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The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
To Honor Hmong Lao Veterans
MAILED: March 28, 2002
EAU CLAIRE — A speech by a well-known and highly respected former Hmong military leader will be among the highlights of a two-day event April 5 and 6 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The event will help educate university students about Hmong history and honor Chippewa Valley Hmong Lao veterans.
An open house, which will feature Hmong-related videos and opportunities to talk with Hmong Lao veterans, will run from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. April 5 in the Presidents Room of Davies Center. Among those encouraged to attend are area middle school students.
Several events, including dancing, music and a march by America's Youth 2000, are planned for 12:30-4 p.m. April 6 in Schofield Auditorium. Former Gen. Vang Pao will give the keynote address at about 2:30 p.m., an address that will briefly describe his involvement in the "secret war" in Laos.
Vang was a commander of the Royal Lao Army in Laos from 1961-75. The former General's army helped the administrations of U.S. Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon in the "secret war" in Laos during the Vietnam War. Recruited and advised by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Vang's army gathered military intelligence, rescued downed U.S. aircrews, protected U.S. Air Force navigational sites in Laos, interrupted the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and fought North Vietnamese forces in Laos.
After Laos was taken by the Lao Communists in 1975, Vang led some of his people to Thailand and eventually settled in the United States, where he has established social organizations to help Hmong and Lao refugees adjust to life in America. The former General now travels around the United States encouraging Hmong communities to be self-sufficient and to be better citizens.
Vang also is credited with helping to educate Congress about the sacrifices of the Hmong and Lao veterans during the Vietnam War, said Pang Cher Vue, director of Hmong education programs for Continuing Education at UW-Eau Claire. "With his leadership, many Hmong and Lao veterans have become U.S. citizens, including many in the Chippewa Valley," Vue said.
The Friday and Saturday events are free and open to the public.
Several faculty members from various UW-Eau Claire departments also will speak about Hmong history in their classrooms during the week of April 1. Faculty sharing information about the Hmong include Dr. Jeremy Hein of sociology and anthropology, Dr. Roger Tlusty of Foundations of Education, and Dr. Susan Moch of family health nursing.
The April 5-6 activities were funded through a grant from the UW System's Institute on Race and Ethnicity. The planning committee for the Institute on Hmong Americans organized the activities with the help of the Eau Claire Area Hmong Mutual Assistance Association.
For more information, contact Dr. Susan Moch at (715) 836-4889 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Pang Cher Vue at (715) 836-3636 or email@example.com.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: March 28, 2002