Date of Interview
Born and raised in Chicago, Steve Schofield majored in physical education and wrestled on scholarship at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois. On the basis of his college study in zoology, when he joined US Special Forces in 1966 he was assigned to train as a medic. He served in the 1st Special Forces Group in Okinawa, then in Vietnam with the Studies and Observations Group (SOG). In 1968, as a sergeant with SOG, Schofield was one of 14 US Special Forces personnel transported 13 miles into Laos with a company of ethnic Chinese and Cambodian soldiers. Two SF and several Chinese and Cambodians were killed; dozens were wounded. In 1969, Schofield was recruited by USAID to work in Northern Laos as a public health advisor, supplying village dispensaries and supporting local medics and field nurses. He also served a secret role training Hmong military medics and performing search and rescue operations for downed air crews. (Hmong forces usually got to pilots first, he says.) Stationed at Sam Thong (Lima Site 20), Schofield participated in its evacuation in March 1970. He worked closely with Edgar "Pop" Buell and enjoyed a friendship with Father Luc Bouchard. Arriving in Laos in October 1969, Schofield was among the last 26 Americans evacuated in May 1975. He has also played a significant role in helping Hmong veterans form their own honor and color guards and in erecting a monument to Hmong soldiers in Sheboygan, Wisconsin which will be dedicated in July 2006. Schofield has produced a DVD, "A Brief History of the Hmong and the Secret War," and speaks extensively about his experiences to help educate the general public and the American-born generation of Hmong.
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Hillmer, Paul, "Interview with Steve Schofield" (2006). Hmong Oral History Project. 21.