Archive for ‘Kingdom of Laos’

June 4, 2015

News Release– Laos, Hmong, Vietnam Veterans, CPPA, June 3, 2015 Fall of Kingdom of Laos Ceremonies

News Release

Laos, Hmong, Vietnam Veterans, CPPA, Hold National Ceremonies

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 3, 2015
Lao- and Hmong-American veterans, who served during the Vietnam War, are concluding national memorial and policy events including those at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC), the Vietnam War Memorial and the U.S. Congress, according to Philip Smith of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA). The somber events are being held in Washington to mourn the 40th anniversary of the fall of Laos to invading North Vietnamese Army forces of the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN), and communist Pathet Lao guerrillas.
The CPPA, Special Forces Association (SFA), and ANC Chief of Staff, Colonel Joseph Simonelli (U.S. Army), provided remarks, as did U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), Al Franken (D-Minnesota), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), and Dan Sullivan (R-AK). Congressmen Jim Costa (D-California), Paul Cook (R-California), Don Young (R-Alaska), Devin Nunes (R-California), James Langevin (D-Rhode Island), and Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin) also participated.
“On May 14, Lao and Hmong veterans, and their refugee families from across the United States, arrived in Congress for meetings,” said Philip Smith, Director of the CPPA.
“Thereafter, Congress reintroduced the ‘Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act’ (S. 1358/H.R. 2327), to honor the veterans, and somberly mark the anniversary of the fall of Laos, and the joint Air America, CIA, and Hmong base at Long Chieng.
“On May 15th, a special veterans’ memorial wreath-laying ceremony was held at the Lao Veterans of America monument, in Arlington National Cemetery, with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), to remember and honor all those who sacrificed, fought, and died defending the Kingdom of Laos and U.S. national security interests during the Vietnam War.
“A solemn 40th anniversary ceremony, and posting of the colors, was conducted in Arlington by a U.S. Armed Forces Joint Honor Guard, the ‘Old Guard,’ and an Army wreath-bearer, and bugler, who played ‘Taps,’ in sad remembrance of the fall of the Kingdom of Laos, and Long Chieng, to invading North Vietnamese Army and PAVN forces, and the bloodbath and refugee exodus that followed.
“The ceremony was conducted by the CPPA and Lao Veterans of America, Inc. (LVA), and was cosponsored by Arlington National Cemetery, the U.S. DOD, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Congress,” Smith concluded.
“This is a powerful reminder of the actions of the Hmong, Lao and American service members who fought together as allies during the Vietnam War,” said Colonel Joseph Simonelli, ANC.
“These courageous U.S. allies were left largely on their own as they fled the prospect of execution or deadly re-education camps that the Communists immediately began establishing, or the ethnic cleansing perpetrated against the Hmong and Montagnard. Hmong, who struggled across the Mekong, fleeing aerial bombardment, including chemical warfare, were left to bare survival in rough camps on the Thailand shore…” stated Edmund McWilliams, a U.S. Department of State officer.
Keynote speakers at Arlington include: Richard Xiong, President, Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI); Philip Smith, CPPA; Pang Mang Thao, Lao Veterans, Minnesota; Pasert Lee, Hmong Alaska Community; Toua Kue, LVAI, Rhode Island; Chi Neng Vang, California; SFA Green Berets (U.S. Army-Ret.) Colonel John H. “Scotty” Crerar, LTC. James K. Bruton, LTC. Ray Oden, and SGT. Jim J.E. Hooker; U.S. Air Force Majors Matthew Altman and Taona Enriquez; Grant McClure, Counterparts; and Jane Hamilton-Merritt.
President Emeritus of the LVAI, Colonel Wangyee Vang, received honors.
On May 15, a Vietnam War Memorial wreath-laying ceremony was conducted.
On Memorial Day, flowers were laid at the Air Force, Marine Corps and Kennedy monuments.
Meetings in Congress will conclude in the coming days.
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Contact:
CPPA
June 2, 2015

Press Release – Laos, Hmong-American, Veterans of Vietnam War are Concluding Washington D.C. Ceremonies

Press Release

Laos, Hmong-American, Veterans of Vietnam War are Concluding Washington D.C. Ceremonies

The Center for Public Policy Analysis, along with Lao- and Hmong-American veterans who served in Laos during the Vietnam War, are concluding memorial and policy events in Washington DC, including those at Arlington, the Vietnam Memorial and Congress.

WASHINGTON — Capitol Hill, Washington, DC.

June 1, 2015 – Lao- and Hmong-American veterans, who served in Laos during the Vietnam War, and their refugee families, are concluding memorial and policy events in Washington, D.C., including those at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC), the Vietnam War Memorial and the U.S. Congress. The somber events are being held in the nation’s capital to mourn the 40th anniversary of the fall of the Royal Kingdom of Laos (RLG) to invading North Vietnamese Army forces of the People’s Army of Vietnam, and communist Pathet Lao guerrillas, and the bloodbath and refugee exodus that followed.

