Hmong Involvement in the Vietnam War

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Research Précis and Annotated Bibliography

Hmong Involvement in the Vietnam War

Literature Review Outline

I. Introduction
A. History of Hmong existence in America (Barr, 2005; Mote, 2004; Castle, 1993)
B. Hmong Values (Moore, 2003; Moua, 1995)
C. Conflicts between Hmong culture and American culture (Moua, 1995) II. Body
A. History of Hmong existence in America
1. Secret Vietnam War in Laos (Barr, 2005; Castle, 1993; Murphy 1997)
2. Communists persecute Hmong in Laos (Castle, 1993; Barr, 2005)
B. Hmong Values
1. Cultural identity (Moore, 2003)
2. Marriage (Moua, 1995; Millett, 2002)
C. Conflicts between the Hmong culture and American culture
1. Religion: Animisit and Christianity (Moua, 1995)
2. Authority: Shamen and American medicine (Moua, 1995; )
3. Leadership: Clan elders and modern leaders (Moua, 1995; Brittan, 1997) III. Conclusion
A. History of Hmong existence in America (Barr, 2005; Castle, 1993; Mote 2004)
B. Hmong values (Moua, 1995; Millett, 2002)
C. Conflicts among Hmong culture and American culture (Brittan, 1997; Moua, 1995)

Hmong involvement in the Vietnam War
In 1945, France controlled Vietnam. However, the communists in Vietnam wanted control, so they fought the French. In 1954, the Geneva agreement ended the fighting and declared Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam independent countries. The agreement also split Vietnam into two countries; communists governed North Vietnam and South Vietnam became a democratic country. North Vietnam reneged and the communists tried to take over South Vietnam, so the American military fought the communists in a battle that became known as the Vietnam War (Barr, 2005). The Hmong in Laos experienced tragic, long-term consequences for their wartime allegiance with the United States by secretly fighting in the Vietnam War. At the beginning of the Vietnam War, Laos was an officially neutral country (Mote, 2004). Freedom is important to the Hmong. The word Hmong means “free man” (Murphy, 1997). However, the Vietnam War spread to Laos when communist leaders decided to use Laos as a route to deliver supplies to their troops fighting in South Vietnam. Fearful that a communist victory in South Vietnam would eventually lead to communist victories throughout Southeast Asia, the United States Department of Defense, State Department, and Central Intelligence Agency “secretly created and administered a billion-dollar military aid program to Laos.” (Castle, 1993). The U.S. military recruited and trained Hmong men and boys who wanted to protect their freedom from the communists. Tens of thousands of Hmong soldiers fought alongside U.S. soldiers to stop the communist’s troops and supplies from reaching South Vietnam.

In 1975, the United States lost the Vietnam War and withdrew its soldiers from Vietnam and Laos, leaving behind the secret army of Hmong soldiers (Barr, 2005). Immediately, communists took control of South Vietnam and Laos, and declared war against the Hmong in Laos. Without the protection of American soldiers, Hmong soldiers and their families were hunted down and killed by communist soldiers. From 1975 until 1990, hundreds of thousands of Hmong fled Laos (Barr, 2005) to resettle in Thailand refugee camps. The United States promised to “find a new place” (Mote, 2004) for Hmong people, if the war against communism was lost. The United States had an agreement with Thailand, a democratic country, to provide safety and refugee camps. For several years, Hmong families struggled to survive in refugee camps until they received official permission from the United States to resettle in America (Murphy, 1997). When the first Hmong families arrived in the United States, they did not speak English and “lacked written language, formal education, financial saving, and support networks.” (Su, Lee, Vang, 2005). In spite of that, they held tight to their Hmong identity and loyalty. To be a Hmong in the eyes of the Hmong community...
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