In the 1970′s, thousands of Hmong men and women lost their lives fighting alongside U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War. These efforts are known today as the Secret War.
For fears of persecution by the local government for their involvement, Hmong families fled into hiding deep in the jungle after the U.S. troops pulled out of Southeast Asia.
I grew up in hiding, escaped and lived in refugee camps and resettled to the United States with my family when I was four years old.
My childhood revolved around the Disney channel, Barney, and the Power Rangers. The memories of refugee camps and Laos faded away as I grew older but they never disappeared.
On my 18th birthday, my grandfather passed away. I looked in the mirror and for the first time, I saw my grandfather leading my family quietly through the jungles of Laos. I saw my father with me strapped on his back swam secretly across the Mekong River to seek refuge in Thailand.
In that moment, I yearned to see Laos again.
This past January, the dream came true. My parents and I traveled to visit the place we once called home.
This blog is a brief recap of our journey back to Laos and also includes travel tips and resources on the Hmong living in the U.S. and different parts of the world.
No part of the images or photos may be reproduced. Thanks!