The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), Special Forces Association (SFA) and ANC Chief of Staff, Colonel JoeSimonelli,U.S. Army, served as keynote speakers at the events , as did U.S. Senators LisaMurkowski (R-Alaska), AmyKlobochar (D-Minnesota), Al Franken (D-Minnesota), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin). Congressmen Jim Costa (D-California), Paul Cook (R-California), Don Young (R-Alaska), JamesLangevin (D-Rhode Island), Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin), and Devin Nunes (R-California) also participated.New legislation in Congress honoring the Lao- and Hmong-American veterans is being welcomed and advanced.

On May 14, Lao and Hmong veterans and their families from across the United States arrived on Capitol Hill for meetings with Congress. On that day, Members of Congress jointly introduced the “Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act,” to honor the veterans, and somberly mark the anniversary of the fall of the RLG and the joint Air America, CIA, and Hmong base, at Long Chieng.

“On May 15th, a special veterans’ memorial wreath-laying ceremony was held at the Lao Veterans of America monument. in Arlington National Cemetery, with the U.S. Department of Defense, to remember and honor all those who sacrificed, fought, and died defending the Royal Kingdom of Laos and U.S. national security interests during the Vietnam War, ” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA.

“A solemn 40th anniversary ceremony, and posting of the colors, was conducted in Arlington by a joint U.S. Armed Forces honor guard, the ‘Old Guard,’ and an Army wreath-bearer, and a bugler, who played ‘Taps,” in sad rememberance of the fall of the Kingdom of Laos, and Long Chieng, to invading North Vietnamese Army forces.

“The Arlington ceremonies were conducted by the CPPA and the Lao Veterans of America, Inc. (LVA), and were supported and hosted by ANC, the U.S. Department of Defense, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Members of Congress,” Smith concluded.

“It is an honor for me, as well as Mr. Patrick Hallinan, who serves as the Executive Director of the Army National Military Cemeteries, and Mr. Jack Lechner, Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery, as well as the entire staff of the Cemetery to host this commemorative event,” stated ANC Chief of Staff, Colonel Joe Simonelli.

“This is a powerful reminder of the actions of the Hmong, Lao and American service members who fought together as allies during the Vietnam War,” Simonelli said.

Founder, and President Emeritus of the Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI), Colonel Wangyee Vang, PhD, was also cited and honored for his important leadership efforts over the years at the Arlington ceremonies.

“This Spring, we mark the 40th anniversary of fall of Indochina, that is, the collapse of local and US efforts to prevent seizure of control over Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam by the communist forces of North Vietnam and their puppets in Laos…, ” stated Edmund McWilliams, a Vietnam veteran and former U.S. Department of State officer.

“Cambodian forces which had been supported by the North Vietnamese would soon turn on their North Vietnamese mentors igniting a bloody war and inaugurating a particularly brutal regime under the Khmer Rouge.

“But the US commemoration of this historic Spring errs in the retelling of this tragic history. While there is an understandable focus on the terrible implications of Hanoi’s victory for our South Vietnamese allies, we find little, to no, mention in the U.S. media or in statements by U.S. officials regarding the plight of our other allies, the Lao, Hmong, Montagnard and Cambodian troops, and their families, for whom the Communist victory was also an extraordinary tragedy.

“This failure to recognize the sacrifice of our non-Vietnamese allies echoes the failure of the US government to make adequate provision for Lao, Hmong, Montagnard and Cambodian allies as they desperately sought to escape the revenge of the Communist invaders targeting these erstwhile US allies. There was little space in the massive US refugee program for Lao, Hmong, Montagnard and Cambodians.

“These courageous US allies were left largely on their own as they fled the prospect of execution or deadly re-education camps that the Communists immediately began establishing, or the ethnic cleansing perpetrated against the Hmong and Montagnard. Hmong, who struggled across the Mekong, fleeing aerial bombardment, including chemical warfare, were left to bare survival in rough camps on the Thai shore. Cambodians who fled the merciless Khmer Rouge found at best a crude welcome across the Thailand-Cambodian border. Montagnard allies of the US and their families, the brave fighters who risked their lives to rescue US airmen, had literally no safe border across which to flee…,” observed McWilliams in his Arlington statement.

