“If you are able, save for them a place
inside of you
and save one backward glance when you are leaving
for the places they can no longer go.
Be not ashamed to say you loved them,
though you may or may not have always.
Take what they have
left and what they have taught you
with their dying and keep it with your own.
And in that time when men decide and feel safe
to call the war insane,
take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind.”
January 1, 1970 Dak To, Vietnam
LEAGUE OF FAMILIES OF AMERICAN PRISONERS AND MISSING IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
AMERICANS ACCOUNTED FOR:
In mid-October and again more recently, DPAA posted changes to the list
of Vietnam War missing and unaccounted-for US personnel, now numbering
For various reasons, including wishes of the family, DoD announcements
are often delayed far beyond the ID dates and sometimes not even made.
The number of Americans now listed by DoD as returned and identified
since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 is 961. Another 63 US
personnel, recovered by the US and identified before the end of the war,
bring the total of US personnel accounted for from the Vietnam War to
1,024. Of the 1,624 still missing and unaccounted-for, 90% were lost in
Vietnam or in areas of Cambodia and Laos under Vietnam’s wartime
control: Vietnam-1,266 (VN-467, VS-799); Laos-302; Cambodia-49; PRC
territorial waters-7. These country-specific numbers can and do
fluctuate when investigations result in changes to locations of loss.
Since formation in 1970, the League has sought the return of all POWs,
the fullest possible accounting for those still missing, and
repatriation of all recoverable remains.
REPATRIATION OF REMAINS:
On December 12th, remains believed to be those of four US personnel
missing and unaccounted-for since the Vietnam War were honored in a
repatriation ceremony at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi. Turned
in unilaterally by civilian Vietnamese and recovered during the 121st
period of Joint Field Activities in Vietnam, the four remains were
reviewed by Vietnamese and American forensic specialists who determined
the potential for being identified as US personnel. Our Ambassador to
Vietnam Ted Osius was joined by specialists from DPAA’s Detachment 2 and
the Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP) in honoring
those repatriated. In remarks, Ambassador Osius reportedly expressed
gratitude for the goodwill and increasingly efficient and effective
cooperation being afforded by the Government of Vietnam. The League
extends sincere appreciation to all – American and Vietnamese – whose
authorization, policy and operational support and/or participation
contributed to this repatriation and looks forward to further expanding
the level of effort that can lead to increased accounting results.
DPAA DIRECTOR VISITS CAMBODIA, LAOS & VIETNAM:
DPAA Director Mike Linnington recently
returned from his first trip to the three most directly engaged Vietnam
War countries. He first briefly visited Cambodia, then made official
calls in Vientiane, Laos, and flew by helicopter to visit DPAA and Lao
personnel conducting field operations. He returned to Vientiane before
going on to Hanoi to meet with senior officials there. On December 5th,
Mr. Linnington briefed the Board of Directors on this important,
introductory visit that came at a time of ever-increasing bilateral
political, economic and military-to-military cooperation. He also
visited DPAA and Vietnamese teams conducting field operations in Vietnam
before flying back to the US, arriving in time for a DPAA-hosted Family
Update in Portland, ME, on November 14th. More will be provided when
MORE GOOD NEWS:
DPAA Director Linnington has decided to invite representatives of
responsible national Veteran organizations to attend and observe
briefings at DPAA-hosted POW/MIA Family Updates around the country. The
League deeply appreciates this return to including our Veterans in these
meetings. Though often general in content, the briefings given are
firsthand and provided by responsible US officials. Since DPAA is
stressing the importance of outreach and transparency, DPAA-hosted
Updates provide an opportunity for both.
GENERAL FOGLESONG VISITS MOSCOW:
US Chairman of the US-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIA Affairs General
Robert H. “Doc” Foglesong, USAF (Ret) traveled to Moscow to meet on
November 9th with the Russian Co-Chairman, General Colonel Valery
Aleksandrovich Vostrotin. The two Co-Chairs outlined their hope for
renewing and restoring the work of the USRJC and noted the importance of
the new Russian Office of the USRJC located in the Embassy of the
Russian Federation. This important office was opened in July of this
year and is headed by Maxim N. Alekseev, an impressive Russian official
with a diverse background and record of experience. The League welcomes
this new initiative and looks forward to working with Mr. Alekseev and
senior Russian officials in Moscow. It is past time to press forward
and end the seemingly endless delays.
