Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Congress What About Our POW/MIA's

How long must our missing remain unaccounted for? It is far too long, too many families waiting for closure, never knowing for sure if their loved ones are still alive.

The Department of Defense branch Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), is working hard and travels all over the world. They are following up reports of sightings or possible locations of either POW/MIA's or location of remains.

There were many reports of Americans captured in Korea and Vietnam being taken to China or Russia. Some of these turned out to be false leads, but there were some instances that proved to be true.

Korea, Russia, and China have all claimed that there are no POW's under their control. Saying that all information available has been turned over to American officials. These countries are working with DPMO to find remains of American military personnel.

DPMO is constantly interviewing people, asking questions. They are doing a great job and slowly remains are being repatriated. It just is not fast enough for those left behind.
What if it were your father, brother, husband that was missing, would you not want the truth? How long, and how hard it must be. The constant pain of the unknown is devastating. Some have been waiting for more than sixty years. Do you not think it has gone on and should be solved quickly.

ALL POW/MIA on their website http://www.aiipowmia.com/stats.html lists World War II 74,384, Cold War 123, Korea 8,056, Vietnam 1,742 unaccounted for. DPMO figures are very close to this count.

The 123 missing from the Cold War were aircraft shot down by Communist forces. These missions were under secret conditions, many of these missions are still classified, the men involved sworn to secrecy.

Robin Piacine, President of The Coalition of Families of Korea and Cold War POW/MIA's, has been working with Congress, The White House, DPMO, and Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC). Robin is a tireless, determined young woman. She has created the Pennsylvania Project, collecting mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)samples from families of missing to be used in identifying remains. You can read more information on the website http://www.coalitionoffamilies.org/new/default.asp

This year the House of Representatives had a bill introduces H. Res 111 to establish a House Select Committee for Pow/MIA Affairs with 280 cosponsors. Much to our regret it failed to pass, and the committee was discharged.

So everyone get your fingers loose and ready to type. Your phone ready to call. When the 111th Congress convenes in January 2009 write, fax, call, or visit in person your elected officials. Tell them that as a country, we can not, must not and will not forget those missing. Tell them we want action and our loved ones returned.

Jerald TerwilligerNational Vice ChairmanAmerican Cold War Veterans
www.americancoldwarvets.org"
We Remember"