This Congress, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, introduced a bill to authorize the burial in U.S. national cemeteries of those who “served in combat support” of U.S. forces in Laos between 1961 and 1975. Because the Hmong veterans were not formally members of the U.S. military, they are currently ineligible for national cemeteries, including Arlington. Among the potential problems is the question of how to verify service in a covert war.
The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee is slated to consider the bill next week, and similar House legislation will be introduced by Costa.
“How do we give back,” Vietnam veteran Grant McClure asked, “to a people who gave everything?”