Although the pace of joint field recoveries and investigations related
to the Vietnam War has resumed to a higher level, the Vietnamese, in
particular, have repeatedly called for increasing the pace and scope of
such operations, in fact since 2009. In fact the political climate,
regionally and bilaterally with Vietnam, lends itself to expanding
cooperation across the board. Contact your elected officials and ensure
they understand that there must be full funding, with increases as
needed, including qualified personnel, for the new Defense POW/MIA
Accounting Agency (DPAA).
Empty chair honors U.S. military veterans missing
The black chair will forever
a silent testament to the thousands of American
war veterans still considered missing in action.
*Chairs come in all
type and sizes, but Have one thing in Common
The POW/MIA "National Chair of Honor”
City Hall on Monday, Mayor Jim Kenney, second from
helped install the POW/MIA National Chair of Honor.
Kent County DE Administration Building unveiled
their POW-MIA National Chair of Honor.
Cardinal O'Hara High
School POW-MIA National Chair of Honor.
the first permanent emplacement of its kind in California.
City of Thousand Oaks POW/MIA Chair.
POW/MIA Chair at Papa John Stadium.
POW's Prayer By Jean Ray and L. Vancil
Your own Son was a prisoner.
Condemned, he died for us.
Victorious, He returned to bring us the gift of life everlasting.
Comfort us now in our longing for the return of the Prisoners Of War and
those Missing In Action.
Help Us Father;
Inspire us to remove the obstacles.
Give courage to those who know the truth to speak out.
Grant wisdom to the negotiators, and compassion to the jailors.
Inspire the media to speak out as loudly as they have in the past.
Protect those who seek in secret and help them to succeed.
Show us the tools to do Your will.
Guard and bless those in captivity, their families, and those who work for
Let them come home soon.
Thank you Father.
History of the League's POW/MIA Flag
War, soldiers captured by enemy soldiers during times of war, are
casualties that can all too often be easy to forget. You can't ignore
the image of crosses lined in neat rows at Arlington, and other National
cemeteries, that remind us of the high cost of freedom. In any
gathering of veterans, the scars of war wounds and evidence of missing
limbs quickly reminds us of the sacrifice of those who have fought for
freedom. It is impossible to forget those Killed in Action (KIA) or
Wounded In Action (WIA) because the evidence of their sacrifice is ever
Sadly, the same
can not be said for those who are Missing In Action or who may have been
taken prisoner by the enemy and never repatriated. Since World War I
more than 200,000 Americans have been listed as Prisoners of War or
Missing in Action. Less than half of them were returned at the end of
hostilities, leaving more than 125,000 American servicemen Missing In
Action since the beginning of World War I.
14-years of American involvement in Southeast Asia, and specifically the
Vietnam War, more than 2,500 Americans were captured or listed as
missing in action. The politics of our Nation's most unpopular war
could have eclipsed the fate of these dedicated soldiers, were it not
for the NATIONAL LEAGUE OF FAMILIES. As the spouses, children, parents
and other family members of soldiers missing in Southeast Asia banded
together to keep the plight of their loved ones before the American
conscience, the organization grew in strength and influence that reached
all the way into the White House. Through the League the missing and
the imprisoned servicemen had a voice, but by 1971 something more was
needed. Mrs. Michael Hoff, whose husband was among the missing,
believed that what the cause lacked was a standard....a flag to remind
more fortunate families of those who were still unaccounted for.
It was during
this period of time that the People's Republic of China was admitted to
the United Nations. Annin & Company was one of the largest
manufacturers of flags in the world, and made it their policy to provide
flags for each member of that organization. One day, while reading an
article in the Jacksonville, Florida Times-Union about this matter, Mrs.
Hoff decided to contact Annin's Vice President Norman Rivkees about
providing a flag for soldiers captured or missing. Mr. Rivkees quickly
adopted the idea, and turned to one of their advertising agencies to
consider drafting a design.
Newt Heisley was a pilot during
World War II, a dangerous role that accounts for many war-time
POWs and MIAs. Years after the war he had come to New York
looking for work. "It took me four days to find a bad job at
low pay," he later said of his introduction to "Big Apple"
advertising agencies. But, by working hard, by 1971 he had
gradually moved upward in the industry, eventually working for
an agency with many national
As a veteran, the call for a flag designed
to raise awareness of our Nation's POW/MIAs was a personal
challenge. It was even more challenging when he considered that
his oldest son Jeffrey was, during these Vietnam War years,
training for combat with the United States Marines at Quantico,
Virginia. As he pondered this new challenge a series of events
set in motion the ideas that would create a flag unlike anything
since the days of Betsy Ross. First, Jeffery became very ill
while training for combat. The illness, diagnosed as hepatitis,
ravaged his body emaciating his face and structure. When he
returned home, medically discharged and unable to continue
further, his father looked in horror at what had once been a
strong, young man. Then, as Newt Heisley looked closer at his
son's gaunt features, he began to imagine what life must be like
for those behind barbed wire fences on foreign shores. Slowly
he began to sketch the profile of his son, working in pencil to
create a black and white silhouette, as the new flag's design
was created in his mind. Barbed wire, a tower, and most
prominently the visage of a gaunt young man became the initial
Newt Heisley's black and white
pencil sketch was one of several designs considered for the new
POW/MIA flag. Newt planned, should his design be accepted, to
add color at a later date...perhaps a deep purple and white.
