Saturday, February 5, 2011

This is How We treat our Friends

Vang Pao died on January 6 in Fresno.  Never heard of him?  Me either until I heard on the news that a committee an turned down his family's request that he be allowed a waiver to be buried in Arlington cemetery.

Who was General Vang Pao?  To the exiled Hmong in the US he is George Washington, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King.  Read more about him here  Gen. Vang Pao revered by Hmong

Note this:  
Vang was a general in the Royal Lao Army in the early 1960s when he teamed with the CIA in the "secret war" against communism in Laos.
Vang led Hmong guerrilla fighters in the jungle, rescuing downed American pilots and protecting U.S. military installations.
His forces saved countless American lives, holding off North Vietnamese soldiers from reaching American troops via the Ho Chi Minh Trail, said Robert Noble, a flight mechanic for Air America, the CIA-run air wing.

I lived near a large Hmong community in Wausau Wisconsin.  They were resented and despised like any other immigrant group.  Nobody knew or cared about the role they played in the Vietnam war.  This country has a VERY short memory.  It doesn't help that we would prefer to forget about Vietnam altogether, much more difficult to remember what risks and sacrifices the Hmong took to help the US.  
And now we can't even find a spot for him at Arlington.  Disgraceful.

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