LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – It ended more than 40 years ago, but veterans of the Vietnam War still live with the effects of serving their country. Hmong-Lao veterans entered the U.S. as refugees and were not given the same treatment or benefits as U.S.born veterans.
More than 1,000 Hmong-Lao veterans are living in Wisconsin. Many are right here in La Crosse.
Those who fought alongside U.S. troops in the Vietnam War weren’t deemed official veterans because they weren’t fighting specifically for the U.S. military. Now new legislation is hoping to change the definition of a veteran to include them in state benefits.
Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) along with Representative Amanda Stuck (D-Appleton) are introducing legislation to expand the definition of a veteran in Wisconsin statue to include individuals who have honorably served in these Special Guerilla Units (SGUs).