NOT ALL the soldiers in freedom's cause carry guns, or wear their country's uniform.
The war they fight is against the enemies that breed war--hunger and sickness and ignorance.
They fight this war not with bullets but by building the foundations of peace.
They advance the cause for which the soldier serves.
And when they carry on their work in the heat of armed conflict--in Vietnam or any other background--they share the soldier's risk.
American public servants in the villages and hamlets of Vietnam are helping a small nation shape its destiny. Their quiet labors are a shield against aggression's success.
But they are exposed to the hazards of a war which knows no fixed battlelines. Some have been kidnapped by the enemy. Some have been killed. Some are missing today.
The bill I sign recognizes the hardships those civilians face as they serve their country.
Here is what it does:
--It lets them go home twice a year to rejoin their families. And the Government pays the cost of the trips.
--It provides free transportation home in the event of a family emergency.
--It gives a year of convalescent leave to those injured in hostile actions. And this is not charged to their annual or sick leave.
--It provides special medical benefits for employee and his family.
These are small compensations measured against their sacrifice. But they show that America cares. They show that America has not forgotten its public servants in the State Department, AID, and USIA, whose courage and dedication to humanity are a badge of our commitment in Vietnam and the other troubled areas of the world.