Lee Pao Xiong
St. Paul, Minnesota, United States
Although the war is called the Vietnam War, many of the Hmong and other ethnic minority groups living in Laos suffered great loss as a result of this war. I lost an uncle, an aunt and four cousins. I was born and grew up in Long Cheng, Laos, the most secretive base in that region. It is one of the secret CIA base in that region of the world. To this day I still remember my life there. I remember the helicopters that brought back the dead from the battle field. I remember as a kid running to the airfield to observe Americans and beg for chocolates and bubble gums. I also remember the romote control airplanes that they fly around the soccer field.
I also saw first hand the body bags that arrived at the airfield everyday. The plane crashes. We would use bullet casings to make model airplanes and decorate our house.
My family came to this country in 1976. We were the lucky few who got out of Laos on an airplane (c-130). When we arrived here, people would tell us that we were not welcomed. They would tell us to go back home.