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Sai Va Yang

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Sai Va Yang fought in the Vietnam War from 1967 to 1975 with General Vang Pao. After the overthrow of the Lao government by communist troops in 1975 Sai Va fled with his family across the Mekong River and lived in Pua, Thailand until 1970. On July 10, 1979, Sai Va, his wife Kia Thao, his son (and Sheree's father) Tou, and his daughter Yee came to the United States. They settled first in Fresno, California and then Lawton, Oklahoma, and then finally settled in Saint Paul, Minnesota. For serving in the Vietnam War, Sai Va received awards from the Congress of the United States and the Lao Veterans of America. These two awards also went with his collection of the metals he received when he served alongside General Vang Pao.

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Sai Va Yang Transcription

9401189. This was my grandfather’s identification number for serving in the Vietnam War.
My grandfather’s name is Sai Va Yang. He was born on April 31, 1938 in Luang Prabang, Laos. He served in the Vietnam War with General Vang Pao and many other soldiers from 1967 to 1975. In 1975 when Laos was overthrown by communist troops and the United States were pulling out, many Hmong people were left to fend for themselves. With communist troops invading villages, my grandpa took his family and made their way across the Mekong River to settle in Pua, Thailand until 1979. With the clothes on his back, his two children, Tou Yang and Yee Yang, and his wife, Kia Thao, coming to America was a way to give his children better opportunities to start their lives.
On July 10, 1979, my grandpa, grandma, aunt and my dad finally arrived in America settling first in Fresno, California and then to Lawton, Oklahoma, and then finally settling in Saint Paul, Minnesota. For serving in the Vietnam War, he received awards from the Congress of the United States and the Lao Veterans of America. These two awards also went with his collection of the metals he received when he served alongside General Vang Pao and many of the other brave soldiers.
With these awards and medals, I believe these reminded him of life back in Laos and his accomplishment of bringing his family here to start a better life. I remember as a young kid, my siblings and I would gather around him and listen to his war stories, cried when he cried, laughed when he laughed and when he finished, we would always beg for him to tell us more and would listen to the story all over again like we’ve haven’t heard it before. Having these medals and awards hanging on his living room wall, I saw him as a brave man, overcoming obstacles to provide a better life for his family here in America, defending his homeland until he was pushed out, and losing his parents, brothers, sisters, and close friends. These awards and medals show that before he even stepped foot onto American soil, he was already a loyal American, fighting alongside the U.S. for something he believed in.
My grandfather, Sai Va Yang, at the age of 75 passed away on September 20, 2013, but he will always be remembered for his bravery, and the love he has for his family will never be forgotten.