A Minnesota PBS Initiative

Hmong Soldiers Not Considered US Veterans

Although they were hired and paid by the CIA, the soldiers who fought in the Secret War are not recognized as US veterans, and they receive no associated benefits. More than 35,000 Hmong and Lao soldiers died as surrogates as the US armed forces.

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

One Hmong that died in Laos meant one American going home.

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, CIA, Combat, Covert Operations, Hmong, Laos, Lee Pao Xiong, Long Cheng, Long Tieng, Paul Vang, Sacrifice, Saint Paul, Secret War, SGU, Special Guerrilla Unit, St Paul, The Secret War, Veteran Benefits, Xai Nu Vang

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