"Building a Better Laos" -- Brothers Reunited After 30 Years

By: Bao Vang
By: Bao Vang

Most of us see our family on a regular basis. But, it's been more than 30 years for one Rib Mountain man. He said goodbye to his brothers in a refugee camp in Southeast Asia when he and his wife were offered the opportunity to immigrate to America.

Through modern technology Sunrise 7 Anchor Bao Vang brought along with her on a recent trip to Laos, she reunites them.

It's fair to say in 30 years, Lao See Yang and his wife, Mao, have achieved the American dream.

It was their hope when they heard their Hmong leader General Vang Pao was also headed to the United States.

But, others were not as certain. Yang's relatives including his older and younger brothers chose to escape to China instead.

In 1978, while Lao See and his family headed to America, his brothers went north to China. They said their goodbyes, wishing each other well and accepting the idea that they may never see each other again.

And they haven't. That is... until Bao's camera first captured Lao See and his wife at their Rib Mountain home in February of 2011. They recorded a personal message to be played for Lao See's family members, who have now returned to Northern Laos.

At the end of February of 2011, Bao took those images around the world to the Luang Prabang Province.

After a quick phone call to one of the man's cell phones, Bao arrived at their home and was greeted by a large crowd, all waiting to see a man who has aged 30 years in a country none of these people has ever seen.

Tears ran down the face of one of the brothers as he listened closely to the message on a computer monitor.

And in the end, they, too, were able to record a message for the Rib Mountain family.

Once Bao returned to Northcentral Wisconsin in March 2011, she traveled back to Lao See's home to show him his long lost extended family.

Once again, tears were shed.

Lao See and his wife tell NewsChannel 7 they hope to take their first trip to Laos since fleeing the country 30 years ago at the end of 2011.


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