John Douangdara: American Hero, Asian American, Laotian American, & Son of Lao people
Mother: Sengchanh Douangdara
Donations of support for John’s family, please make check payable for: John Douangdara Memorial Fund
Two simultaneous Lao traditional funerals for John Douangdara was held at his home in Virginia Beach, VA and at his mother, Sengchanh Douangdara’s home in South Sioux City, NE. His final resting place will be at the Arlington National Cemetery.
We have been informed that there will be a funeral next week at the Arlington National Cemetery for our 30 fallen American heroes. At the request of the Navy, we’ve been asked to not disclose the date and time. The Navy will announce the exact date and time, and also requested that no members of the media be present to respect the wishes for privacy and intimacy of the families of our fallen heroes, during this time of grief. LANA would like to express our deepest condolences to all the families and their love ones.
On the eve of embracing the 10 year anniversary of September 11th, and as America celebrates its 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, our nation continues to mourn and is reminded again about the tragedies of war, when on Saturday, August 6, 2011 30 American heroes paid the ultimate sacrifice when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan.
The Special Forces unit responsible for the capture and death of Bin Laden recent operation, Seal Team Six – known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group – has around 300 members, of whom 120 are commandos. The rest are communications and specialist support troops. ~ (Daily Mail UK, August 10, 2011) The badly-damaged remains of the 30 brave American troops Killed In Action were brought back to the U.S. on August 10, 2011 embraced by the families and President Obama. Twenty-two of the dead soldiers were from elite SEAL Team Six. Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara, 26, of South Sioux City, Nebraska was the lead dog handler for the elite SEAL Team Six and may well be the first Laotian American to die as SEAL Team Six.
We have obtained information from the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) from their Department of Defense liaison, “The total number of Asian/Pacific Islander Military Personnel (Active Duty, Guard & Reservists) as of February 2011 = 124,474 (4.50% of total Military Personnel).
Sengchanh Douangdara, shares with LANA, “It’s natural we are sad, but I’m proud and happy that John gave his life to this country in doing what he enjoyed. He is a son of the Lao people, from a refugee family, but he was born and raised in America as a Lao-American.” She shares that John’s initial goals after graduating from high school was to enter the military to pursue higher education. It was his choice, and she didn’t discourage his decision. He joined the U.S. military in 2003 for five years, but then decided to extend his service for another four more years till 2012. He told his mom before leaving for Afghanistan, that he will conclude his military duties within a year to pursue his passion of helping people in his civilian life.
John Douangdara told his family very little about his duties in the military. They didn’t even know he took part in operations with the Navy SEALs.
But his mother, Sengchanh Douangdara, recalled her son as “the middle child, very quiet, was committed to the military and proud to serve the country that adopted his Laotian family decades ago. “I know that he loved his job. It was a job he chose,” she told the Sioux City Journal.
Douangdara’s parents fled communist forces in their native Laos in 1979, then immigrated to the United States after the birth of their first child. John was born four years later, the third of five children his parents would raise in South Sioux City, a Missouri River town along the border with Iowa.
The oldest child, Chan Follen, said her family’s sadness is tempered by pride in Douangdara’s service to the U.S. “We are proud Johnny fought for the country that embraced our family and gave us the opportunity to reach for the American dream,” Follen said. ~ (ABC 12 Associated Press)
“We are proud and honor your ultimate sacrifice for this great nation which has accepted our people as refugees after the conclusion of the U.S. Secret War in Laos during the Vietnam War era…we thank you for bringing unity and pride to the Laotian American community” ~ Sirch Chanthyasack, CEO of LANA.
“John is a superb role model for Laotian American youth. As a Royal Lao Armed Forces (RLAF) former Special Guerrilla Unit (SGU) #33 Commander from Laos, I’m saddened and would like to share our grief with the family. We are happy to know that our Lao son served in the U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six defending America against terrorists in Afghanistan. We value and honor your sacrifice. We, the older generation can relate and understand your noble cause, as we have done in Laos as allies in the U.S. Secret War,” Khao Insixiengmay, ED of Royal Lao Veteran of America.
May your soul and spirit rest in peace young brother.
NAVY SEAL to be buried in Arlington – John Douangdara – Friday, August 26, 2011
Today, Friday, August 26, 2011 ~ John Douangdara, our hero, son, brother along with all Americans who was Killed In Action on Saturday, August 6, 2011 in Afghanistan will be laid to rest at the Arlington National Cemetery.
We are proud and honor you. May you Rest In Peace (R.I.P.) John Douangdara, 26, U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six, Master at Arms, Class 1, Lead Dog Handler for the Elite Military Unit.
Published Wednesday August 24, 2011
SOUTH SIOUX CITY — Services for a South Sioux City man have been scheduled at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.
The funeral and burial is set for Friday for Petty Officer 1st Class John Douangdara.
Douangdara was killed Aug. 6 when a rocket-propelled grenade disabled a transport helicopter in Afghanistan. The helicopter crashed, killing 30 Americans and eight Afghans.
Douangdara was dog handler for Navy SEAL Team Six.
The 26-year-old was a 2003 graduate of South Sioux City High School.
A local memorial service is being scheduled. — AP
Posted: Aug 22, 2011 11:51 AM PDT
Fallen Siouxlander to be laid to rest Friday
ARLINGTON, Va. (KTIV) – A Siouxland serviceman who was killed in Afghanistan will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery this week.
26-year-old John Douangdara, a 2003 South Sioux City graduate, was one of the 30 Americans on-board a Chinook helicopter that was shot down in a raid over eastern Afghanistan.
Douangdara was the lead dog handler for his unit, the Elite Team Six of Navy SEALS. Douangdara was in his fifth deployment; having served three times in Afghanistan and twice in Iraq.
Douangdara’s funeral is set for Friday, August 26th at Arlington National Cemetery. A public memorial will be held to honor Douangdara although a date hasn’t been set.
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery is a national cemetery under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Army.
The primary mission of Arlington National Cemetery is to function as the nation’s premier military cemetery and shrine honoring those men and women who served in the Armed Forces. In this regard, the cemetery performs over 27 funeral services each day. The cemetery also has become an increasingly popular visitor attraction in the National Capital Area, serving approximately four million visitors annually.
Family and friends must provide their own transportation for funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery. Family and friends will be required to drive from the administration building or chapel to the gravesite.
Hours of Operation for Funeral Services
Funeral services are provided Monday through Friday, except federal holidays, during the hours 9:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. Family and friends should arrive at the cemetery approximately one half hour prior to the scheduled service time.
Hours of Operation for Visitation
The cemetery is open year round (365 days) for visitation. The cemetery is open from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., October 1 through March 31. During the period April 1 through September 30, the cemetery is open for visitation from 8:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.
Ceremonies and Special Events Schedule