Other speakers and participants at Arlington (ANC) included: Richard Xiong, President, LVAI; Philip Smith, Executive Director, CPPA; Pang Mang Thao, President, Lao Veterans, Minnesota; Pasert Lee, Hmong Alaska Community; Toua Kue, President, Lao Hmong veterans, Rhode Island; Chi Neng Vang, California; Nhia Long Vang, Lao Hmong SGU Veterans, President, California; Colonel John H. “Scotty” Crerar (US Army, SF-Ret., Green Beret), Ray Oden, President SFA Chapter XI (US Army SF-Ret., Green Beret); Lt. Colonel James K. Bruton (US Army SF-Ret., Green Beret); Jim J.E. Hooker, (US Army SF-Ret., Green Beret); Major Matthew Altman, US Air Force; Major Taona Enriquez, Air Force; Jack Langer, Congressman Devin Nunes; Kristina Solberg, Congressman Jim Costa; Grant McClure, President, Counterparts; Jane Hamilton-Merritt, PhD; Christy Lee, Director, Hmong Advance, Inc.; and Shoua Her, Director, Hmong Advancement, Inc.

A second wreath-laying ceremony, and procession, was conducted at the Vietnam War Memorial following the Arlington event on May 15.

On Memorial Day, flowers were laid at the Air Force, Marine Corps and John F. Kennedy Memorials.

Meetings on Capitol Hill are being concluded in the coming days.

The Arlington, Vietnam War Memorial, and Capitol Hill events also commemorate, May 14-15, National Lao Hmong Recognition Day, and Hmong Appreciation Day.

Contact(s):
Ms. Jade Her or Mr. Philip Smith
Tele. (202)543-1444
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

— End —
May 27, 2015

Heirs of the ‘Secret War’ in Laos

Heirs of the ‘Secret War’ in Laos

May 23, 2015

Press Release: Lao, Hmong Veterans Arrive in U.S. Congress, Arlington, For 40th Anniversary Ceremonies, New Legislation

Press Release:

Lao, Hmong Veterans Arrive in U.S. Congress, Arlington, For 40th Anniversary Ceremonies, New Legislation

Washington, DC, and Arlington, Virginia, May 14, 2015

Lao- and Hmong-American veterans of the Vietnam War and their families have arrived on Capitol Hill and Washington, DC to somberly mourn the 40th anniversary of the fall of the Kingdom of Laos, and the joint CIA, Air America, and Hmong headquarters at Long Chieng (Long Tieng), to invading North Vietnamese Army forces on May 14-15, 1975. Lao- and Hmong-Americans will also join with the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and key members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for the introduction today of the “Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act” in the new session of Congress.

The bill is being introduced today in the U.S. Congress by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Al Franken (D-MN), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and others. In the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressmen Jim Costa (D-CA) and Paul Cook (R-CA) are spearheading the introduction of the legislation along with Representatives Sean Duffy (R-WI), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU), Mike Honda (D-CA), Don Young (AK) and others. The bill, if enacted by Congress and signed by President Obama, would allow Lao- and Hmong-American veterans to be buried with honors at U.S. national veterans cemeteries administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Lao- and Hmong-American veterans of the Vietnam War and their families from across the United States have arrived on Capitol Hill and Washington, DC to somberly mourn the 40th anniversary of the fall of the Royal Kingdom of Laos, and the joint CIA, Air America, and Hmong headquarters at Long Chieng (Long Tieng), to invading North Vietnamese Army forces in May 14-15, 1975,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C.

Smith continued: “As part of the ‘Laos Freedom Ride’ commemoration, hundreds of Lao- and Hmong-American veterans of the Vietnam War and their families from Minnesota, California, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Alaska, and other states  have traveled many miles and are arriving on buses, planes and cars for events in the U.S. Congress and Capitol Hill as well as for a special veterans’ memorial and wreath-laying service on Friday, May 15, in Arlington National Cemetery with the U.S. Department of Defense.”

“Truly, I am honored to be here in our nation’s Capital, Washington, D.C., and Arlington National Cemetery, to be part of the 40th Anniversary Ceremony to honor and pay respect to the Lao- and Hmong veterans, and our U.S. military and clandestine advisors, and to help conduct a wreath-laying ceremony at the Lao Veterans of America monument,” said Richard Vang, President of the Fresno, California-based Lao Veterans of America Institute. “I want to also express my deepest thanks to the U.S. Congress for the introduction of the ‘Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act’ today, when we arrive and meet with the Senators and Representatives.”

“In addition to the veterans’ memorial commemoration that we will be holding tomorrow in Arlington National Cemetery to mark the 40th Anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War in the Kingdom of Laos, I would like to stress that the legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski with Congressman Jim Costa, Congressman Don Young, Senator Dan Sullivan and others, ‘The Hmong Veterans’ Service Recognition Act’, is very important to our Lao and Hmong-American community and veterans. We appreciate them honoring our Lao and Hmong-American veterans and their families, and we are hopeful that the bill will be passed and signed into law by President Obama, so that our veterans can be buried with honor at U.S. national veterans’ cemeteries administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Pasert Lee, President of the Hmong Alaska Community, Inc. and a wounded combat veteran of the Vietnam War.

