Xiong came to America from Thailand as a small child and eventually relocated in Saint Paul, Minn. He was a husband and father who followed his brother into the military because his family had a strong history of service.

He was assigned to Forward Support Company, 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade. Xiong’s company commander said he was honest, trustworthy and one of those soldiers on whom he could always count on. Xiong was a gentleman and a hero who strove to do the best during Army physical training so he could give the noncommissioned officers a hard time, his platoon leader said.

His section sergeant described him as humble, well-liked and a true friend. He once returned to an end-of-day formation with his friend even though he suspected it was called off. After waiting for hours, the friend asked if he knew all along. “I sort of knew and had doubts,” Xiong told him. “But I wasn’t about to let my battle buddy go alone.” He is survived by his wife and three young children. Xiong was 23 at the time of his death.

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