SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Representatives Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, and Hoan Huynh, D-Chicago, are inviting Vietnam War Veterans to come and be recognized in the gallery of the Illinois House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 29th by House Resolution 104.  House Resolution 104 officially designates March 29, 2023 as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day in the State of Illinois.

“We need to always strive to give the proper recognition to our Vietnam Veterans to make up for the disrespectful way they were treated upon their return home after serving bravely and faithfully for our Country” stated Kifowit, the only female Veteran in the General Assembly. “I am honored to be able to call many Vietnam Veterans my friends”.

This year, Representative Kifowit is joined by Representative Hoan Huynh in Welcoming Home our Vietnam Veterans by the Illinois House of Representatives.  Representative Huynh, the first Illinois House Representative of Vietnamese ancestry and from a Vietnam War refugee background, is also encouraging members of the Vietnamese community who served with American Servicemembers in the South Vietnamese Military to also come and be recognized in the Illinois House gallery.

“I am proud to be the son of a South Vietnamese military officer, who served bravely alongside our American Veterans in the Vietnam War and I welcome members of the Army Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) to come and be recognized alongside the American Veterans they served with. Almost a million members of the South Vietnamese Military served proudly beside the United States Military during the 20-year war in Vietnam,” stated Huynh.  “After the fall of Saigon, hundreds of thousands of Army Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) soldiers were sent to concentration camps and perished by the new totalitarian government.  Few of the brave soldiers who served received political asylum to the United States and settled in Illinois to have an opportunity for a better life without persecution”. 

In 1965, United States Armed Forces ground combat units arrived in Vietnam, and by the end of that year, there were 80,000 United States troops in Vietnam with a peak of approximately 500,000 troops in 1969.  More than 58,000 members of the United States Armed Forces lost their lives in Vietnam, and more than 300,000 members were wounded.  The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 by the United States Congress officially recognizes March 29th as the day when the last combat troops were withdrawn from Vietnam in 1973.

This year, March 29, 2023 marks the 50th Anniversary of this withdrawal and throughout these 50 years, Veterans of the Vietnam War faithfully have served and contributed to their communities since returning home.  House Resolution 104 will be voted on during the regular session of the Illinois House on March 29, 2023 and the expected start of session is 12:00 (noon) but attendees are to arrive early to allow for security entrance.

Rep. Stephanie KifowitRep. Stephanie Kifowit

84th District

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