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Gov. Larry Hogan signed the first bill of his administration Monday--a measure welcoming home Maryland's Vietnam veterans and establishing March 30 as an annual commemorative day to honor them.

Flanked by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch,  who helped speed the measure to the governor by unanimous approval in both chambers, Hogan grinned broadly as he fixed his signature to the legislation.

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Hogan, the presiding officers and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford were joined at the ceremony by dozens of Vietnam-era veterans and sponsors of the legislation:  Sen. John C. Astle of Anne Arundel County and Del. C. T. Wilson of Charles County. Astle is a Vietnam veteran, while Wilson is House chairman of the General Assembly's veterans caucus.

"I couldn't be more proud to have my first bill signing be one that honors Vietnam veterans," Hogan said. "Making sure all our veterans receive the support and gratitude they deserve will always be a priority of our administration."

Marylanders made up 1,014 of the 58,000 members of the armed forces who were killed in Vietnam.

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