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2017 Special Session
2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
Life and public service of Melvin Robert Laird
Preliminary Draft - Not Ready For Introduction
August 14, 2017 - Introduced by Representatives Shankland, Barca, Krug,
VanderMeer, Kulp, Ballweg, Ripp, Mursau, Spiros, Edming, Snyder, Allen,
Anderson, Berceau, Considine, Hintz, Jarchow, Kuglitsch, Murphy, Pope,
Sargent, Sinicki, Spreitzer, Subeck, Tauchen, Vruwink, Wachs and Zepnick,
cosponsored by Senators Testin, Tiffany, Shilling, Cowles, Petrowski,
Moulton, Olsen, Carpenter, Johnson, Nass, Risser, Wirch and Marklein.
Referred to Committee on Rules.
AJR70,1,1 1Relating to: the life and public service of Melvin Robert Laird.
AJR70,1,32 Whereas, former Congressman and Secretary of Defense Melvin Robert Laird
3was born on September 1, 1922, and died on November 16, 2016; and
AJR70,1,64 Whereas, Melvin Laird was born to Melvin R. Laird Sr. and Helen (Connor)
5Laird, was raised and attended school in Marshfield, and graduated from Carleton
6College in Minnesota; and
AJR70,1,97 Whereas, Mr. Laird served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946, serving in the
8Pacific Fleet with Task Forces 38 and 58, and while serving, he received a Purple
9Heart and other awards; and
AJR70,2,210 Whereas, after leaving the Navy, Mr. Laird continued to pursue a life of public
11service, first being elected in 1946 to succeed his father in the Wisconsin State
12Senate, then being elected in 1952 to represent Wisconsin's 7th District in the House

1of Representatives, which included the areas of Marshfield, Wausau, Wisconsin
2Rapids, and Stevens Point; and
AJR70,2,73 Whereas, as a Congressman, Mr. Laird was reelected eight consecutive times,
4developing a reputation as a key member on medical and health issues, and
5sponsoring legislation for major expansions of the National Institutes of Health and
6the Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta, in addition to supporting cancer
7research centers around the country; and
AJR70,2,118 Whereas, Mr. Laird was selected by President Richard M. Nixon to serve as the
9Secretary of Defense, a role in which he confronted American challenges in Vietnam
10through the development of “Vietnamization,” a program to train and equip South
11Vietnam's forces for combat while reducing U.S. combat troops; and
AJR70,2,1512 Whereas, as Secretary of Defense, Mr. Laird worked to decentralize
13decision-making, to reduce the defense budget, to transition to an all-volunteer
14military by ending the draft, and to maintain U.S. technological superiority with
15weapons like the B-1, Trident, and cruise missiles; and
AJR70,2,1816 Whereas, after serving his term as Secretary of Defense, Mr. Laird wrote for
17Reader's Digest and other publications, and in 1974 was awarded the Presidential
18Medal of Freedom by President Ford; and
AJR70,2,2119 Whereas, Mr. Laird is survived by his wife Carole, son David, daughter Alison
20Laird-Large, son John, stepdaughter Kimberly Dalgleish, four grandsons, and one
21step-granddaughter; now, therefore, be it
AJR70,2,24 22Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, That the members of the
23Wisconsin legislature salute Melvin Laird's public service and honor his tremendous
24achievements and service to his country; and, be it further
1Resolved, That the assembly chief clerk shall provide a copy of this joint
2resolution to his family.
AJR70,3,33 (End)