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Resolution to affirm Khmer soldiers

Published (3/9/2012)
By Sue Hegarty
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The Khmer Freedom Fighters of Cambodia supported and defended U.S. military troops during the Vietnam War, yet the U.S. government has never officially recognized them as U.S. veterans, although many became naturalized citizens.

Rep. Bruce Anderson (R-Buffalo Township) sponsors HF2629, a resolution that would allow the state to officially recognize the Khmer Freedom Fighters and the Cambodian people for their support and defense of U.S. military forces. The resolution also urges the U.S. President, Congress and all other state legislatures to do the same.

The House Veterans Services Division approved the resolution March 5 and referred it to the House floor. The companion, SF2314, sponsored by Sen. Mike Parry (R-Waseca) awaits action by the Senate State Government Innovation and Veterans Committee. Thirty-seven Khmer Freedom Fighter representatives were on hand to witness the division’s approval.

The soldiers fought alongside American soldiers to defend the rights of Cambodians and became American refugees after the war. Today, about 8,000 of these freedom fighters and their descendants live in Minnesota.

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