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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (12)
  1. JackieM says:

    I’m all for it. I hope they make it work.

  2. NOT says:

    Not in this lifetime

  3. Johnny says:

    he deserves it. GO VANG PAO!

    1. Don_J says:

      How does he deserve it?

  4. Don_J says:

    I’m sorry, but there are American soldiers who served honorably and because they did not meet the requirements to be buried at Arlington were not allowed that honor. The general may have helped the United States in its wartime efforts and I salute him for that but I have to say no.

    Follow this link for the requirements.

  5. Hejlena says:

    “Also qualifying under waivers are U.S. government employees who are “killed in the course of their service to America,” those who have performed “unique service” to the nation, and reservists who die while on active duty for training. ” This isfrom where there is a short article on waivers for burial at Arlington.

    Imho, GVP has earned that place in United States History. That is if that’s what his family wants.

  6. Wang says:

    The General Vang Pao is deserves to be burried at the Arlington Cementary, and the General earned this.

  7. Richard says:

    General Vang Pao deserves to be burried at the Arlingtion Cementary, Why? becuase he spilled hundred and thousand Hmong blood to just saving US soldiers in south Vientnam and down pilots in Laos.

  8. Dan says:

    No, because his political activities and propaganda caused so much misery and divisions among the Lao/Hmong people nationally and internationally. He may be a good General but a crook, monster politician.

  9. Proud To Be An American says:

    Like legend said, “The smartest country in the world is also the most stupid one.” These words fit well regarding to General Vang Pao’s case.

    The reason the CIA was formed because of the complication processes of the Department of Defense anyway. Many times, they can’t tell RIGHT from WRONG or vise versa. In this case, they have lost their moral too. One burial space it’s worth hundreds of our pilots lives. One burial space is worth thousands of our soldiers in South Vietnam. OOPS, those Army decision makers can’t even do math right, and that is why all the high tech go to the NAVY and AIR FORCE.

    Mr. President, it is your job to fix this Arlington National Cemetery things. CIA and their associates should be allowed to be buried there too!

    The Army refusal makes a shame for the USA.

    USA Forever

  10. Lisa says:

    We are not asking to have EVERY Hmong Veteran of the Secret War buried at Arlington. We are asking for only one man, the man who aided the American in a War that is not even acknowledge in Schools or truly in public. And PLEASE be respectful, what is the use in damning the name of a man who is dead? Did you know the man? Did you know he was a crook? Did he give birth to all the dumb Hmong thugs? Who and what race is free of crime and violence? Without his leadership the Hmong would have never fought along side America. This is truly Disappointing. I’m not as disappointed in General Vang Pao being refused but people, who doesn’t know him or his history but still demeaning his name. The name of a man who is the heart of another history, if not yours.

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