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New bill seeks US care for Korean veterans of Vietnam War living in US

The captured image from a Youtube channel shows Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) speaking in a virtual hearing of the House Veterans Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Health in Washington on Thursday. (Captured from Youtube)
The captured image from a Youtube channel shows Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) speaking in a virtual hearing of the House Veterans Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Health in Washington on Thursday. (Captured from Youtube)
A bill recently submitted to Congress seeks to provide US benefits for Korean veterans who fought alongside their US allies in Vietnam, Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) said Thursday.

The bill, named the Korean American Vietnam Allies Long Overdue for Relief (VALOR) Act, seeks to entitle "certain veterans who served in the armed forces of the Republic of Korea to hospital and domiciliary care and medical services through the Department of Veterans Affairs," according to Takano, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, who authored the bill.

The bill was submitted to the House Veterans Affairs Committee on Jan. 6, and has since been referred to the subcommittee on health.

"The Korean (American) VALOR Act would correct a decades-long gap in VA's allied beneficiary program, and begin to rectify significant inequalities between our European and Asian allies living in the United States," he said in a hearing held earlier Thursday by the subcommittee.

Takano noted veterans of allied countries of the US in World War I and World War II who have become US citizens have been provided with US care for the past 63 years.

In 2019 alone, 1,022 allied veterans, 851 of whom were under the age of 65 and thus were not directly involved in the two world wars, received care provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, simply because they were from countries allied with the US in the world wars, he noted.

Takano estimated there were about 3,000 South Korean veterans of the Vietnam now living in the United States as American citizens.

"These Korean American veterans would just want to be treated fairly and I say that is the least this Congress can do," he said. (Yonhap)

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