Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

HF 1667

as introduced - 88th Legislature (2013 - 2014) Posted on 04/02/2013 11:37am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
Line numbers 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9

A resolution
memorializing Congress and the President of the United States to amend federal
veterans cemetery law to expand eligibility for burial in State Veterans Cemeteries
developed with federal funding to include the Hmong-American and Lao-American
surrogate fighters of America's Secret War in Laos.

WHEREAS, early in the Vietnam War the United States government discovered that
most enemy war materiel and many enemy combatants were being supplied by the communist
government of North Vietnam and their allied communist governments of Red China and the
Soviet Union; and

WHEREAS, the United States government discovered that those enemy combatants and
war materiel were being routed from North Vietnam to the battlefields of South Vietnam via an
ever-more-expansive primitive road system through the mountains of Laos, which came to be
known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail System; and

WHEREAS, the United States government determined that it was of utmost urgency to
interrupt that enemy supply route through the use of targeted military action; and

WHEREAS, the United States government determined that it would be politically
inadvisable to widen the allied war effort through overt military intervention against the enemy
Ho Chi Minh Trail System, and concluded that any allied military action to that effect would need
to be implemented in great secrecy and stealth; and

WHEREAS, the United States government, beginning in 1961 and lasting through 1978,
recruited, trained, equipped, directed, resupplied and paid Hmong and Lao people indigenous
to the mountain highlands of Laos and Vietnam to conduct, under the direction of the Special
Activities Division of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, a Secret War in Laos against
the communist invaders of South Vietnam; and

WHEREAS, indigenous Hmong and Lao fighters were formally organized by the U.S. CIA
into a Special Guerrilla Unit (SGU) led by the principal Hmong leader, General Vang Pao; and

WHEREAS, the members of the CIA's Hmong and Lao Special Guerrilla Unit fought
valiantly and persistently in the American Secret War in Laos to interdict enemy supply lines
on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, to rescue downed United States military pilots from within enemy
territories, and to defend key friendly military outposts in Laos, such as the clandestine and
vital U.S. emergency military airport at Luang Prabang among others, and to draw away from
the main war thousands of enemy combatants to protect against Hmong and Lao SGU attacks
against their supply lines in Laos; and

WHEREAS, by their valiant fighting and the monumental sacrifice of over 100,000 of
their own lives in the American Secret War in Laos, these Hmong and Lao SGU fighters were
able to directly and indirectly save the lives of many thousands of American service members
during the Vietnam War; and

WHEREAS, because of their friendship with and heroic efforts on behalf of the United
States military, the majority of our nation's Hmong and Lao SGU fighters in the American Secret
War in Laos and their family and community members were eventually ruthlessly exterminated
or driven from their jungle mountain homelands in Laos; and

WHEREAS, over a quarter of a million of those Hmong and Lao refugees have sought
refuge in the United States of America and other nations, including nearly 80,000 of whom have
resettled in Minnesota, with most of those refugees having by now been granted United States
citizenship; and

WHEREAS, reasonably accurate records exist to validate the identities of that subset of
refugees who were members of the CIA's Special Guerilla Unit of the American Secret War in
Laos; and

WHEREAS, along with the majority of America's Vietnam War veterans, many of the
Hmong-American and Lao-American surrogate fighters of the American Secret War in Laos are
now nearing the end of their natural lives, with many others having already passed into eternity;

BE IT RESOLVED by the governor and the Legislature of the State of Minnesota that we
urge the President and the Congress of the United States to amend federal law and policy to allow
the Hmong-American and Lao-American surrogate fighters of the American Secret War in Laos
to have the final, eternal honor of perpetual interment alongside their fellow American veterans
within State Veterans Cemeteries throughout the nation, including the existing Minnesota State
Veterans Cemetery at Little Falls, Minnesota.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the secretary of state of the state of Minnesota shall
transmit copies of this memorial to the speaker and the clerk of the United States House of
Representatives, the president and the secretary of the United States Senate, the United States
Secretary of State, and presiding officers of both houses of the legislatures of each of the other
states of the union, and to Minnesota's senators and representatives in Congress.