From 1974-1975 Thai and U.S.
forces withdrew from Laos. General VangPao had to leave for Thailand with
other leaders because he had sided with the U.S. during the Secret War.
The Hmong people were shocked and frightened that their leader had left
them and didnt know what to do.
Because the Hmong
had sided with the U.S. during the Secret War, communist forces first
captured and persecuted the Hmong men and young boys who fought during
the Secret War. These men and young boys who fought had to hide in the
jungle to escape from the communists. Their wives and family members would
then bring them food. While they were hiding in the jungle, the communist
forces started to advance into Hmong villages. After communist victory
over Laos in 1975, Pathet Lao forces started taking over Hmong villages.
Wives and family members met up with the men and young boys in the jungle.
They decided to flee the country into Thailand where they could take refuge.
They packed up food and headed for Thailand.
There were many obstacles the Hmong people had to face on their journey. The first main obstacle was their food shortages. Hmong people had to eat the insides of banana trees, bamboo, and leaves of trees, shrubs, and other food nature provided. Another main obstacle the Hmong people faced was encountering Pathet Lao soldiers. Pathet Lao soldiers shot down any Hmong people they saw. Parents would give doses of opium to their babies to quiet the babies down while trying to flee. Sadly, some of these babies died from overdoses. The third main obstacle was crossing the Mekong River. This task was difficult because Pathet Lao soldiers patrolled the river. They killed any Hmong people they saw trying to cross the river. A lot of Hmongs died trying to get into Thailand.
The Secret Warriors