Bristol’s Welch, Nicastro: Vietnam Vets Diplomas Measure Advances

May 24, 2013

Rep. Frank Nicastro and Sen. Jason Welch today applauded the state legislature’s successful bipartisan passage of a measure to honor Vietnam-era veterans who left school early to join the armed forces.

The bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

The bill, which Nicastro and Welch are co-sponsoring, would allow the state’s Commissioner of Education to issue an honorary high school diploma to any veteran who did not complete high school due to service in the armed forces during the Vietnam era.

“Large numbers of young men and women quit high school to serve in Vietnam,” Rep. Nicastro said. “Many came home with serious injuries from fighting for our freedom and the least we can do is to pay our respects and recognize those lost high school years and the sacrifices they have made.”

“Some 80,000 Connecticut residents served in Vietnam and 612 of them were killed in action,” Sen. Welch said. “These men and women served their country honorably, and this measure aims to show our Vietnam vets the respect and appreciation they deserve. It is another way for us to say ‘thank you’, and it will help to recognize the sacrifices they made for each of us.”

The proposal is similar to a measure the legislators supported in 2011 which allowed boards of education to award high school diplomas to veterans of the Korean War who left school early to enlist in the armed forces in service to their country. That bill is now law.

Rep. Nicastro serves as Vice-Chair of the legislature’s Veterans Affairs Committee and Sen. Welch serves as the committee’s Ranking Member.