Hmong Military in Iraq

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.

At Minnesota Hmong New Year in Saint Paul last November I met Canon Yang of Allied Veterans of America, and asked him if he knew of any books about Hmong in Iraq. Now we have Still Standing, by John Kriesel, and Bristol’s Bastards, by Nicholas P. Maurstad. Kriesel mentions Luc Moua and Eng Yang briefly or in photos, but deals mostly with his immediate buddies and recovery after he lost part of both legs to an IED. Maurstad mentions Canon Yang and Lee Vue, but spent more time with Luc Moua when they returned to Wisconsin after their deployment finished.

We have begun to collect some resources about recent Hmong military history, but would be very happy to learn about more materials.

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