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American GI Person of the Century

April 10, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The House on Monday declared the American GI the ``person of the century,″ saying American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines had led the struggle for freedom and democracy from World War I to the NATO efforts in Kosovo.

The resolution, introduced by Rep. Robin Hayes, R-N.C. passed 397-0.

``It’s more than fitting that the Congress of the United States recognize our nation’s men and women in uniform for their contributions,″ said Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri, top Democrat on the Armed Service Committee. ``The American GI changed the course of world history in helping defeat fascism and communism.″

``There’s not a region of the world whose people have not benefited from the presence of the American GIs in the 20th century,″ said Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif.

Thompson, who served in the Army during the Vietnam War, also sponsored a resolution, passed 399-0, honoring members of the Armed Forces and federal civilians who served in Vietnam during America’s 1961-1975 involvement in the conflict.

The resolution, marking the 25th anniversary of America’s withdrawal from Vietnam, urges the nation to recognize the service and sacrifice of the 3 million American military personnel who were stationed in Southeast Asia.

This recognition is needed, said Rep. Steven Kuykendall, R-Calif., a Marine during the Vietnam war, because ``our veterans became an easy target for those who questioned our participation in Vietnam and as a country we turned our back on them.″


The ``person of the century″ bill is H.Con.Res. 282.

The Vietnam war bill is H.Con.Res. 228.

On the Net: The text of the bills: http://thomas.loc.gov/

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