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Senate OKs Gallegly Bill to Honor Vietnam Vets

May 26, 2000|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

A bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Simi Valley) to create a plaque honoring Vietnam veterans who died during peacetime from service-related injuries, such as exposure to Agent Orange or post-traumatic stress syndrome, won unanimous approval in the Senate on Thursday.

Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.) had drafted a similar bill but decided to move Gallegly's bill instead so it could pass before Memorial Day. Gallegly's bill was approved by the House on May 9.

The final bill will now go to President Clinton for approval.

"Hopefully, by Memorial Day 2001, the families of those veterans will have a place in our nation's capital where their loved one's sacrifice is honored and recognized for future generations," Gallegly said in a written statement.

If approved, the bill would allow a plaque to be placed at the 13-acre Vietnam War Memorial site in Washington. The plaque, to be paid for through private funding, would be between 6 and 18 square feet, officials said.

The design would be decided on by the American Battle Monument Commission, Gallegly said. The plaque would not contain the names of those who died in service, as the war memorial does.

The idea of the plaque is supported by the Vietnam Veterans of Ventura County.

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