TFB’s resident adventurer Claymore sent me this photo from his archives.

This maybe the MOST “exclusive” photo ever on TFB! I was looking up a photo of my 762 gear for somebody and saw this. It is a photo on me receiving my “adviser musket” from General Vang Pao. Vang Pao was a famous leader of one faction of the Hmong and he “Awarded” these muskets to American advisers that had helped him and his people during the Secret War.

With me that day was my regular partner on adventures and Mr. Lynn who was mentioned in the “Glass vials” story on TFB. They were awarded their muskets at the same time.

What makes this photo so special is there were probably less than 25 people in the world that were awarded them. We proudly follow in the footsteps of Jerry “Hog” Daniels.

I’m about 98% sure we were the last advisers to get one as Vang Pao left and spent the majority of his remaining years in the USA.

You can read about Claymore’s adventures here.

Submit photos you have taken to TFB’s Photo Of The Day.


  • Aggle

    I’m sorry to have to say this, but the privacy morph is terrifying.
    It’s like a Lovecraft monster.

    • FourString

      A simple black bar would have been less freaky x.x

      • claymore

        Yea but a simple black bar is way to easy to remove. This process prevents that LOL.

        • Phillip Cooper

          Not if you print it and then scan it.
          Your morph is actually less secure than a black bar.

          • claymore

            Try and restore it.

    • skusmc

      That’s Claymore’s actual war face.

  • Joel

    So, how does it shoot?

    • claymore

      Don’t know because I never shot it LOL. They are just local made black powder muzzle loaders that the people in the hills use for bird shooting to this day because they are the only firearms they can legally have.

      • iksnilol

        Do you still have it? I am not suggesting anything but… SCIENCE!

        Yes, shooting stuff for fun is technically science as long as we measure parameters and compare them or something.

        • claymore

          Go buy one they are still in use and test it all you want.

  • claymore = slenderman

  • guest

    Ah, Hmong. The useful tools that were left behind after use.

    • claymore

      Incorrect. Try reading up on the subject and you will find out the truth. There are several books written on their movement to the USA.

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    Great information, Claymore — as always, this sheds more light on the unknown and unacknowledged details of history that are usually — and conveniently — overlooked.

    I often wonder when in God’s name our country, which is nearly always the first to take the lead in talking very loudly and emphatically about moral principles, doing the right thing regardless of consequences, standing up to the tyrant, uplifting the poor and oppressed, etc., etc., etc., is ever actually going to live up to, and stand by, those very same principles, instead of practicing the typical run-of-the-mill way of doing things — practicing political expediency and usury when it suits us, and conveniently abandoning those who have placed their faith, and their very lives, in our hands when something “better” comes along.

    Frankly, the Hmong, among many others, were unnecessarily and wrongly sacrificed to this end, as were so many others over the decades. As one obvious more recent example, we did this to the Kurds during the Gulf War and abandoned them to the tender mercies of Saddam Hussein’s chemical warfare initiatives, and we seem to be waffling on the verge of doing the same thing regarding their struggle against ISIS, all because of our incredibly naive conviction that one faction of the Kurds, the PKK, is a “terrrorist ” group, and this because we in reality want to maintain a perceived friendship with an existing right-wing Turkish Government that has strayed far from the ideals of secularism that Turkey was once so respected for.

    This sort of hypocrisy is costing us an incredible amount of credibility on a day-to-day basis, and will earn us only the gross cumulative distrust of our most trusted allies in the long run, a situation that will prove most untenable and come to haunt us in the future in no uncertain terms.

    • claymore

      Sorry to burst your bubble but the vast majority of the Hmong that fought for us have been brought to the USA. I know because in some cases I personally filled out their paperwork and got it through the embassy.

      There are several Hmong enclaves in US cities in California, Connecticut, Minnesota, and North Carolina and a few more states and I’m still in touch with some of them.

      • DaveP.

        “There are several Hmong enclaves in US cities in …North Carolina…”
        Some of them used to work at the warehouse when I was there. You’d see a 100-pound guy wander by carrying a 200-pound box- and he’d be smiling…
        Hardest workers I’ve ever seen.

        • claymore

          It was funny on flat land we Americans walked away from them with our long legs BUT when we started up into the mountains their short legs had them flying past us carrying those heavy loads.

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        You didn’t burst my bubble, Claymore. In fact I’m really glad to hear about the Hmong you mentioned — thank you. I know that similar sponsorship has been carried out for a number of other people ( such as Iraqi interpreters ), but my point was that if we want others to have faith in us on a wide scale, we need to be equally committed on a wide scale encompassing all our worthwhile allies, not just one particular group or the other, and certainly not wasting our troops’ lives and our resources on corrupt, manipulative dictatorships and governments.

