This rare, actual military compass was given to Youa Ge Vang when he was a military officer in the Secret War Army in Laos. It was used in action and brought with him to the United States after the Communists took over the country. It was kept with him until early 2016 when Youa Ge decided that it was best to donate to and be preserved by the Hmong Archives for future generations.
Boy meets girl in this romantic novel by H. H. Vangh, Flowers for Elizabeth. I saw the colorful posters taped to the fences at the July 4th Freedom Fest in Saint Paul and moved the book to my bedside reading stack. After a short week of reading, all was revealed!
At Hmong Archives the Secret War in Laos, 1962-1975, occupies many book and video shelves. Monuments to commemorate the veterans’ service are found in California, Wisconsin, French Guiana, and (soon) Minnesota. But what do we have about Hmong Americans serving in Iraq (and Afghanistan)? Our “Military in Hmong Archives Files” lists about 75 names, including four who have died in service: Qixing Lee, Thai Vue, and Kham See and Kou Xiong. We also have the book, Private Soldiers, a Year in Iraq with a Wisconsin National Guard Unit, by Benjamin Buchholz that lists several Hmong from various Wisconsin cities.