Time of Remembrance – Chaosarn Chao
Interview with Chaosarn Chao as part of the Secret War Oral History Project.
00:00 – Introduction
00:18 – Clip 1: Chaosarn names the village and province where he was born.
00:51 – Clip 2: Explains that he was a much-loved first son.
02:37 – Clip 3: Tells of his father serving in the French army and being a tribal chief.
04:15 – Clip 4: Talks of father’s advancement to being appointed as a district leader put in charge of 10-15 villages and then to city counsel where he periodically reported to French army.
09:01 – Clip 5: Did not start school till age 8, when his village opened a school with one teacher. Recalls playing Lao version of Simon Says.
11:04 – Clip 6: As much-loved first son, Chaosarn’s father took him everywhere, including into the city for meetings with the mayor.
12:54 – Clip 7: Recalls being responsible as a child for caring for 100 cows and having to constantly be on the look out for tigers.
14:29 – Clip 8: Explains how CIA made contact with General Vang Pao and then with Chaosarn’s father.
19:55 – Clip 9: Chaosarn describes the steps his father took to protect himself and his family from the corrupt government in Laos.
21:44 – Clip 10:
Chaosarn recalls the roles and responsibilities of his mother, 3 step-brothers and 2 step-sisters. His step-siblings had families of their own and their labor was used on the farm.
24:52 – Clip 11:
He goes with his dad to see the CIA, who is talking about bombing. They are stuck for a month.
30:11 – Clip 12: Chaosarn explains the Pathet Lao’s origination & the different kingdoms involved and expelling the French and power struggles.
40:50 – Clip 13: Chaosarn explains how talks about a peace deal began the Prime Minister demanded the US Army leaves. The Vietnam and Chinese forces increased and this is when Chaosarn’s family escapes to Thailand. His father had to leave everything behind.
48:17 – Clip 14: After his dad died in April 1967, he graduated high school and then completes army training and worked with the CIA. He talks about his role as financial advisor and says even now he stays in contact with some of the people in the CIA.
54:05 – Clip 15: He still hasn’t been back to Laos, but he’s been to China. He talks about all the organizations he was involved in/leader of and the importance of getting involved and helping the community.
1:21:35 – Clip 16: Chaosarn talks about that the Laotian government hadn’t done much for the people and the CIA made promises to help those Laotians who help them. Often the CIA was unsuccessful in this promise
1:27:59 – Clip 17: Chaosarn talking about the Mien community and that they are very close and interconnected.
1:29:11 – Clip 18: Picture of Chaosarn as a financial officer.
1:29:19 – Credits