Laos was officially a neutral country, but from the 1960s until the mid 70’s the CIA recruited about 30,000 mostly Hmong and Laotians to stop the spread of communist troops through Asia. After the communists took control of Laos, many of the troops escaped to refugee camps and eventually settled in Minnesota and Fresno in rural Central California.
Michael Thao’s father who died in 2008 fought in that war. His family came to the Minnesota when Michael was 13. It’s important for him to see the monument built before all the soldiers of that secret war die.
“This is a monument to say thank you to America and to the veterans who shed blood and gave their lives for our freedom,” he says.
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