(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
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.”