IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release

September 23, 2003

No. 03-38

Contact:
Mokie Porter

Sunway Hotel-Hanoi
971-3888


Vietnam Veterans of America Applaud
Cooperation of Vietnamese

 

(Hanoi) – In a ceremony today marking ten years of cooperation, Vietnam Veterans of America recognized Vietnamese agencies and individuals who have assisted in resolving the fates of Vietnamese and American missing as a result of the Vietnam War. 

"We are grateful for the assistance of Vietnamese witnesses who have come forward with information that has helped in the recovery of Americans missing from the Vietnam War," said Thomas H. Corey, national president of Vietnam Veterans of America, as he prepared to recognize those who have worked together on the Veterans Initiative. "They have responded as have American veterans when asked to provide information on missing soldiers from the Vietnam War. 

"The Veterans Initiative, an historic veteran-to-veteran effort, unites both Vietnamese and Americans in a historic effort to resolve the lingering issue of missing on both sides of the war. 

The Veterans Initiative began ten years ago as a gesture of goodwill by VVA representatives who accompanied a congressional delegation to Vietnam to discuss the POW/MIA issue in May 1993.  

When asked by Vietnamese representatives if we would help locate information on the fate of over 300,000 Vietnamese who remain missing as a result of the war, VVA representatives offered to solicit information from American Vietnam War veterans. 

Since that time American veterans have delivered information on the fate of over 8,000 missing Vietnamese. In response, Vietnamese people have expanded their effort to obtain information about missing Americans. 

"We would not be here today without the increased cooperation and support of the Vietnamese and American agencies who have worked on this issue for years," Corey said.  

"This work has been done with the cooperation of many different organizations and agencies to include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vietnam Office of Seeking Missing Persons, Ministry of Defense, Veterans Association of Vietnam, Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations, Vietnam-USA Society, Joint Task Force-Full Accounting, Central Identification Laboratory-Hawaii, Defense Prisoner of War and Missing In Action Office, and VVA. 

"As veterans we are united by our efforts to bring resolution to this and other post-war issues for Vietnamese and American families. Though we were on opposite sides during the war, our common goal now is to achieve the fullest possible accounting for all who remain missing as well as other issues from the war," Corey said. 

"This ceremony is a recognition of our ten-year collaboration to find answers and bring some measure of peace to American and Vietnamese families. 

"We recognize the people of Vietnam who have assisted in the recovery of remains, assisting the Vietnam Office of Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP) and the Joint Task Force-Full Accounting (JTF-FA)," Corey concluded. 

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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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