What a name for a book, but what a simple clear concise snapshot picture of a time during the period of bombing of LAO in the 1960s and early 1970s.  Commonly referred to as America’s “ Secret War”.  This was not just a mistake or even a misunderstanding: it was a terrible misnomer and a travesty of immense proportion.  

•  For the Laotians who cowered in caves to escape what is considered the heaviest bombardment in history, the campaign was certainly not a secret. 

•  For the destruction and killing of three million innocents it can never be forgotten.

•  For the slavery of an agrarian peoples, it cannot be forgiven.

•  For the dangers and ruination of the Plain of Jars with live ordinance still killing people today and an impossible task to overcome.

•  America’s involvement was well known in the capital, Vientiane, and covered in the international press. Eventually it became well publicized and was even investigated by Congress. 

•  But the “secret” label stuck to America’s war in Laos, in part because of official denials and in part because of public indifference.  Mostly because of the lies told to the American public by four Presidents.   It has become even more of an art form today with the current President of the United States who seems to have a severe problem with truth also.



I started this project because, I wanted a compilation to help students understand what war and truth is, and no one is above the law, not even the President of the United States.   I am who am, I have always wanted to know the truth,  I have this urge, a desire to find the truth in almost anything I’m interested in.  

Much of what is written here took almost forty years for it to come out.  Many have written about this war, it was dirty, non productive and led by leaders who were not afraid to lie.  Much of the information I gleaned came from LAO refugees who were there and now live in the US

My appreciation is to those who sent me information, I do my best to source the data and give credit to those before me who took the time and effort to get the truth out.  It’s not easy sometimes and If I miss someone, forgive me, I just want to truth to get out. I will try to get the names updated. There is so much, it’s exponential, it grows every day.

The strongest point that came to me was the realization, the war in LAOS really was  a conglomeration of effort, but not on the same page and really two wars with four sides.  The Royal Lao side, and the Guerrilla fighting by the Hmong against the HO CHI MINH TRAIL in the northern hill country.  Adding to that, was the ground and air war in Vietnam, and the ruthless savagery of the KHYMER ROUGE against the Cambodians which led to the Cambodian-Vietnamese war and three million savagely slaughtered, no other word explains it.  Killed because of who they were.

When they talk of the fog of war, the Lao - Cambodian - Vietnam war certainly exemplifies more so, something closer and more powerful like the perfect storm.  Huge nations, proxy governments and armies, the truths never told, and the bottom line three million plus bodies of women, children and men, and no one really knows the count as migrations and records were never kept. My money is on more than three million, maybe three point five million.

Never taking anything away from those who paid the ultimate price, the only end product of war is the misery and few wars in history produced anything of usefulness in a world that tends to repeat itself.  We have to learn from these mistakes and bring history back into the classrooms. Then the next generation will realize what harm, accepting lies brings to the table. 


Three years ago I took upon the task of trying to lend support, fundraising, and educational opportunities for the LAO here in the Tampa bay area.  Through a wonderful family, I met the elder for a group of folks from LAO.   We shared stories of the war, we both knew what went down and he asked me if I could help with a project, they were getting stalemated with.  I said I would see what I could do.  A year passed and made some headway, built a website and made a few friends.  

And hit a stone wall.  Politics ended any chances of a good outcome for several reasons. Getting anything from  the Foreign Relations Committee members proved useless and impossible.  Our local Senators and Congressmen useless.  

Most spelled or smelled of  T-RUMP,  The Foreign Relations committees in Congress had their hands full.  With reluctance and against any advice Trumps attack on immigration, borders, people from other countries immigrating legally and illegally just clogged all paths of success. 

Most of the LAO folks I worked with here were cordial and I was treated with great respect.  More contact at social functions showed me patterns and some customs I was not comfortable with.  As a volunteer, a guest advisor with business and political connections with future plans for the LAO group, I was asked to speak at their business meeting and try to put a coalition together for the Congressional adventure.  Primarily, as advisor to Washington on matters of recognition for the fallen soldiers who supported our troops on the Lao side with many rescues of our shot down aircraft.  

I know all about that war, up close, personal and with bad memories.  At the same time they wished a fund raising plan trying to put together a better community plan for their children, education, legalities and moving forward.

I had some previous experience overseas, during the war, and recently working with these local LAO Low landers and the Mountain people for a while, my goals and perceptions were both clear in the beginning and soon became not so clear.  Far more complex than I thought.  


My goal was to bring even more of the LAO story to the present, unfortunately there is a another problem.  They believe, and evidence indicated it was true.  That is the fighters against the NVA and Cong were hung out to dry at the end of the war by the CIA.  Partially true, Cambodia, Lao and Viet Nam were all falling apart.  Southeast Asia was totally engulfed, we observed borders, the enemy had none.

This is true and a proper exit plan was not in place.  The Viet Cong, the PRG, the North Vietnamese regulars, the Pathet Lao the Kampuchea supported by arms from Russia, Communist Bloc nations,  and China, The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia,  North Korea and others, even Cuba vastly overpowered the freedom fighters.  It was inevitable.

The refugees escaping with virtually nothing took refuge in internment camps in Thailand till the United States granted “ Refuge Status”.