[Vision2020] Remember POWs and MIAs

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Tue Sep 5 12:05:00 PDT 2006

>From the September 11, 2006 edition of the Army Times -


Remember POWs, MIAs

News reports about Staff Sgt. Keith "Matt" Maupin get a lot of attention
because he is the only soldier listed as missing or captured in Iraq.

The Army press release announcing his promotion to staff sergeant, though,
is notable. It demonstrates - in one simple phrase - the steadfast
commitment of the military to account for all of its service members,
whether dead and not recovered or missing in action. 

"This will keep Staff Sergeant Maupin in line with his peers so that when he
returns ..." the Aug. 9 release said.

When he returns? The faith and optimism of the message are clear. Make no
mistake about it, the Army intends to find Maupin and bring him home. And
failure is not an option. 

This attitude is embodied in the "warrior ethos," a series of four
statements, embedded within the Soldier's Creed, that affirm the principles
of character the American people have come to respect in their soldiers.
. I will always place the mission first.

. I will never accept defeat.

. I will never quit.

. I will never leave a fallen comrade.

American soldiers live and breathe this ethos every day as they serve their
country at home and abroad, in peace and in harm's way. 

They are dedicated to their nation and to each other.

And amid the chaos and confusion inherent in a global war on terrorism, they
continue to search for their comrades from this conflict and from conflicts

Under the direction of the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office,
U.S. government civilians and uniformed military personnel actively pursue
the cases of our soldiers missing from all of America's wars. 

Diplomats confer with representatives from other nations and negotiate for
access to battle sites, and search-and-recovery teams interview witnesses
and conduct excavations in methodical searches for remains or personal

Of the 2,646 service members originally listed as missing from the Vietnam
conflict there and in Laos, Cambodia and China, 841 had been repatriated and
identified as of May 1. Efforts continue to account for the remaining 1,805.

[There are still 78,000 troops unaccounted for from World War II; 8,100 from
the Korean War; and 120 from other Cold War conflicts, according to the
Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.]

Teams of Americans relentlessly work in numerous countries to ensure that
our nation's defenders eventually make their way home. 

Sept. 15 has been designated as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Memorials
will be held, veterans organizations will organize rallies, and government
officials will make speeches. In Bartonville, Ill., friends and family will
come together to remember Maupin and to pray for his safe return. 

Every American should take the opportunity that day to pause and reflect on
what it means to be an American soldier.

Capt. Greg C. Reeson

Fort Lee, Va.


Unaccounted for POWs:

World War 2:  29,850

Korean Conflict:  2,100

Vietnam Conflict:  587

And the beat goes on . . .

Tom Hansen
SFC, US Army (Retired)
Moscow, Idaho

"Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil
and steady dedication of a lifetime." 

--Adlai E. Stevenson, Jr.

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