HB 56 would honor Hmong-American veterans

Legislation pass by the Alaska House would establish May 15 as Hmong-American Veterans Day, recognizing Hmong people who fought alongside U.S. troops during the Vietnam War.

House Bill 56, sponsored by Rep. Geran Tarr, D-Anchorage, celebrating the Hmong who were lost and acknowledging their sacrifices to the United States, passed the House 38-1 and now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Beginning in the 1960s, the U.S. government recruited Hmong to help right communism. After the U.S. withdrew from Vietnam, Hmong people were targeted, and many were displaced from their home countries. Today there are an estimated 260,000 Hmong Americans, including some 3,500 living in Alaska.

“Many in my generation have received tribute for our service, but this legislation is important as it makes sure Hmong veterans are also honored and recognized for their critical contributions,” said Rep. Laddie Shaw, R-Anchorage, a retired Navy SEAL who served in Vietnam.