POW/MIA UPDATE: October 9, 2006

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    POW/MIA UPDATE: October 9, 2006

    U.S. PERSONNEL MISSING FROM THE VIETNAM WAR: The number missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War in 1975 is now 1,798 - 1,375 in Vietnam, 362 in Laos, 54 in Cambodia and 7 in PRC territorial waters. The names of three US personnel have recently been released: Now accounted for are 1Lt James L. Hull, USAF, of TX, 1LT Glenn McCubbin, USAF, of KS, and PFC James E. Widener, USA, of NY. A total of 785 US personnel have been accounted for since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Over 90% of the 1,798 still missing, including 90+ US personnel last known alive (LKA), were lost in Vietnam or in areas of Laos and Cambodia under Vietnamese wartime control.

    PRESIDENT RENEWS COMMITMENT: Addressing The American Legion National Convention in Salt Lake City on August 31st, President Bush stated: "My administration will also continue to work to locate the men and women in uniform whose fate is still undetermined -- our prisoners of war and personnel missing in action. We will not forget these brave Americans. We must not rest until we've accounted for every soldier, sailor, airman, Coast Guardsman, and Marine. And we will always honor their courage." His pledge met great applause.

    DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE SPEAKS ON RECOGNITION DAY: The national ceremony was held at the Pentagon, 11:00 a.m. on September 15th. In his remarks, Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England stated, "Today, we are gathered again to honor and remember those heroes who served and sacrificed ... but have not yet come home". He quoted President Bush's commitment to The American Legion and added, "This President - and this Nation - remain fully committed to bringing our heroes home again." Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff General Peter Pace stated: "There is no more sacred duty for the country than to account for and to repatriate those who are missing. The families of those who are missing are serving this country every day in a way that we can't even imagine. We cannot imagine what is in your hearts and on your minds every day, but, we hope that days like today—where your fellow citizens stop to remember and to rededicate ourselves to accounting for and repatriating your loved ones - that somehow, ceremonies like this help to ease your pain." Commemorative events were held across the country, and the White House issued a proclamation signed by the President.

    PRESIDENT BUSH TO VISIT VIETNAM: The President will visit Hanoi in mid-November in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC, hosted this year by Vietnam. Leaders countries in the vast Asia-Pacific region will attend, including the Presidents of Russia, the PRC and other countries directly linked to POW/MIA accounting interests. In a June 21, 2006 letter to the League, the President pledged to raise the need for increased POW/MIA cooperation when he meets with the Vietnamese Prime Minister. Prior to his arrival, the US Senate is reportedly scheduled to vote on and pass PNTR (permanent normal trade relations) with Vietnam, in anticipation of Vietnam's joining the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    LEAGUE TRIP TO SOUTHEAST ASIA: On October 18th, League Executive Director Ann Mills Griffiths and Senior Policy Advisor Richard Childress will travel to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia for meetings with officials. The primary objective is to convey to SRV leaders the need for specific unilateral actions to respond to President Bush when he visits Hanoi. Mr. Childress has always paid his own expenses when participating in a League Delegation; however, donations to offset costs would be most helpful. Send contributions to the League office, 1005 North Glebe Road, Suite 170, Arlington, VA 22201.

    GENERAL FOGLESONG CONCLUDES BRIEF VISIT TO MOSCOW: The US Chairman of the US-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIA Affairs recently met in Moscow with Russian Federation officials. The League commends General Foglesong for his initiative and willingness to serve, but is disappointed that Russian President Putin has not yet named a respected official as Russian Chairman. We hope that Moscow will quickly take steps to restore the stature and sense of purpose that existed when the Joint Commission was first established by Presidents George H.W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin.

    UPDATE ON JPAC OPERATIONS: JPAC leadership recently concluded a swing through several countries in Europe discussing future field operations related to WWII. Plans are near completion to resume field operations in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in mid-October, extending until at least mid-November when President Bush visits Vietnam in conjunction with the APEC summit.

    The League is eligible for the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) #1174

    Ann Mills Griffiths
    Executive Director
    National League of POW/MIA Families
    1005 North Glebe Road, Suite 170
    Arlington, VA 22201

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