Today, Congressman Tom Tiffany (WI-07) and Glenn Grothman (WI-06), joined by the entire Wisconsin Congressional delegation, introduced the Hmong Congressional Gold Medal Act to honor the distinguished service of the Hmong people in the fight against communism throughout the Vietnam War. The bill has a total of 38 bipartisan cosponsors.
"We are lucky to have so many Hmong people call Wisconsin home, and we owe it to the Hmong veterans that fearlessly served in the fight against communism to give them the distinction and support they deserve," said Congressman Tiffany. "The Hmong Congressional Gold Medal Act would give our Hmong veterans the recognition they deserve by awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to those who honorably served in the Vietnam War."
"I cannot emphasize the degree to which the Hmong community played a key role in fighting back against the evils of communism. The Hmong people fought alongside American troops and risked their lives in the name of the principles and freedoms promoted by the United States. Now, we are incredibly lucky to call the Hmong our neighbors in Wisconsin and communities across the country. I am glad that both sides of the aisle have come together to recognize the significant role played by Hmong Americans' in the Vietnam War and the fight against communism on the world stage," said Congressman Grothman.
"The service of Hmong individuals who bravely served our country when called deserves to be recognized. I look forward to voting for this bill when it comes to the floor," said Congressman Pocan.
"During the Vietnam War, The Hmong people played an important and heroic role in supporting US efforts against Communist expansion, disrupting the communist North Vietnamese on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, guarding U.S. installations, providing intelligence, and rescuing downed American pilots in enemy territory. I'm proud to cosponsor the Hmong Congressional Gold Medal Act to acknowledge the service of the Hmong people to defeat communism and their continued service to protect democratic values in America today," said Congressman Gallagher.
"The Hmong were critical partners to U.S. service members during the Vietnam War, putting their lives on the line through heroic efforts, including gathering intelligence and saving U.S. pilots," said Congresswoman Moore. "After the war, many Hmong refugees settled in Wisconsin, rebuilt their lives, and have become a vibrant part of the economic life of our communities. I am thankful to represent a district which has been a welcoming place for many refugees, and home to a large, thriving Hmong community and pleased to support this important legislation to make sure that their sacrifice is not forgotten."
Representative Tiffany and Grothman are joined by Representatives Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Ron Kind (D-WI), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Bryan Steil (R-WI), Kevin Brady (R-TX), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Kat Cammack (R-FL), Judy Chu (D-CA), Mark Takano (D-CA), Brian Mast (R-FL), Scott Peters (D-CA), Pat Fallon (R-TX), Andy Harris (R-MD), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Peter Meijer (R-MI), Jody Hice (R-GA), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Greg Stanton (D-AZ), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Lou Correa (D-CA), Al Lawson (D-FL), Jim Banks (R-IN), Tom Emmer (R-MN), August Pfluger (R-TX), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Jason Smith (R-MO), Michelle Steel (R-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Jim Baird (R-IN), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Dan Meuser (R-PA), and Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ).
As the Vietnam War spread south in Laos, the CIA recruited and trained Hmong tribesmen to fight back against the communist North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao. Throughout the course of the war, over 30,000 Hmong aided combat efforts by fighting on the ground, flying combat missions, and gathering intelligence on North Vietnamese troops.
Of the estimated 327,000 Hmong living in the United States, nearly 60,000 call Wisconsin home, making up the third-largest Hmong population in the nation.
The Hmong Congressional Gold Medal Act would recognize the Hmong people for their vital contributions in helping the U.S. fight the great war against communism in Vietnam.
In October 2021, Tiffany and Grothman, along with the Wisconsin delegation, introduced a resolution to recognize the cultural and historical significance of the Hmong New Year.