A local candidate for Congress joined a group of Vietnam War veterans to the "Heroes Ball," which was held at the Mar-a-Lago Resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
Matt Quigley, the 32-year-old Naperville Republican who announced he is challenging Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, in 2020, joined a delegation of Laotian veterans who fought as allies with the U.S. The delegation is going to the event, which President Donald Trump is expected to attend, to request recognition as an ally of the U.S. during the war, according to a news release from Quigley's campaign.
Members of the delegation wanted to ask Trump to help arrange an honor flight with the U.S. Embassy in Laos. They also wanted to facilitate an open discussion about trying to improve the lives of Laotian citizens who are still facing hardships like poverty and violence.
They also are hoping to have the remains of fallen soldiers returned to their loved ones.
Quigley, a Navy veteran, and the delegation also will be joined by Michael Alfaro, a Laotian refugee advocate and Plainfield resident. Alfaro has traveled to Laos to help those affected by flash floods last summer. More than 30 people died and many more were left homeless because of those floods.
Veleve, an organization that tries to bring awareness to veterans issues, was the host for the event.