Hmong Vets of the Vietnam War Seek Military Burial Rights

Monday, March 05, 2012

When we talk about the Vietnam War, we often talk about the draft, protestors, a no-win situation, and veterans’ rights. But something we don’t always give attention to is this question: Who or what is a Vietnam vet? It’s a question that’s haunted thousands of Hmong-Americans, who were trained, armed and paid by the CIA to fight for the U.S. in Vietnam. These soldiers, who hail primarily from Laos, consider themselves vets. But the law prevents them from being buried in national or state veterans’ cemeteries.

A new bill that’s moved through the Minnesota Veterans Service Committee to the Minnesota Government Finance Committee is trying to change that.

Hmong-American Michael Yang is one of the proponents of the bill. His father, John Yang, fought for the U.S. in Vietnam, but when he died in 2006, he was not allowed to be buried in a veterans’ cemetery. And Mark Brunswick is a reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune who’s been following this story.



Mark Brunswick and Michael Yang

Produced by:

Zachary Dinerstein and Kristen Meinzer

Comments [2]

Mark from UK

'listener' wrote 'abandoned South Vietnam to the cruel fate' must be in cloud cuckoo land. Vietnam is one of the most progressive countries in the world. The U$A lost the Amerikkkan war in Vietnam plain and simple. They invaded, murdered (remember My Lai) lost and left. 4 Million innocent Vietnamese were affected by MONSANTO Agent Orange, generation after generation still suffer. "The Vietnam war memorial in Washington is 492 feet long. If a similar war memorial had been made for the Vietnamese who died, with the same density of names, it would be nine miles long." The Hmong were working for the CIA and ended up with exactly what they deserved!

Mar. 10 2012 05:15 AM

"..Hmong-Americans, who were trained, armed and paid by the CIA..."

...and who paid the CIA and really abandoned the Hmong and the South Vietnam to their cruel fate?
The Democratic controlled Congress that started the war and then lost it by cutting off aid to our allies and throwing Cambodia and others to the wolves.
Interesting how history gets twisted and the goal posts keep changing with the blaming or not blaming Congress when it is political expedient for the left.

Mar. 05 2012 09:46 AM

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