Lao Immigrant Family Learns Son Died in Afghan Helicopter Crash

Posted August 10th, 2011 at 6:20 am (UTC-5)
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A Lao immigrant family in the United States says one of their members was among the 30 U.S. troops who died last week in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

Sengchanh Douangdara has told reporters in Sioux City, Iowa, she was notified of her son's death by military officials on Saturday.

The son, John Douangdara, 26, was a master at arms in the elite Navy SEALs, where he worked as a dog handler. The mother said she had not known John was part of the Seal unit but that he loved his work and died doing the job he chose.

Sengchanh Douangdara said she immigrated from Laos 31 years ago and has four more children living in the United States. Her oldest child, Chan Follen, said the family is proud John died fighting for the country that embraced the family and gave them the opportunity to pursue the American dream.