A Minnesota PBS Initiative

Dreams Dashed by War

Samao Xiong wanted to become a teacher, but the Secret War killed that dream. He became a soldier and eventually held a leadership position. In addition to witnessing his friends and soldiers die, he had the heartbreaking responsibility of sending the dead back to their families.

This excerpt is from Twin Cities PBS's documentary Minnesota Remembers Vietnam: America's Secret War.
Learn more at the bottom of the page. 

Because of this war, I had to let that dream go and became a soldier.

Biographical Details

Primary Location During Vietnam: Long Tieng, Laos Vietnam location marker

Story Subject: Military Service

Military Branch: U.S. Allied Forces

Unit: Special Guerrilla Unit

About Minnesota Remembers Vietnam: America's Secret War

In the shadows of the Vietnam War, the CIA conducted a secret war in Laos that relied on Hmong soldiers to prevent the threat of communism from spreading deeper into Southeast Asia. Tens of thousands died, both in the fight and in the escape.

Minnesota Remembers Vietnam: America's Secret War explores the untold, turbulent history. 


Story Themes: America's Secret War, Death and Loss, General Vang Pao, Growing Up, Hmong, Laos, Long Cheng, Long Tieng, Physical Wounds, Saint Paul, Samao Xiong, Secret War, Special Guerrilla Unit, St Paul, The Secret War

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