeteries to Republic of Korea veterans and Republic of Vietnam veterans who served in the Vietnam War and who subsequently became United States citizens. The measure would urge the United States Congress and the President of the United States to extend the same benefits in national cemeteries.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, At the request of the United States, the Republic of Korea provided major military support to the United States during the Vietnam War, second only to the Republic of Vietnam, with approximately 320,000 Republic of Korea soldiers serving in Vietnam between 1965 and 1973; and
WHEREAS, Republic of Korea forces suffered 10,962 injured and 5,099 killed in action during the war, Vietnam War, approximately the same rate, per capita, as United States forces; and
WHEREAS, An estimated 1,700,000 Korean Americans live in the United States, with more than 31 percent calling California their home, making California the state with the highest population of Korean Americans in the country; and
WHEREAS, There are approximately 3,000 Korean American veterans of the Vietnam War who are naturalized citizens of the United States; and
WHEREAS, The Vietnam War brought about the loss of more than 250,000 members of the South Vietnamese Armed Forces and more than 58,000 members of the United States Armed Forces; and
WHEREAS, More than 1,000,000 members of the South Vietnamese Armed Forces were injured during the Vietnam War; and
WHEREAS, After the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, more than 250,000 members of the South Vietnamese Armed Forces were sent to prison camps, where many spent 18 years or more in captivity and more than 20,000 died before they were released; and
WHEREAS, The end of the Vietnam War left the South Vietnamese Armed Forces in disarray. Many military personnel and their family members fled Vietnam to escape tyrannical authoritarian rule and oppression, and hoped to find democracy and freedom in the United States and other free nations. They spent months at sea and in jungles, battling hunger, thirst, and separation from their families and loved ones; and
WHEREAS, Many of those who reached the United States found refuge in California and in various states throughout the country. They faced socioeconomic challenges, but determined to build entirely new lives here; and
WHEREAS, A citizen of the United States who, during any war that the United States has or may be engaged, served in the Armed Forces of any government allied with the United States during that war, whose last active service was terminated honorably by death or otherwise, and who was a citizen of the United States at the time of entry into service and at the time of death, is eligible for burial in a national cemetery; and
WHEREAS, In 2018, the federal government extended burial benefits in national veterans cemeteries to certain Hmong refugees who served in American-backed guerrilla units during the Vietnam War and who subsequently became naturalized United States citizens, but states are still unable to permit Hmong veterans to be buried in a state veterans cemetery without risk of losing funding from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Cemetery Grant Program; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature respectfully urges the United States Congress and the President of the United States to permit states to extend burial and memorial benefits in state veterans cemeteries to Republic of Korea veterans and Republic of Vietnam veterans who served in the Vietnam War and who subsequently became United States citizens; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature respectfully urges the United States Congress and the President of the United States to extend burial and memorial benefits in national cemeteries to Republic of Korea veterans and Republic of Vietnam veterans who served in the Vietnam War and who subsequently became United States citizens; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature stands in solidarity with Republic of Korea veterans and Republic of Vietnam veterans who served in Vietnam; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States, to the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, to each Senator and Representative from California in the United States Congress, and to the author for appropriate distribution.