"In the advertising industry, you do everything in black and
white first, then add the color," he says. Mr. Heisley's
proposal for the new flag was unique. Rarely does a flag
prominently display the likeness of a person. None-the-less,
it was the design featuring the gaunt silhouette of his son
Jeffrey that was accepted and, before Mr. Heisly could return to
refine his proposal and add the colors he had planned, the black
and white flags were already being printed in quantity by Annon
& Company. (Though the POW/MIA flag has been produced in other
colors, often in red and white, the black and white design
became the most commonly used version.)
The design for the MIA/POW flag
was never copyrighted. It became a flag that belongs to
everyone, a design that hauntingly reminds us of those we dare
not ever forget. Behind the black and white silhouette is a
face we can't see...the face of a husband, a father, or a son
who has paid with their freedom, for our freedom. Beneath the
image are the words....
You Are Not Forgotten
After years of deteriorating
health, Heisley died at age 88 on May 14, 2009 in his home in Colorado
Springs, a week before he had planned to marry his fiancee, Donna
Allison. He was survived by two sons and a granddaughter. Heisley's
first wife, Bunny, whom he had met while in college, died in 2005.
Newt Heisley (died May
14, 2009) but
his family, including Jeffrey, live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Few
people know the story behind the flag he designed, which is well enough for
Newt. What is important for Mr. Heisley is not that he had the rare
opportunity to create something powerful and timeless....that in his own
sense he is a modern "Betsy Ross". What is important to Newt is that the
image he created years ago as the result of the tragedy that befell his own
son, continue to remind us of the real tragedy faced daily by those who have
served, been left behind, but are not forgotten.
On August 10, 1990, the 101st Congress passed U.S. Public Law
101-355, which recognized the League’s POW/MIA flag and designated it
"as the symbol of our Nation’s concern and
commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still
prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, thus ending the
uncertainty for their families and the Nation".
The importance of the League’s POW/MIA flag lies in its
continued visibility, a constant reminder of the plight of America’s
POW/MIAs. Other than "Old Glory", the League’s POW/MIA flag is the only flag
ever to fly over the White House, having been displayed in this place of
honor on National POW/MIA Recognition Day since 1982. Passage by the 105th
Congress of Section 1082 of the 1998 Defense Authorization Act requires that
the League’s POW/MIA flag fly six days each year: Armed Forces Day, Memorial
Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, National POW/MIA Recognition Day and
Veterans Day. It must be displayed at the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the
Departments of State, Defense and Veterans Affairs, headquarters of the
Selective Service System, major military installations as designated by the
Secretary of the Defense, all Federal cemeteries and all offices of the U.S.
Postal Service. By law passed in 2002, it must fly year-round at the
National Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the
World War II Memorial.
Evelyn Fowler Grubb was not well known
by the general public when she died December 28th at her home in
Melbourne, Fl at the age of 74.
In January 1966, Grubb's husband, Air
Force Capt. Wilmer Newlin "Nerk" Grubb was shot down over North
Grubb became frustrated with trying to
get information on her husband and learned other wives were also
having difficulty getting information on their missing husbands.
The result was the formation of the
National League of POW/MIA
Families. In 1971 and 1972, she served as National Coordinator
for the organization and played a part in creating the well -
known POW/MIA "You Are Not Forgotten" black and white flag
Grubb demonstrated that one individual
with passion and determination can make a difference. Thousands
of families will forever be grateful for her efforts.
(Op-Ed Piece from the
Stuart News, Stuart, Florida, a Scripps Howard Treasure Coast
Displaying the POW/MIA
Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action come from
EVERY STATE, thus the POW/MIA flag has precedence over
state flags. The following guidelines should be
followed in flying the POW/MIA flag:
flying the flag from ONE FLAG POLE, the POW/MIA
flag is flown directly below the National
flying National, POW/MIA and State flags from
TWO poles, the POW/MIA flag should be flown from
the same pole as the National Colors, and
beneath the American Flag, with the state flag
flying from the pole to the left.
