Hmong Resolution Speech

State Rep. Mai Xiong (D-Warren) speaks in support of her House Resolution that commemorates Hmong Special Guerrilla Units Remembrance Day, on May 14, 2024, on the House Floor of the Michigan Capitol Building.

LANSING, Mich., May 15, 2024 — State Rep. Mia Xiong (D-Warren) commemorated the invaluable contributions of the Hmong Special Guerrilla Units (SGU) by sponsoring House Resolution 256, officially designating May 14, 2024 as Hmong Special Guerrilla Unit’s Remembrance Day.

The resolution recognizes the courageous efforts of the Hmong men and women who played a pivotal role in safeguarding cherished freedoms. Originating in 1958, amid the Vietnam War, the CIA clandestinely engaged the Hmong people of Laos, enlisting their aid in crucial operations against North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao forces.

Xiong highlighted the profound sacrifices made by her own family members, including her late father Vang Shoua Xiong, her late grandfather Wa Chu Xiong, her late father-in-law Kue Fong and her uncle Neng Sho Xiong, who rose to notable ranks within the unit.

“The story of the Hmong Special Guerrilla Units is the story of my family and many other Hmong people,” Xiong said. “My father was 17 when he was recruited to aid American soldiers during the Vietnam War. When the US withdrew from Southeast Asia, my family was forced to flee on foot. They hid in the jungles for four years before escaping to Thailand. They swam across the MeKong River and were placed into refugee camps where they lived for seven years. In 1984, I was born in the Ban Vinai refugee camp.”

Despite facing tremendous adversity, the Hmong people displayed unwavering bravery and dedication to their mission. With an estimated 30,000 lives lost and 150,000 others displaced, the conflict exacted a heavy toll on the Hmong community, compelling many to seek refuge in neighboring Thailand.

Today, many members of the Hmong community proudly call Michigan home, contributing significantly as homeowners, entrepreneurs, health care professionals and educators.

Xiong called upon all Michiganders to join her in honoring the legacy of the Hmong veterans and their families, fostering understanding, empathy and solidarity among diverse communities. She urged meaningful dialogue and the dismantling of barriers hindering mutual respect and compassion.

As the state reflects on its history during the commemorative Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month of May, Xiong emphasized the importance of recognizing those who have shaped our collective history and defended the freedoms cherished by all.

“My parents sacrificed everything to bring me to this country. I’m grateful to be able to give back to the community that has given me and my family so much,” Xiong concluded.