Amodei Fights for Proper Recognition of Vietnam Helicopter Pilots and Crew Killed in Action
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Logan Ramsey, 202-225-6155
WASHINGTON,D.C.– Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-02) testified Thursday before the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee in support of his bill, the Vietnam Helicopter Crew Memorial Act (H.R. 4298), legislation which would place a memorial in Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) to honor the nearly 5,000 pilots and crew members who died in combat missions while serving in the Vietnam War.
“ANC is a phenomenal and unique national treasure, and this application is a phenomenal and unique memorial request,” said Rep. Amodei. “These casualties account for almost ten percent of the casualties in the ‘Helicopter War’, and that doesn’t just include pilots, that includes crew members, medics, and servicemen from all branches of the Military. A joint sacrifice such as this is worthy of proper recognition, but the process has failed these veterans.
“A working standard that doesn’t allow a worthy application to make that grade, is a working standard, quite frankly, that needs a little bit of help. While this legislation may not change the process, it would ensure that a group of American heroes, who are more than worthy of a memorial, receive the recognition they deserve. I am proud to support this group of veterans and appreciate the Subcommittee’s consideration.”
Click here or on the image below for Congressman Amodei’s full remarks.
The Vietnam War was the first in which the United States Military relied heavily on helicopters for transportation and combat. These pilots and crew members touched every aspect of efforts during the war, serving as transportation for soldiers and civilians, and providing critical battlefield support. However, there is currently no national monument honoring the heroic efforts of the nearly 5,000 pilots and crew members who died while serving in what has commonly become known as the “Helicopter War”.
In 2015, the year of the 50th Commemoration of the Vietnam War, the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) submitted a proposal for such memorial to be placed in Arlington National Cemetery (ANC). However, the Secretary of the Army declined the proposal and instead granted the VHPA a tree marker – which has never been used to honor a common sacrifice of this magnitude – citing the necessity of using available land for grave space. After the proposal was denied, a course of legislative action to honor the pilots and crew members that died in combat became necessary.
H.R. 4298, the Vietnam Helicopter Crew Memorial Act, seeks to honor these veterans by placing a memorial in ANC which properly recognizes their common act of valor and sacrifice. The memorial will be at no cost to the taxpayer and will be fully funded by the VHPA.