"Stand Up for Our Veterans" an "All Relations United" Program

Jun 3, 2021

North Carolina Museum of History

  Las Cruces, NM – On this edition of PUENTES a la comunidad, bridges to the community, host Emily Guerra spoke with “All Relations United” Board member and Montagnard Veteran, Y-Duen Buondap, to bring awareness about their plight and asking for help. “All Relations” is a non-profit organization based in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Their program, “Stand Up for Our Veterans” brings awareness and assistance to Native American Veterans, Montagnard Veterans and Deported Veterans.

In 1965 the American Special Forces recruited indigenous Dega People of the Central Highlands of Vietnam as soldiers, now known as Montagnard Veterans. They were fierce and loyal allies. 58,000 Americans were killed in Vietnam, in comparison, 70,000 Montagnard soldiers lost their lives.

Buondap said that despite promises by the U.S. that they would not be left behind, they were left behind. Men were tortured and killed, their women raped and killed, their children kidnapped and sent to “reeducation” camps, then forced into the Vietnamese army. In 1975 the Montagnard veterans were abandoned by the United States, 50,000 Montagnard soldiers fled into the jungles of Vietnam and continued fighting the North Vietnamese; 17 years later they came out and asked the United Nations for asylum. As a result of their allegiance to the United States the targeted persecution and genocide of the Montagnard/Dega people continues to this day.