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VVA Urges for Balanced Approach and Equal Treatment in U.S.-funded Program to Recover Vietnamese MIAs
VVA Supports Leadership Efforts by U.S. Senators Leahy and Webb to Ensure Equality
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Voice of Vietnamese Americans strongly urges for fair and equal treatment in a U.S.-funded program that was tasked to recover the remains of fallen soldiers during the Vietnam War. Congress allocated $1 million for the program in the FY2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act, specifying that the funds be used "for the purpose of locating and identifying Vietnamese MIAs from both sides of the conflict."
“U.S. foreign assistance supporting this endeavor is a great symbol of America’s humanity,” Genie Nguyen, VVA president, said. “Equally important, this humanitarian effort advances the healing of wounds of loved ones and of those who have endured the horrible experience of war.”
VVA sincerely thanks Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) for their commitment and their leadership to ensure that U.S. Agency in International Development (USAID) clarify and ensure a balanced approach in the treatment of all fallen soldiers during the Vietnam War, which include the North Vietnamese Army, the Viet Cong, and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN).
In a Sept. 22 press release by Sen. Webb’s office, the senator from Virginia, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee, said the proposed program “could serve as a valuable opportunity to further the goal of reconciliation - but only if it is carried out with proper respect for all who fought, and not simply for one side or the other.”
Senator Leahy, chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, said, “I am encouraged by the progress USAID and the Government of Vietnam have made on a work plan, and as the sponsor of these funds I certainly agree with Senator Webb that the program should respect the dead equally, be they former North or South Vietnamese.”
Voice of Vietnamese Americans is grateful for members of the U.S. Senate for their continuing support and work in the Vietnamese American community. VVA will continue to follow the proposed USAID program to see it that it is thoroughly implemented as planned -- with fairness and equality.