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Senator Delivered Speech on Senate Floor Last Week Kicking-Off Series to Recognize & Honor the Lives of 198 KIA/MIA Vietnam Servicemembers from ND

BISMARCK, N.D. – As part of her push to recognize North Dakota servicemembers who gave their lives in the Vietnam War, U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today met with Bismarck High School students to discuss their new collaborative effort to gather information and stories of these fallen men in efforts to honor their sacrifice and service to our nation.

Last week, Heitkamp delivered her first in a series of weekly speeches on the Senate floor to remember the brave North Dakotans who were lost during the Vietnam War. During each speech, Heitkamp will discuss the lives of approximately 10 to 15 of these former servicemembers, incorporating information and stories gathered by the Bismarck High School students. More than 150 eleventh-graders from history and English classes are reaching out to family members of these soldiers, veterans service organizations, and even veterans who served alongside these fallen North Dakotans. Heitkamp and the students discussed their joint research efforts to collect information and the importance of their work as the nation remembers the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Joining Heitkamp in the discussion was Jean Kraft, the sister of Brent Sveen from Harwood, North Dakota who gave his life in the Vietnam War at the age of 18 years old.

“I’m so proud of the students here at Bismarck High School for their commitment to honoring the fallen North Dakotans from the Vietnam War and I can’t thank these students enough for partnering with me to help tell the stories of the servicemembers who gave their lives for our country,” said Heitkamp. “It’s very telling that they are taking the time to learn about America’s history and the strong history of military service in North Dakota, and gain a deeper understanding about those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. As I continue to speak each week on the Senate floor about our fallen servicemembers, I’ll be able to incorporate much of the research these students are doing, so together we can honor the lives of these 198 young men and their families for their incredible service.”

To view Heitkamp’s new webpage dedicated to honoring North Dakota’s KIA and MIA Vietnam servicemembers – including her speech on the Senate floor last week – click here. The website will be updated each week with all of Heitkamp’s speeches on the Senate floor about these servicemembers. A copy of a poster recognizing these fallen men can also be found here.

Shortly after joining the Senate, Heitkamp conducted a statewide listening tour, meeting with veterans across the state and discussing their concerns to better understand the challenges many of them face and how she can help fulfill the government’s responsibility to honor our commitments to those who stood up for us.

Last June, Heitkamp hosted a Native American Veterans Summit in Bismarck. She brought together top Administration officials, including U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Native veterans, community leaders, and VA and Indian Health Service officials to engage in an open dialogue about the challenges veterans face – especially for those living in rural areas – and what can be done to correct them.

After hearing from too many veterans about the obstacles in getting access to needed services and benefits, including at her Native American Veterans Summit, Heitkamp introduced her Connect with Veterans Act to better connect our nation’s new veterans with the services, resources, and benefits that are available in their communities.

Retrieved from Sen. Heitkamp's website
Published March 16, 2015

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