Funeral Saturday for St. Paul victim of Ft. Hood shootings

Kham Xiong
Kham Xiong, 23, of St. Paul, was among the 13 people killed in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009.
MPR Photo/Ambar Espinoza

Funeral services begin Saturday for Pfc. Kham Xiong of St. Paul, who was killed in the November 5 shootings at Fort Hood.

Two days of traditional Hmong services will be followed Monday with a military funeral at Fort Snelling. Xiong, 23, will be the second active duty Hmong soldier to be buried at Fort Snelling.

A number of prominent officials will attend the funeral services, including Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota's two U.S. senators, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and Hmong General Vang Pao.

Lee Pao Xiong, director of the Center for Hmong Studies at Concordia University, says the Hmong community is expecting large numbers of people at the funeral because of the high-profile nature of Xiong's death.

"It's a matter of sadness, and then also pride," said Xiong. "Here you have this person who was ready for deployment, he was going to give up time with his family to be deployed. But the sad part is that he never got the chance to go and he died in a senseless -- one would say a senseless act."

Xiong will be awarded honorary, posthumous U.S. citizenship, because he was killed while serving in the military during war time, according to Klobuchar's office.

Services will be held at the Legacy Funeral Home in Maplewood.

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