Untold Stories | Memories and Stories of Minnesota Veterans from many era’s of service
Veterans' Voices: Leech Lake | Memories and stories of military veterans from the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
The Secret War | Featuring the some of the stories of Minnesota Hmong Veterans in the Secret War of Laos
Minnesota in the Vietnam War | Stories of Minnesotans in the Vietnam War
Minnesota in World War I | Stories of Minnesotans in World War I
Minnesota in World War II | Stories of Minnesotans in World War II
Veterans' Voices: Rochester | Veterans’ Voices is a radio series exploring the knowledge, experience and leadership of Rochester service members. Veterans’ Voices is a radio series exploring the knowledge, experience and leadership of Rochester service members. Hosted by Britt Aamodt Veteran’ Voices is produced by KRPR and Ampers.
Korea | Memories and stories from Minnesota’s Korean War Veterans
Veterans' Voices Korea Podcast | Extended podcast versions of interviews with some of the Minnesota Veterans of the Korean War featured in our radio series Veteran’s Voices Korea. Made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.
World War II | first-hand accounts of what it was like to serve in WWII
Native Warriors | Native American veterans explain why protecting our land and resources is an important part of Native culture and traditions
Vietnam | Stories and memories of Minnesota’s Vietnam veterans
Veterans' Voices Vietnam Podcast | Extended podcast versions of Kevyn Burger’s interviews with some of the Minnesota Vietnam Veterans featured in our radio series
Who are the Hmong?
The Hmong people are a minority group that lived in Southeast Asia and China. After 1975, many became refugees in North America, Australia, and parts of Europe and South America.
From 1961 to 1975, in an effort to contain the spread of communism in Southeast Asia, the United States recruited, trained and financed the Hmong and Laos to serve as surrogate soldiers in the American armed forces.
The war was known as the Secret War of Laos, because it was operated under the purview of the US president, Department of State, Department of Defense, and a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Congress and the American public knew little about it. Furthermore, since Laos was a neutral country in the Vietnam War, the United States was not to have any troops there. Instead, the US sent CIA advisors to work with General Vang Poa, and train the Hmong and other ethnic groups to fight on their behalf. The use of child soldiers was not unusual. Their tasks were to engage the people's army of North Vietnam in combat, disrupt military supply routes, which flowed through Laos to South Vietnam, guard us radar installations, rescue American pilots and gather military intelligence.
By 1975. It is estimated that 30,000 to 40,000 Hmong soldiers had been killed in their efforts to protect America's interest in Southeast Asia and to protect the sovereignty of Laos.
In May of 1975. When the US pulled out of Laos, after the Vietnam War ended, three planes were sent to evacuate high-ranking Hmong military officials from Long Tieng, the headquarters of General Vang Poa and the CIA and Laos. The rest had to escape through the jungles and cross into Thailand, where refugee camps were being set up. It is estimated that between 1975 and 1985 over 50,000 Hmong perished in their efforts to escape persecution from the Lao government and into Thailand.
Today, there are over 350,000 Hmong living in the United States, with over 81,000 individuals in Minnesota, the largest urbanized Hmong population in the US.
Veterans Voices': The Secret War is a program featuring the stories of some of these veterans. To learn more, visit MinnesotaVets.org