Hmong Vet - Yong They Lee

Bridging generations through storytelling

I waited until my grandfather was on his deathbed before I asked him about his life as a soldier during the Secret War in Laos.

“Why didn’t you share this with us grandkids before?” I questioned.

“I didn’t think you kids were interested.” He answered. It was not due to lack of interest on my part but communication barriers.

Like most refugee and immigrant communities, there is a generation gap in the Hmong community causing cultural clashes of the old and new ways. These misunderstanding often leads to frustration, making it challenging for our Hmong Veterans to share their experience.

My grandfather (pictured above) may have not been able to share his amazing story with the world but there are similar stories like his that can still be told.

Unforgotten: An Intergenerational Project with Hmong Veterans

The Unforgotten Project was designed to foster intergenerational relationship building through storytelling. It pairs young individuals with Secret Guerrilla Unit (SGU) Veterans to learn their untold stories. Hmong Museum along with filmmaker, Hlee Lee, led the workshops to teach the young individuals the necessary skills to capture and bring to life each Veteran’s story. The result is a series of digital stories that will be shared at three upcoming community events.

In the coming weeks, I hope to share some of the young individuals and SGU Veteran’s experience with the Unforgotten Project.

Watch the Unforgotten Film Series

The “Unforgotten” project was designed to pair students and young professionals with Hmong Veterans from the Special Guerrilla Unit, to document their untold war stories. 

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