Tuesday, February 8, 2011
The Army has denied an Arlington National Cemetery burial for a former Laotian general who was a U.S. ally in the Vietnam War and a hero to the Hmong people, the Associated Press says.
The news comes as thousands of Lao and American veterans gathered in central California to begin the six-day funeral for Gen. Vang Pao, the Fresno Bee reports.
The AP confirms what the Sacramento Bee reported earlier today, citing a confidante and family friend of the general.
Former Hmong general Vang Pao in May 2000 at a ceremony at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., marking the 25th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War in Laos. He died last week at 81.CAPTIONBy Luke Frazza, AFP/Getty ImagesVang Pao, who died last week at 81, led Hmong troops alongside CIA officers and U.S. Special Forces for about 15 years and was praised by Americans who served with him. But that wasn't sufficient to meet requirements of direct U.S. military service to be buried at Arlington.