I first met her when she was five years old and a kindergarten student in my wife Kim's class. Pa Moua, even then, showed a lot of innate intelligence and a deep sense of wanting to learn everything.
I have such fond memories of taking the little five year old and my two sons, David and Jonathan, (not that much older) on inner tube floats down the Red Cedar river from just below the Menomonie power plant all the way to Downsville, laughing and clowning all the way.
There were trips up to the lake where Kim's parents lived in the suburbs of Minneapolis and watching Pa catch the small sun fish and blugills with her hands. She spent hours at a it -- very industrious!
As she got older, she moved away to LaCrosse and although we heard from her once in a while, we lost track of her much of the time.
We always knew she would turn out to be a very good citizen and contributor, especially with and for her own people, the Hmong.
The Hmong who are with us should be treated with the greatest respect as they were our strongest and finest allies against the Viet Cong in that terrible war.
God knows how many of our own soldiers lives were saved through the bravery of the Hmong tribesmen who, along with the Montagnards, acted as scouts for out special ops fighting men that crossed into Laos to seek out enemy caches of weapons and supplies.
Now, some thirty years later, the Hmong are still living in the jungles, on the run from the Communist government that hunt them down and kill them if given the opportunity. And what has the American government done to help? Other than to grant some asylum here in this country, very little if anything.
I received an e mail from Pa just today, catching me up on her life. Much of what she is involved in to try to help her fellow countrymen she has asked me to keep under wraps and not convey publicly. Suffice to say that she continues to be a strong voice for her people who has traveled extensively on their behalf and has experienced first hand the terrible conditions in which they are forced to live.
I just want to say God bless you. Pa, for carrying the beacon of love and answering the calling for which you were destined. I am so very proud of you and your people.
Americans need to understand how much the Hmong have done for us and be grateful!