A Minnesota PBS Initiative

Xai Nou Vang serves General Vang Pao to the end

Xai Nou Vang, former Special Guerilla Unit Captain and bodyguard to General Vang Pao, joined General Vang Pao's troops to escape poverty—the same choice that many Hmong men and boys made. In 1975, the CIA ordered General Vang Pao to make a clandestine escape from his headquarters in Long Tieng to Thailand, leaving behind Xai Nou and thousands of his Special Guerilla Unit soldiers.

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

If we became soldiers, then we would have shoes, clothes and hats to wear... we became soldiers so that we wouldn't be poor.


Biographical Details

Primary Location During Vietnam: Long Tieng 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: Ban Vinai Refugee Camp, General Vang Pao, Hmong, Paul Vang, Refugee, Saint Paul, Secret War, SGU, Special Guerilla Unit, St Paul, Video, Xai Nou Vang, Xainou Vang

Previous Story
The Story Wall
Next Story
Return To Top