Today, Commissioner Thomas Saadi joined with Lt. Governor Bysiewicz, Statewide Veteran Leaders and Hmong General Sar Phouthasack for the signing of a policy by Commissioner Saadi, the first of its kind at a state level in the nation, to provide burial rights for the Hmong and Laotian Special Guerrilla Unit Veterans residing in CT who operated in support of the U.S. military, during the War in Vietnam.
Connecticut became the first state in the nation to provide the rights after Congress enacted the Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act in 2018. The act provides Laotian and Hmong veterans deemed eligible by the Department of Veterans Affairs burial rights in the nation’s national cemeteries, excluding Arlington National Cemetery. It also allowed for states to extend burial eligibility to Laotian and Hmong veterans in state veterans cemeteries, like the one in Middletown.
The Laotian and Hmong SGU fought alongside U.S. troops in the Vietnam War, often rescuing drowned U.S. soldiers and working with the CIA.