Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Boehner Statement on the 50th Anniversary of the First U.S. Combat Losses in Vietnam

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement on the loss 50 years ago today of U.S. Army Master Sergeant Chester Ovnand and Major Dale Buis, who were killed in a Vietcong ambush in Bien Hoa. They served as part of the Military Assistance Advisory Group, originally deployed in 1950 by President Harry Truman. Theirs are the first two names listed on the Vietnam Wall.

“America’s involvement in Southeast Asia began not long after the dawn of the Cold War and lasted a quarter century. Ultimately, 58,261 American troops gave their lives in Vietnam defending freedom in the long struggle against totalitarian communism. The heroism and dedication displayed by American and allied forces in Vietnam are a profound and unique testimony in the history of military arms. America’s success in the Cold War and our ongoing success in the War on Terror are directly attributable to the military, logistical, and technological advancements made by our war fighters deployed in Vietnam. Their sacrifices in the jungles, battlefields, and skies over Vietnam ultimately gave the U.S. military a superior edge in every facet of combat arms.

“The freedom and liberty Americans enjoy today were secured in Vietnam no less than in any of our other military conflicts. As we mark today this solemn milestone of the loss of Master Sergeant Ovnand and Major Buis, let us always remember the courage and bravery of all those lost in Vietnam and honor the service of every Vietnam veteran who volunteered or answered their nation’s call.”

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