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20 Hmong Veterans among the 78 veterans featured in final Honor Flight of the year

One Hmong veteran recalls what the trip to the nation's capitol meant to him.
Posted at 4:34 AM, Oct 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-19 05:34:35-04
  • Video shows Hmong veterans, among many other veterans, returning home after a day trip to Washington D.C. with Old Glory Honor Flight Mission 65.
  • 20 Hmong veterans joined 78 other veterans on the Honor Flight. Veterans ranged from those who served in the Vietnam War, the Korean War and World War II.
  • A Hmong veteran explained what the trip meant to him.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

This is Old Glory Honor Flight Mission 65 getting back after taking a day trip to Washington D.C., and it featured a group like no other: Hmong veterans, who assisted American troops during the Vietnam war.

As the clock struck 8:30 p.m., a plane filled with veterans returned from spending the day touring the nation's capital.

Since 2009, the Old Glory Honor Flight organization has partnered with Appleton International Airport, but this group, was truly one of a kind: 20 Hmong veterans, along with with 78 other veterans who served in the Vietnam war, the Korean War and World War II.

Vietnam veteran Shoua Xiong, says the trip allowed him to reflect and remember friends and family members who died in the war.

"They already passed away and today, I really cried and I miss them," Xiong said. "(It was) pretty powerful for me to remember them."

In a press release, Honor Flight organizers say Hmong veterans were enlisted by the CIA to assist American ground troops, but because they weren't American citizens at their time of service, they did not receive veterans benefits from the U.S. Government.

Today's flight was actually the last for the year, but organizers are now looking ahead to their end of the year Freedom Celebration on Nov. 3.