POW/MIA UPDATE: September 26, 2006

Discussion in 'POW/MIA' started by slapyo, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. slapyo

    slapyo Administrator Staff Member

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    POW/MIA UPDATE: September 26, 2006

    DASD APPOINTMENT FINALLY ANNOUNCED: At long last, the POW/MIA issue has a new Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD), Ambassador Charles A. Ray. Although Acting DASD Bob Newberry has done an amazing job of restoring a sense of mission and fighting the budget battles to retain viability for the issue since being assigned the position early this year on a temporary basis, having a permanent senior official in the job is welcome and most important. It has long been the League's conviction that Ambassador Ray is the right man for the job, bringing the military and foreign policy background, plus relevant languages and understanding of the countries with which he will be working. The League is grateful that a person of Ambassador Ray's stature is willing and able to assume this responsibility and looks forward to a united, cohesive effort going forward.

    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 to the largest organization of American veterans met great applause. The League joins our supportive Legionnaires in thanking the President for his commitment.

    DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE SPEAKS ON RECOGNITION DAY: The national ceremony was held at the Pentagon, 11:00 a.m. on September 15th, hosted by Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England. In his remarks, Secretary 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. Thousands of commemorative events, such as walks, runs, motorcycle rallies, POW/MIA flag presentations and ceremonies are being held across the country this week. The White House has not yet issued a proclamation signed by the President; however, in recent years, it has come very late in the process. For that reason, plans proceed without the proclamation in hand, knowing that it will be forthcoming.

    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; however, the remains of 63 Americans were recovered and identified before the end of the war in areas where the US had access. These US personnel were accounted for without cooperation from the post-war governments of Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia, for a total of 846. 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.

    UPDATE ON JPAC OPERATIONS: In mid-August, JPAC Commander BG Michael Flowers led a US team to Vientiane, Laos, for POW/MIA talks that included a comprehensive operational assessment of results since joint efforts began in the mid-1980's, plus current and future operations. On September 14th, talks with Vietnamese officials were held in Hawaii on past, current and future operations. JPAC leadership is now in Europe discussing future field operations related to WWII. Planning is ongoing to return to field operations in Southeast Asia in October.

    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 in each country. The primary objective is to convey to SRV leaders the need for specific unilateral actions to be viewed as fully cooperative and to respond to President Bush when he visits Hanoi in mid-November. Donations to offset costs for this important mission would be most helpful, though Mr. Childress has always paid his own expenses when participating in a League Delegation. Contributions should be sent to the League office, 1005 North Glebe Road, Suite 170, Arlington, VA 22201

    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
    (PH) 703-465-7432 (FX) 703-465-7433
    http://www.pow-miafamilies.org
  2. Shannon Bridget Murphy

    Shannon Bridget Murphy New Member

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    At least there is one POW that can finally be accounted for. There was a service at Arlington National Cem for Francis Lupo yesterday afternoon.

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