Hoyer, Rangel, Wexler Spearhead Effort to Grant Federal Charter to Korean War Veterans' Association

Members Fight to Give Korean War Vets the Same Status Most Similar Organizations Enjoy

For Immediate Release:

July 28, 2006

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC - Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD), Ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee Charlie Rangel (NY) and Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL), a member of the Judiciary Committee, today began an effort to put bipartisan pressure on the House Judiciary Committee to take up legislation that would grant the Korean War Veterans Association a Federal charter.

 "Korean veterans deserve this recognition," said Hoyer.  "I hope that members of both parties will join us in advocating for a Federal charter for the Korean War Veterans Association."

 "As a Korean war veteran myself in my mid-seventies, I feel a particular urgency to have the Congress provide this recognition now while those who fought are with us to enjoy the nation's appreciation of their service and before more of our number pass away," said Rangel.

 "America is a great nation today because of the extraordinary sacrifices and unwavering commitment of the brave men and women who served in our armed forces," said Wexler. "As we recognize the 53d Anniversary Observance of the Signing of the Korean War Ceasefire, it is essential that the Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) receive the same recognition of a federal charter as other veteran organizations that have been granted this designation.  Granting KWVA this charter would symbolize Congressional support and appreciation for those brave Americans who fought in the Korean War and who helped secure democracy and freedom for our nation and allies in East Asia.  I am exceedingly proud and eternally grateful to all of our nation's veterans, and I believe it is time for the Korean War Veterans Association to be granted their federal charter, which is long overdue."

 Last year, on the 52nd anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement, Hoyer introduced H.R. 3476, a bill that would grant the Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) a Federal charter - enabling KWVA to expand its mission and further its charitable and benevolent causes.  KWVA, comprised exclusively of Korean War Veterans, has over 25,000 members and is one of the few such organizations of its size without a Federal charter.  Both Reps. Rangel and Wexler are co-sponsors of H.R. 3476.

 Hoyer, Rangel and Wexler today began collecting signatures on a letter to Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) asking him to "allow the Judiciary Committee to act to bring this legislation, which has 126 bipartisan cosponsors, to the House floor."

"Granting this Federal charter, at no cost to the government, is a small expression of our appreciation for the extraordinary courage and sacrifice of our forces in Korea and will afford the Association the same status as other major veteran organizations," the letter reads. 

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