“We are very grateful to U.S. Congressmen Jim Costa, Paul Cook, Don Young, Sean Duffy, Devin Nunes, Collin Peterson and many others for their leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives for introducing and supporting the ‘Hmong Veterans Service Recognition Act’ and the events here today in Washington, D.C. Here in the U.S. Senate, we want to especially thank Senators Lisa Murkowski, Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar, Tammy Baldwin, Sheldon Whitehouse, and many others for their efforts on Capitol Hill in introducing the bill today in the U.S. Congress on this important day, May 14, just prior to our memorial service and wreath laying-ceremony tomorrow at Arlington National Cemetery at the Lao Veterans of America monument,” said Pang Mang Thao, the President of the Lao Veterans of America of Minnesota.

Pang Mang Thao is leading a delegation of some 60 Laotian and Hmong veterans, widows, and elders, from St. Paul, Minneapolis, and the Twin Cities area to Washington, DC and Arlington for the events today and Friday (May 14-15). Lao and Hmong-American veterans of the Vietnam War and their families from Minnesota, California, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Alaska, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, Texas, Virginia and other states are participating in the events in the U.S. Congress, Washington, DC and the Lao Veterans of America monument (“Laos Monument”) in Arlington National Cemetery.

In addition to military uniforms, many of the Laotian and Hmong participants will be dressed in traditional, ethnic Laotian and Hmong tribal clothing and outfits for the events.

May 14-15 also commemorates National Lao Hmong Recognition Day, Hmong- Appreciation Day, and Lao Hmong Veterans Memorial Day, and is a day of commemoration for the Lao and Hmong people who lost their lives and country during the Vietnam War when the Kingdom of Laos fell to invading Soviet-backed North Vietnamese Army troops and communist Pathet Lao guerrillas.

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Contact:
Jade Her or Philip Smith
Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA)
Tele. (202)543-1444
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

Tags: , ,
August 28, 2014

Bouncing down: The back roads of history (The Ho Chi Minh Trail)

Bouncing down: The back roads of history

Posted On Aug 25, 2014
Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://theadvisorcambodia.com/2014/08/bouncing-back-roads-history/

Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent rides the Ho Chi Minh Trail on a 1989 pink Honda cub

The Ho Chi Minh Trail, for those of you who’ve forgotten, was a transport network running from North Vietnam to South Vietnam, via Laos and Cambodia. Originally made up of primitive footpaths used for local trade, by the time of the Vietnam War the Trail was used to supply weapons, fuel and men in vast quantities to fight the Americans. According to the US government, the Trail was “one of the great achievements of military engineering of the 20th century”.

It also caused a great deal of trouble for both Laos and Cambodia: Laos was hit by an average of one B-52 bomb load every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, between 1964 and 1973. US fighters dropped more bombs on Laos than were dropped by all sides during the whole of the Second World War. And in Cambodia, American bombing provided a huge impetus for the rise of the Khmer Rouge.
The scale of the Trail was breathtaking. Covering more than 2,000 kilometres, from Sihanoukville in the south and Hanoi in the north, through thick jungle and over the 2,500-metre Truong Son mountain range in Laos, much of it was hidden from the bombers by tied-together tree canopies and trellises. The Americans used increasingly sophisticated weaponry to try to disrupt the Trail, including dousing it with Agent Orange, but all to no avail.

Agent Orange, a viciously unpleasant herbicide and defoliant, was used to strip the ground of plant cover, so the North Vietnamese would have nowhere to hide. According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 4.8 million people were exposed to the chemical, leaving 400,000 dead and 500,000 children born with birth defects. And reports suggest that at the end of the war, 80 million bombs had fallen on the three countries but not exploded, leaving an appalling and deadly legacy.

So, all in all, the Trail was a hugely important hinge for modern Southeast Asian history. It has been traversed before by modern travel writers, on foot and on motorbike: a guy called Chris Hunt rode the length of the Trail on a Russian-made Minsk 125cc in 1995. To top that, British-born Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent decided to make the journey on a bubblegum-pink 1989 Honda C-90 stepthru moped, because “doing it on a proper dirt bike seemed too easy”. She had to have the engine rebuilt four times during the trip, so she clearly found the difficulties she was looking for.

Pink vehicles seem to be something of a motif for Bolingbroke-Kent; previously she had driven a pink tuk tuk from Bangkok to Brighton. On the Trail, at a stately 20mph, she fords rivers, climbs mountains and braves the heat and dust and loneliness and potential tiger attacks, staying in grubby guesthouses, swatting insects and drinking warm Pepsi. If her writing is sometimes a little flat, her knowledge of the history of the Trail, as well as her views on unexploded ordnance and the effects now of the logging and deforestation along the way, are invaluable.
As economic progress turns the Ho Chi Minh Trail into well-paved routes for shipping wood abroad for garden furniture, the Trail itself is disappearing; this is a decent book on a fascinating subject.

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