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Local Group is Raising Funds for a Hmong War Monument

6/15/2015

(Wausau, WI)  The Hmong American Center, formerly the Wausau Area Hmong Mutual Center, is planning to build a bronze and granite statue honoring all Marathon County Hmong veterans of the Vietnam War.  The memorial will be placed on the grounds of the Marathon County Courthouse in May of 2016. It will be the only memorial of its kind in the country.

 

The Hmong in Laos were recruited by the CIA in the 1960’s to fight against the communist North Vietnamese and the Pathet Lao during the Vietnam War. Hmong soldiers, some as young as 10 years old, rescued downed American pilots, engaged with communist troops on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, guarded strategic U.S. installations, and provided intelligence about enemy operations.

 

After the U.S. pulled out of South Vietnam and Laos in 1973, the Hmong were targeted by the communist regime.  Thousands of Hmong fled their homes to avoid persecution and bloodshed, and many settled in the U.S.

 

Today, Wisconsin is home to the third largest Hmong population in the U.S. Currently more than 7,000 Hmong Americans reside in Marathon County, making Wausau and Marathon County the second largest Hmong community in Wisconsin.

 

The Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin administers the Hmong Veterans Memorial Project Fund, which has been set up to accept tax deductible donations toward the $240,000 project cost.

 

The Community Foundation and the Hmong American Center announce that an anonymous donor has offered a challenge match to help encourage donations to the fund.

 

Effective immediately, all new donations received by September 7 will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $100,000. This challenge match does not apply to payments of existing pledges to the fund, nor to in-kind donations of goods or services for the project.

 

Peter Yang, executive director of the Hmong American Center states, “This challenge match could not have come at a better time.  The generous spirit of the donor is remarkable. Not only is the dollar amount significant, but it instills hope.”

 

Mort McBain stated, “I am truly encouraged by this generous offer. I am personally looking forward to help raise the balance of the funds to make this incredible project happen. This is a great opportunity to help make history for Wausau and Marathon County.

 

Jean Tehan, executive director of the Community Foundation states, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our community.  The anonymous donor has stepped forward because they are grateful for the service of our Hmong veterans. They truly value our Hmong neighbors and friends who live, work, and raise families in our communities in north central Wisconsin.  It is very important to them that this memorial becomes a reality, and they are taking this leadership role to help make that happen.” 

 

Donations can be sent to the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, 500 1st Street, Suite 2600, Wausau, WI 54403, for the Hmong Veterans Memorial Project Fund.          

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