Arlington refuses burial of U.S. ally from Vietnam War
Members of the Hmong community attend the funeral of Hmong war hero and community leader General Vang Pao on Friday.
February 4th, 2011
10:53 PM ET

Arlington refuses burial of U.S. ally from Vietnam War

The family of a man who fought alongside U.S. troops in Vietnam have been told their relative will not be allowed to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Major General Vang Pao led thousands of Hmong soldiers as they fought alongside the United States against the North Vietnamese Army during the war in Southeast Asia, according to a news release from Congressman Jim Costa of

Costa, on behalf of Pao's family, asked the Army to grant an exception to Arlington's rules to allow Pao to be buried in the nation's most hallowed burial ground.

Pao died recently of complications from pneumonia, according to Costa.

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Filed under: Laos • Military • Veterans • War
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Dolly O.

    Hmm.. this reminds me of a story my father told me. Somwhere in this beautiful USA a young black child who had been adopted (not legally)by a mex/am fam cus both his parents died during the time when migraton took to working in the fields. After a few wks the work was finished & the family returned to there home town along with the child which they raced as their own a promise which was made to his parents & kept.The child grew up in the community in which helped ect. He old.. Finally passed away &.when it came time to bury him in the town was refussed (all cus he was black) so he was burried outside the gates of the the population grew in the town so did in the cementary. Years passed & guess where he ended? Yes the center of that resting place:) What does this have to do with the topic inhand ? U never know where you might end.. So no derespect to the gentleman & fam of one of our vietnam vets Gen H. may he RIP U will be in the center of heaven. GOD Bless

    February 5, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      You racists have a couple of habits no one can stand. You continue to eat your own vomit and urinatie ownership on issues like dogs. You are frustrated because society refuse to dinigrate itself to your animalistic level and reject erroneous ideations. There are many of us who endeavor to indulge in matters much more palatable and more aligned with the dignities of humanity. You must not be so offended that most us refuse to move about on all fours and and find your kennel behavior repulsive.

      February 5, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ernie

    I did not serve in the military, but I have a family member buried in Arlington, he just rolled over in his grave if he knew how we now treat our great allies. Having read some history of the Hmong's assistance to our country, I am deeply offended the way "some" Americans view them/you. To the Hmong communties; hold your head high, some of us do honor & respect you.

    February 5, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. leeintulsa

    Now wait a minute. He was helping us preserve his home, right? Where is that? Somewhere in southeast Asia, maybe spread out across a few countries? Are they going to get it back? Is it gone for good? Should this proud, noble, displaced people just move on? Perhaps buy some land – they can build near ground zero, right? Buy some land And claim ot for the Hmong. Build a cemetary for your honored great men. Then build a casino. You could all be rich.

    February 5, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. AMERICA 1st

    AMERICANS first then the leftovers

    February 5, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Big Game James

    Now if they let him be buried here there would be 30 or so comments on how Obama helps foreigners and not Americans. And also did anybody think there might be some military "reason" why he can't be in Arlington. Like those movies where heroes were really bad guys but made to look good for national security. I know they are movies but many of these films have consultants who were former military or government officials. No disrespect intended to the family, just an opinion.

    February 5, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Larry from Chiang Mai

    In the early 1960's the USA (and Thailand) went to the Hmong, not the other way around. The USA was convinced that there needed to be a fighting force there but, for several reasons, did not want to commit American troops. The Hmong fought well and they fought on our behalf at our request. The "space for an American vet." makes the military seem uninformed and foolish. It is a silly decision on many levels.

    February 5, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dolly O.

    "IF i were a Nam Vet & I after being dead was not alound my body to RIP in Arlington National Cementary I would'Nt be Angry or sad You will soon understand & see Instead I'd have them creamate me & for my family proud of such ceremony from an airplane on a beautiful day my sacrade aches spread all over Arlington National Cementary Ohh.. how joyous my soul would be knowing im being set free as right next i'd happily lay to rest with Americas Very Best" ...But that's me ... hmm.. if life was less complicated.. wow..Would'nt it be nice..Paradise! 🙂

    February 6, 2011 at 4:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      a burial equivalent to disgarding ashes off a cigarette butt...sorry dolly you would be considered a biohazard wastes!

      February 6, 2011 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. Nik

    'Buy some land'?? 'Build a casino and get rich'?? If only it were that easy for impoverished people to do so. Nothing in extremely poor regions of the world works the way it does in the US.

    The fact is that the US military came to them for help because part of the Ho Chi Min trail which supplied the Northern Vietnamese ran through Northern Laos. The US told them: you help us, give us information and do what we need you to, and when this is all over we will take care of you and your families. When it WAS finally over the US denied even being there much less having any involvement whatsoever. The US turned their backs on their allies when they were needed the most. The Hmong were left to suffer at the murderous and barbaric hands of the Northern Vietnamese; or risk their lives escaping to Thailand where they could live in squalor in a refugee camp and hopefully, maybe make it to the states. (Without a penny in their pockets, no knowledge of the culture or language)

    This is what my parents came from, these were the stories I grew up hearing, and regardless of all the obstacles they faced, they have proven to me that strong, determined, intelligent people can accomplish anything. (Except magically buy land and build a casino.)

    February 6, 2011 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. leeintulsa

    I can dig all that. I'm talking about the now. Please believe that I wish the Hmong well, and great success in all their endeavors. I'm decended from, among others, American Indians. We could talk a Trail of Tears about betrayal by the US Government. And White guys – imagine my embarassment when I heard some of the things my forefathers did. And pride in some of the others. We all have stories.

    I wasn't there. I won't be held accountable for the crimes of my fathers. I won't lament things my fathers failed to provide me. I will work to make this society all that I think it can be. I'd rather be living here than in the forests of Laos.

    You say you can accomplish anything, I believe in America anything can be accomplished. It is for you to do what you need to do to be happy. There are lots of games to play, you just gotta play them. We're trying to live in a society here. The only one who can let you down is you. And I think I speak for alot of Americans.

    February 6, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mel

    The Commander in Chief is just upset he cannot be buried in honer. He isn't an honorable man to be placed there among our fallen hero! Past n present.

    February 6, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Philip

    @Nik...I will vouch for everything you said as being true. But don't think for one second S.E. Asia was abandoned by the US gov. During the Reagan years, a man named Ross Perot decided to form a team and go looking for MIA/KIAs in your neck of the woods. He and his highly trained/paid team stumbled upon a CIA drug-ring importing drugs into the US and abroad. (his team even traced the cash to Hatian banks, where one-time President Aristide then made it illegal for the CIA to use his nations banks for this. He was overthrown by protestors carrying brand-new American M-16s) Ross and his team were ordered to "cease and desist" by then President Ronald Reagan, so they came home. We are not all ignorant of this plight, just the vast majority of US. Please accept my apologies and know there is nothing I could have done.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. tinavang

    This is a disgrace to all Hmong people! It's a slap in the face for being used! And we thought discrimination is a thing of the past! Yeah right! To all Hmong, please love eachother cause we're all we have.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. ed bailey

    To the racist closed minded hateful people who call themselves loyal americans, you should become a politician! Perpetuating sick stupidy is a job requirement. You will do well, and getting ON TOP is easy!

    February 7, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  14. Philip

    @Frank...they weren't "defending our flank" as you say. They were caught in the middle of an illegal war. (scroll up to my other post and see what was really going on, not in Viet-Nam, in the surrounding countries. Defending our flank my azz.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. Amy Yang

    February 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
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