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Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Law Signed
Press Release
March 30, 2011
 
SALEM – Surrounded by approximately 50 veterans, Gov. John Kitzhaber today signed Senate Bill 74 that designates March 30 as "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day."
 
The legislation finally honors Vietnam veterans and is part of a national effort to acknowledge the men and women of the Vietnam War who were denied this recognition and welcome upon returning home.
 
"It is an effort  small, but significant, to rectify that," said the Governor as he addressed a room packed with Vietnam veterans about how they were not welcomed home the way they should have been.
 
In a unifying fashion, SB 74 unanimously passed the Senate and House with strong supporters on both sides of the aisle. This support is a reflection of the sentiment felt by the general public and affects approximately 120,000 Vietnam veterans in Oregon.
 
"We did not dedicate the World War II memorial to veterans until 2006. But warriors don't go to war for memorials," said Jim Willis, Director of the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs and a Vietnam veteran.  "You go to war for the man on your left, the man on your right, the one behind you."
 
Willis is responsible for introducing this legislation in Oregon.  California passed a Vietnam Veterans Day memorial last year and then asked the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs to consider doing the same in their states.
 
The U.S. Senate also has passed a resolution designating March 30 as "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day."
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