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WASHINGTON –On the 57th anniversary of the start of the Korean War, U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) today introduced bipartisan legislation to grant a federal charter to the Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA), a non-profit fraternal veterans’ organization.
“Korean War veterans deserve the same official federal recognition for their struggles and sacrifices on behalf of freedom that other veterans enjoy,” said Congressman Hoyer. “Granting this Federal Charter is a small expression of appreciation our nation can offer these brave men and women and represents a critical step in ensuring that the 'Forgotten War' is forgotten no more.”
“The Korean War is often referred to as the ‘forgotten’ war. This legislation would let the nearly 1.2 million American veterans of the Korean War who are still alive know that we have not forgotten them, and we honor the sacrifice they made for our nation,” said Senator Cardin.
“It's about time those who served in the Korean War enjoy the same mark of distinction and national recognition as those who came home from World War II. I can't think of a better way to honor our patriots from Korea,” mentioned Johnson, a 29-year Air Force veteran. During the Korean War, Johnson flew 62 combat missions in his F-86, stationed just 25 miles away from the front lines. In his plane named for his wife, Shirley's Texas Tornado, Johnson scored one MiG fighter kill, one probable and one damaged.
Louis Dechert, President of the Korean War Veterans Association, said, “We strongly support this legislation and are grateful to Senator Cardin and Congressmen Hoyer and Johnson for all their efforts on behalf of the nation’s Korean War veterans.”
The KWVA is the only fraternal veterans’ organization in the Unites States devoted exclusively to Korean War veterans and the only U.S. member of the International Federation of Korean War Veterans Association. Incorporated in 1985, the 20,000-member charitable association also is one of the few veterans’ service organizations in America that has not been recognized with a federal charter.