Vang Pao fought the Japanese as a teenager. He later led Hmong guerrillas in their CIA-backed battle against communists during the Vietnam War. More recently he was a father figure to Hmong refugees who fled Laos for the United States.
For Army veteran Tim Callister, it’s an award ceremony more than 40 years in the making.
For Steve Leighton, the bond to his fellow soldiers formed in 1966, when he was an American advisor to a unit of the 42nd Battalion of South Vietnamese Rangers.
In the dining room of their Victoria home, Steve and Donna Leighton sort through the pictures and patches of a time many would just as soon forget.