Legacies of War Recognition and UXO Removal Act

Posted: Sep 24, 2020

Legacies of War Recognition and UXO Removal Act


Check out what people are saying about this historic bill for SE Asia!

“As a child in Laos, I was taught to walk on well-worn paths to avoid unexploded bombs left over from the Secret War my parents survived. Today, I’m proud to lead Legacies of War’s efforts to support bomb clearance and survivor assistance so that children can live and play in safety. We are thankful to Senator Baldwin’s leadership for introducing the Legacies of War Recognition and Unexploded Ordnance Removal Act. This tragic legacy must end so that new ones may begin.”– Sera Koulabdara, Executive Director, Legacies of War

“During the “Secret War,” I was witness to the terrible destruction brought to Laos from the air and on the ground. During that time, I worked with the U.S.-recruited Hmong forces. They fought shoulder-to-shoulder and flew wing-tip-to-wing-tip with us. The sacrifices the made have on behalf of the US, have never been properly recognized and I appreciate Senator Baldwin’s leadership in introducing the Legacies of War Recognition and Unexploded Ordnance Removal Act. This act will help Legacies of War’s untiring efforts to assist victims of U.S. bombing in Laos and elsewhere in Southeast Asia to find new hope for the future.” – Mike Burton, U.S. Air Force (ret)

“The global MAG team is thrilled that this historic Bill is being introduced, and we welcome the increased commitment to addressing the explosive legacy of war in Southeast Asia. This Bill will help bring a lasting peace to communities living with the daily threat from explosive remnants of a conflict that ended more than 40 years ago. We are grateful for Senator Tammy Baldwin’s leadership in introducing this crucial legislation.” – Jamie Franklin, Executive Director, Mines Advisory Group (MAG)

“While the Vietnam War has been over for decades, U.S. legacy ordnance from this conflict and other explosive contamination continues to plague communities in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. We at HALO are grateful for Senator Tammy Baldwin’s leadership in introducing the Legacies of War Recognition and Unexploded Ordnance Removal Act, and hope to see this crucial legislation enacted.”  Chris Whatley, Executive Director of The HALO Trust (USA)

“As a Hmong child refugee myself, I know firsthand the horrors of the Secret War. My dad served during the Secret War, and he often reminded us that the Secret War was a graveyard. The Secret War’s impact has left many soldiers in depression and family like ours in fear for years.

We were lucky to escape to America and be in a safe place. However, horror dreams remain in many of the soldier’s lives.

As a Hmong leader serving the community, I have heard stories that the Hmong and other Southeast Asian war survivors do not get the recognition that they deserved in defending America. I truly believe that this recognition would be a powerful message to the people of Southeast Asian descent and war survivors.

I applaud Senator Baldwin’s leadership and commitment to helping our Hmong and Southeast American communities strengthen our relationship and healing those that felt unappreciated. I hope this is the last step of a long-term commitment and friendships with our U.S. Government leaders and the People of Laos.”  Long Lor, Board President of the Hmong American Center, Inc., Wausau, WI

“Dear Senator Baldwin,

I am writing to you today about an issue that is very important to the furtherance of human rights and of direct importance to many of your constituents – the many thousands of families that have immigrated to Wisconsin from Southeast Asia. 

Specifically, I am thanking you for introducing the “Legacies of War Recognition and Unexploded Ordnance Removal Act.”

This issue has particular importance to me as I have traveled throughout Southeast Asia and can see firsthand the catastrophic impacts of our prolonged war against Viet Nam and its impacts on the neighboring countries of Cambodia and Laos.

I have traveled to Phnom Penh in Cambodia and to the hill country of Laos where the residents have suffered terrible losses as a result of our secret wars in Southeast Asia.  It is not at all uncommon to see local residents missing limbs from mines that have exploded in the years long removed from our active engagement in war with Viet Nam.  Visitors to the hill country in Laos are warned to not deviate from marked trails as they may encounter unexploded mines. 

The ongoing dangers and the U.S. involvement in creating this hazard continue to this day.  We, as a nation, have shirked our moral responsibility to correct this horrible mistake.  A starting point would be for the U.S. government to live up to its responsibility to help remove these unexploded ordnance and to assist in the recovery of those who have helped the U.S. effort in Southeast Asia.

I thank you for your strong leadership in introducing this historic Bill.”  Steve Hiniker, Community Activist, Madison, WI



Category: Legacies News, News