Target: United States Congress
Goal: Allow Hmong soldiers who supported American military troops honorable military burials
During the Vietnam War and the secret CIA-backed war in Laos, Hmong soldiers were enlisted to fight alongside American military troops. Many Hmong soldiers and refugees were therefore granted asylum in the US when the Vietnam War ended. Despite their sacrifice, Hmong soldiers are being denied the honor of a military burial in national cemeteries. Several years ago when celebrated Hmong leader General Vang Pao died, the military denied his family from burying him in Arlington Cemetery because he did not directly serve in the American military.
In 2000, President Clinton allowed Philippine veterans who fought for America in World War II access to burials in Virginia cemeteries. After the 1962 United Nations treaty stating American soldiers were not allowed in Laos, the CIA conducted a secret operation enlisting thousands of Hmong soldiers to retrieve downed American pilots, block supply access and attack Vietnamese troops. Hmong fighters were acting on behalf of American troops at the time but today are denied the same honor as the men for whom they fought and died.
Sign the petition below to urge Congress to give Hmong soldiers the same respect and honor that we give American military.
Dear United States Congress,
When American troops were restricted access to Laos during the Vietnam War, the CIA enlisted Hmong troops to act on behalf of American interests. When the United States pulled out of Vietnam, thousands Hmong refugees were granted asylum in the US–but today Hmong soldiers are denied access to military burials in US national cemeteries.
Hmong soldiers laid down their lives upon America’s request, yet American lawmakers are denying them an honor that none would question for American-born troops. In 2000, President Clinton gave Philippine soldiers who fought for Americans in World War II the honor of military burials in national cemeteries. Yet in 2011, Hmong leader General Vang Pao was denied this honorable right. Senator Lisa Murkowski has introduced legislation to allow former Hmong fighters the right to be buried in national cemeteries. This is Senator Mukowski’s second time proposing a bill related to this issue. Similar legislation has been introduced before by other lawmakers but has not made it to the floor.
I urge you to consider Senator Murkowski’s legislation and bestow the same honor and respect for Hmong soldiers as you would to former American military. Allow Hmong soldiers the respect of military burials in national cemeteries
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mark Cross, Associate Press via San Francisco Chronicle