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KEY: stricken = old language to be removed
         underscored = new language to be added


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S.R. No. 42, as introduced: 90th Legislative Session (2017-2018) Posted on February 6, 2017

1.1A Senate resolution
1.2recognizing Colonel Bounhom Phithaksounthon for his service in the Secret
1.3War in Laos during the Vietnam War, from 1961 through 1975.
1.4WHEREAS, in 1961, President John F. Kennedy authorized the dispatch of 300 U.S. military
1.5advisors to Laos. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States began recruiting and
1.6training the Lao and Hmong highlanders as the Special Guerrilla Unit (SGU) to support America
1.7during the Vietnam War; and
1.8WHEREAS, in 1963, President Kennedy and King Savang Vatthana of Laos met at the
1.9White House, regarding the conflicts, to initiate discussions on strategies to contain the threats
1.10spreading throughout Southeast Asia; and
1.11WHEREAS, led by the prominent Hmong Leader General Vang Pao of the Royal Lao Army,
1.12who was also appointed by King Savang Vatthana, the allied fighters and SGU became best known
1.13for their heroic valor in intercepting enemy supply lines and rescuing American pilots; and
1.14WHEREAS, Hmong and Lao SGU were armed and fought valiantly in the Secret War,
1.15enduring over 35,000 killed or missing in action, with several thousand more veterans and their
1.16families perishing in Laos or fleeing across the Mekong River, to Thailand; and
1.17WHEREAS, when America withdrew from Southeast Asia, the allied forces and their families
1.18were driven out by the new Communist regime and were dispersed to many different Western
1.19countries, creating a diaspora of Hmong and Lao people, with a current population of 80,000 in
1.20Minnesota; and
1.21WHEREAS, today, we celebrate a momentous milestone with the unveiling of the Minnesota
1.22Memorial to Special Forces in Laos on the Minnesota Capitol Mall Monuments grounds, as a
1.23symbol of the journey the Hmong and Lao have made, as well as the service, sacrifice, and
1.24contributions leaders, such as Colonel Bounhom Phithaksounthon, have made to our community,
1.25state, and nation; and
1.26NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the State of Minnesota that
1.27Colonel Bounhom Phithaksounthon is recognized for his service and valor in the Secret War in
1.28Laos during the Vietnam War, on behalf of the United States of America.
1.29BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of the Senate is directed to prepare an
1.30enrolled copy of this resolution, to be authenticated by the Secretary's signature and that of the
1.31Chair of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, and transmit it to Colonel Bounhom
1.32Phithaksounthon.
JoAnne M. ZoffSecretary of the Senate Thomas M. BakkChair, Senate Committee onRules and Administration
Foung HawjState Senator, District 67

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