Congressmen Request Arlington Burial For Vang Pao

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Several lawmakers have asked federal officials to allow a key U.S. ally in the Vietnam War to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

California Reps. Jim Costa and Dennis Cardoza say Laotian Gen. Vang Pao rightly earned the honor to be buried alongside American soldiers.

The general led Hmong guerrillas in a CIA-backed battle against communists in Laos and was credited with resettling tens of thousands of Hmong in American cities. He died last week in a Central California hospital at the age of 81.

Costa and Cardoza sent a letter Tuesday to Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, asking for a waiver for an Arlington burial.

Guam’s delegate to Congress, Madeleine Bordallo, and Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Holden also signed the letter.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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