FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Well-respected not only in the Hmong community but throughout Fresno and beyond, Colonel Vang Fong passed away February 17th, 2021 and many came to pay their respects over three days of gatherings.
“He is just one of a kind man, well-known all over the nation, and with the pandemic, we were not able to do as much as we would like to, but we were just so fortunate that we were able to pay respect to his legacy,” said Nhialong Vang, the nephew of Colonel Fong who was translated by Maiyer Vang, the granddaughter of Colonel Fong.
The colonel served the United States through the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret army in Laos during the Vietnam war and worked alongside military leader General Vang Pao who passed away in 2011 in Clovis and Fresno City Mayor Jerry Dyer sent his condolences.
“He was a person who was considered to be courageous, a leader, a man with a strong work ethic, someone that General Vang Pao depended on a daily basis as he not only defended the Hmong people but defended American soldiers and I am so grateful and thankful for Colonel Vang Fong.”
Today’s funeral procession was held at Fresno Memorial Gardens where the Colonel will lay to rest. Fong is survived by his ten children, thirty-one grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. His son, Ying Van shared the lessons of his father.
“Love each other, learn how to be a friend, know your role if you’re in a leadership role and that’s what I learned from him.”
Fong came to the United States in the ’70s after the U.S.–backed South Korean government fell. He attended many events and participated in the Veterans Day parade in Fresno.