article is from the June 16, 1999
House of Representatives
IN RECOGNITION OF CAPTAIN D.L. "PAPPY" HICKS
HON. RALPH M. HALL
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16, 1999
Mr. HALL of Texas.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor and pay tribute to a true American hero, Captain D.L. "Pappy" Hicks. In a recent trip to Washington, Pappy was honored by Congress for his dedication and service in the Secret Army, which operated in Laos during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
Pappy was a deep, covert operator in clandestine operations in South Asia from 1959 until 1982. Many of these operations have remained concealed over the years as a result of their top secret nature. American citizens and U.S. troops, alike, were unaware that any fighting was occurring in Laos during the Vietnam War, hence the operations have often been called the "Secret War". The Secret Army was comprised of Hmong and other Laotian Mountain people in cooperation with the Royal Laotian Army and American advisors such as the CIA, U.S. Army Special Forces, and U.S. Army covert operators. Yet, as a result of the covert nature of their service, the men who gave their lives serving in the Secret Army in Laos are not recognized on the Vietnam War Memorial. Their mission was to find potential enemies of the Untied States operating within the Laotian borders with the North Vietnamese. Reportedly these men saved thousands of American lives through their efforts; thus, their recent Washington tribute was an emotional one for Pappy.
At the ceremony, Pappy was given a pa'ndua, a ritulistic cloth used to tell the history of the Hmong people, by General Vang Pao, his commanding officer. In his speech, Pappy struggled to fight back tears as he recollected his time in Laos and the injuries he sustained while operating in that area. As he spoke to his fellow soldiers, Pappy remarked, "Ever so often, years after the fact, when we become old men, we who worked in the dark are let out in the light for a moment of glory. For me, this is the day."
Captain Hicks, from the Fourth District of Texas, currently resides in Troup, Texas, with his lovely wife of fourty-five years, Marjorie Ann Tupa. Mr Speaker, as we adjourn today, let us do so in honor of this true American hero -- Captain D.L. "Pappy" Hicks.
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