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Strickland Honors Local Vietnam Veterans

November 24, 2021

Congresswoman Strickland greets and thanks Vietnam veterans for their service.

Olympia, Washington — During National Veterans and Military Families Month, Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) hosted a Vietnam Veterans Pinning Ceremony to honor local veterans in partnership with the US Vietnam Veterans Pin Commission. During the ceremony, Strickland recognized the service of each veteran or their surviving family member, and presented honorees with a ceremonial lapel pin as a symbol of our immense gratitude for their service to our country. The pinning ceremony is part of an ongoing national effort to honor all Vietnam War period veterans who served from November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975.

“As the daughter of a veteran who served in two wars, I know that military families and veterans deserve our deepest respect and gratitude,” Strickland said. “During National Veterans and Military Families Month and as we approach the season of giving thanks, it is my honor to recognize ten Vietnam veterans and their families for their extraordinary service and sacrifice. Our nation and our community owes each of these local heroes a debt of gratitude.”

Please find a list of the Vietnam veterans Congresswoman Strickland honored at the ceremony below.

Leroy Painter-Smith 
Marrianne Backous (receiving the on behalf of her father, Henry Backous)
William Backous
Steven Brklycica
Lois Simko
Larry Grubb 
Donald Baker 
Roy Rhoades
Steven “Chauncey” Bradley
Walter Simonsen
Jeff Dunlap

Strickland has made helping veterans a top priority in Congress. She currently serves as a HillVets House Ambassador, committing to helping veterans seek a “second service” career in policy, publicly supports their fellowship program, and considers their fellows for initial placement and permanent positions within their office. Strickland introduced the HOMES For Our Veterans Act which reduces barriers and makes it easier for organizations who provide homes and services to veterans experiencing  homelessness to access federal capital grants. Strickland has also led numerous bipartisan letters urging the VA to improve veterans’ access to health care, including addressing issues with the VA’s Community Care program.

In 2007, the United States Congress passed legislation to conduct a nationwide program commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The program was launched in 2012 by President Barack Obama and concludes on Veterans Day in 2025, marking 50 years from the Vietnam War’s end in 1975. As part of that program, the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration and its Commemorative Partners like Trahan have partnered together to honor the 6.2 million Vietnam veterans living at home and abroad, as well as the 9 million families of all who served.

Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland serves as Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and is the only African-American woman who serves on the House Armed Services Committee. She is one of the first Korean-American women elected to Congress and the first African-American to represent the Pacific Northwest at the federal level.