    • dp

      hi Diver!
      Just shortly from what I know having (very) personal contact from that area. Hmong leadership screwed up totally. They sided, for who knows what promise, with foreign power. Consequently they received rough deal form central government. Nobody should be surprised.
      Laos, which involved Hmong minority, was ‘great’ for those who were taking advantage of it for 2 centuries. Now is firmly within Chinese sphere of influence – and is fortunate in being so, Life standard grew rapidly in last ten years.

      At the end fits the slogan I am used to see at one local dealerships: “Money Talks – Nobody walks”!. It’s good to wake up from dream; sooner the better. It is spelled h-y-p-o-c-r-I-s-y.

      • claymore

        Totally incorrect. The low land Laos and the Hmong have been at war for centuries they are long time enemies. This so called “central government” you speak of are the ones that are STILL trying to commit genocide on the Hmong.

        And if you had ever been to Laos, with it’s Stalinist style government, you would know that it is NOT a growing economy or better in lifestyle.

        • dp

          No need to teach me Claymore. My wife is from there (ran for political reasons). Chinese influence dropped in just in last ten years; it was Vietnam who was in control and fed and tutored PL.
          Americans exploited that country dry (and bombed hell out of it) just like they did in Vietnam. Vientiane was one time (under American ally col. Nosavan) drug capital of the world.
          YOU go there and take a look buddy! (but change your lenses at the door) You will find prosperity and PEACE.

          • claymore

            You are still wrong the Americans did nothing to exploit Laos and unlike you I HAVE actually been there. And let’s say Vietnam did support the PL where do you think they got their weapons from……..China.

            Peace in the form of forced labor camps just like North Korea that is not peace it is just survival. Maybe the elite low landers have it good but they are to this day trying to exterminate the Hmong or don’t they count?

            Your wife had to run for “political reasons” and you think a country that would make a woman run away in fear of her life is wonderful?

  • claymore

    For the doubters out there if you would actually talk to Hmong people here in the states or even still over in the jungle and they will tell you they are eternally grateful to the USA for everything we did. They would have been at war with the PL with or without us, do you actually think they liked the PL. They knew it and we did use their services but without us they would have been worse off and they know it.

    It’s easy to do in the areas where they ended up in the states they always need volunteers that can help them with things we consider mundane like getting a drivers license, hooking up a phone, divorce papers, zoning laws everyday things we don’t sweat but for people from another country coming from living in the jungle, that don’t speak English they are a big deal.

    We also worked with them in the states and since I was an NRA instructor I helped the ones that became citizens get their CCW permits.

    Or just read any of the books about their struggles there and here there are many to chose from.

    One story is telling. the leader of the Chow Fa faction PaKow Her worked with us in Sog in Vietnam and was lost during the evacuation and WALKED back to Laos in a three month trip. He then gathered the remnants of his people and started fighting back in Laos

    We were approached to go meet with him and were advised that it was unknown what our reception would be as nobody from the USA had been in contact since he was abandoned. Would he take us out in the jungle and put a round in the back of our heads for abandoning him or what?

    We went and our reception couldn’t have gone better they were like we are so glad you guys are back and we became fast friends.

    It would have been nice if we really had a UFO that we could fly over and hoover up all the Hmong that actually fought for us and deposit them in the USA but they only exist in the minds of conspiracy zealots not in real life.

    In real life it was a logistical nightmare to try and move thousands of people out of the jungle but we did the best we could with the resources we had.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      The fact that you still managed to get so many out under the circumstances says a great deal about the fortitude of you and your colleagues. If only the politicians at the highest levels would care as much and at least do their best to consistently back up all our friends who really have faith in us.

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    It’s hard to tell from the photo alone, but the musket looks to be held together with hand-formed brass bands.

    • claymore

      They are all hand formed parts.

  • iksnilol

    How can microphones be real when our mouths aren’t? This is in regards to the freaky mouth Claymore has in that picture.

  • Dallas McCurdy

    Claymore, very interesting post. I have a musket that I know very little about. All I know is that it was given to my grandfather who served in Laos with the Special Forces. Sadly he passed away in 2001. Do you have any other information about these muskets?

  • RaunchyDawg

    He spent the majority of his remaining years in America because America had left the Hmong high and dry after using them as “free soldiers” in this secret war for years. Hmong are constantly hunted down and killed to this day by the victors of that war. Let’s not forget all of the legacy for just the glorious bits.