More than 40 years after the Vietnam War, the debate continues over how to recognize the Hmong soldiers who fought in the CIA’s clandestine “Secret War” in Laos. Because Hmong soldiers were not officially part of the US Military during the operation, they were denied veteran status and traditional military benefits, despite their service.

To learn more about the CIA’s efforts to stop the spread of communism deeper into Southeast Asia, and the amazing firsthand stories of sacrifice and bravery of the Hmong men and women who served in the operation, watch the full-length documentary America’s Secret War.

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This story is part of the collection The Call to Serve: Stories of Sacrifice, War and the Way Home, which was funded by the Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation.