Sunday, February 06, 2011

Vang Pao family decries Arlington burial denial

FRESNO, Calif. -- The family of former Laotian general and Hmong leader Vang Pao says it is "disgraceful" that the U.S. Army has denied a request that the U.S. ally in the Vietnam War be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
In a statement released Saturday, the second day of a six-day funeral in Fresno for Pao, the family said the denial is a lesson in how the Obama administration honors America's allies.
Two California congressmen submitted the request shortly after he died at 81 on Jan. 6, saying Pao should be buried alongside the American soldiers he fought with in Laos.

Vang Pao in Laos, 1961

For those not familiar with General Vang Pao, his covert army consisting of Hmong and Lao tribesmen was recruited by the CIA to fight the North Vietnamese Army in Laos.
At the wars' end, he was responsible for saving his army and their families by pressuring the US to keep its' promises by allowing them to relocate to the US.
After his immigration, Vang Pao continued his efforts against the communists as evidenced by his arrest a few years ago by his former allies for conspiring to buy weapons to continue his fight.
The man was more a combat soldier than 90% of the American officers that served in Vietnam and fully deserves a burial in Arlington for his service to the United States government.
For more information on him, please google his name.
I had the privilege of meeting the man a few years ago at a Hmong clebration. He still was a soldier even then.