Press Release

October 25, 2002

No. 02-20

(301) 585-4000
Mokie Porter


(Washington, D.C.) - Vietnam Veterans of America is shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN), his wife, his daughter, and others in a plane crash in Minnesota.

"Senator Wellstone has been a strong and vocal supporter of veterans’ issues," said VVA National President Thomas H. Corey. "His leadership will be missed, and all veterans are grateful for his passionate support over the years." 

Wellstone was first elected to the Senate in 1990 and was re-elected in 1996. He was seeking his third term when his small plane crashed in bad weather, killing five others in addition to Wellstone and his family.

In 2001 Wellstone led the fight for passage of Public Law 107-95, the Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Assistance Act of 2001, which he sponsored. The bill was stalled in Congress and Senator Wellstone held his ground and did not agree to any Senate conferences or bills until this legislation was passed in the Senate. He succeeded in his efforts and the first comprehensive legislation to assist homeless veterans was passed and signed by the President.

“Paul Wellstone was one of the most thoughtful and vocal advocates for veterans’ affairs," Corey said. "His leadership, skill, and impassioned pleas for justice for America's veterans will stand as a testament to his devotion to our country and those who defend it.  

“If not for Senator Wellstone’s tenacious leadership and dogged determination, the veterans exposed to ionizing radiation would never have gotten any redress. Senator Wellstone was one who supported veterans when it was tough and spent political capital to assist securing justice for veterans.” 


Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

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