History of the
Missing Man Table
The table is round
- to show our everlasting concern for our men still
missing. The cloth is white - symbolizing the purity of their motives when
answering the call to duty. The single red rose,
displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of the missing, and
their loved ones and friends who keep the faith, awaiting answers. The vase is tied
with a red ribbon, symbol of our continued determination to account for our
missing. A slice of lemon on the bread plate is to remind us of the bitter
fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land. A pinch of salt
symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek
answers. The Bible
represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our
country, founded as one nation under God. The glass is inverted - to symbolize their inability to share this
evening's toast. The chairs are
empty - they are missing.
now raise our water glasses in a toast to honor America's POW/MIA's and to the success of our efforts to
account for them.
"THE SILVER ROSE"
My name is
Gary Chenett and I am the National Director of The Order of The Silver
Rose. I was referred to you by a Silver rose receipient
I would like
to invite you to our website at
http://silverrose.org . We are a Non Profit Tax Exempt Vets group
that have been helping Vietnam Veterans since 1997.
We offer a
gratis Silver Rose Medal and Award to all Vietnam Veterans sickened or
killed by AO Dioxins, Our award can also be presented to the families of
deceased Veterans. I am very proud to lead a group of over 60 Directors
America in our simple bur
bringing Honors and Recognition to all of these sickened and deceased
Heroes or to their families, also our Primary Mission is to try and make
all Vietnam Veterans and Gulf War Veterans know that it is imperative
that they have yearly full physicals with catscans when possible.
point the death toll for both Vietnam Veterans and Gulf War Veterans
exceeds 400,000 each.
like you to consider working with us to spread the word that this simple
yearly full physical can save lives by hopefully having these illnesses
diagnosed in early stages before they become terminal.
awarded almost 2,400 Silver Rose Medals and Awards to these heroes and
everyone in our group including myself all work as volunteers, We
sustain the Silver Rose on donations from all of our supporters,
If you have
further questions please feel free to email me or call at 810-714-2748,
I am home almost always as I am a 100% disabled Combat Vietnam Veteran
We also have
the endorsement of the VVA, 9 States and thousands of individuals and
many hundreds of individual Veterans Posts.
would like to give you a call to really give you a feel for our Missionand what we are doing. We are the only
group in Americathat offers a Gratis Medal recognizing the efforts of our
I must add we
are not seeking money or donations . We at this point need your help in
this life saving
, I sure hope we can chat soon at your convenience.
Service members Missing From WWII Now Listed In Electronic
Database June 04, 2007
of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO)
announced today that an electronic database listing the names of service
still unaccounted for from
World War II is now available for family
members and researchers.
This new listing will aid researchers and analysts in WWII remains
recovery operations. Prior to this three-year effort, no comprehensive list
of those missing from WWII has existed.
This database, listing nearly 78,000 names, was compiled by
researchers from DPMO and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command. They used
hard-copy sources including "The American Graves Registration Service
of Military Personnel Whose Remains were not Recovered" from the
National Archives II repository in
College Park, Md.,
and "The World War II
Rosters of the Dead."Once transferred into electronic formats, they used
computer programs to compare the two lists and determined possible
discrepancies among the entries. These differences were then resolved using
additional sources from the
National Archives and thousands of
personnel files from the Washington National Records Center.
After more than three years of research and coordination to transfer
information into an electronic format, efforts to gather more data on
unaccounted-for WWII service members continue. New names and information
will be added as historical documents and personnel files are located. The
names of servicemen whose remains are recovered and identified in the
future will be removed as families accept the identification and inter
their loved ones in cemeteries of their choice.
This WWII database, along with databases
listing the missing from the
Korean War, Cold War,
Vietnam War and Gulf War, are available on DPMO's
Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo
. For additional information on the
Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit
the DPMO Web site or call
Reps. Amos and Marleau urge Michigan's support
Lawmakers introduce resolution for annual
recognition for soldiers who are prisoners of war and missing in action
In a tribute to Waterford resident Private Byron Fouty, Ann
Arbor resident Specialist Ahmed Altaie and all soldiers missing in action
and being held prisoners of war, state Reps. Fran Amos and Jim Marleau
introduced a House Resolution today to proclaim Dec. 16 "POW/MIA Recognition
Day" in Michigan.
"Private Fouty, Specialist Altaie, past and current soldiers
missing in action and prisoners of war deserve the highest amount of
gratitude from the very citizens they fight to protect," said Amos. "I am
honored to observe with these brave soldiers' families the unselfishness and
patriotism of our men and women who are serving oversees."
Private Fouty's step-father, Gordon Dibler, joined Amos and
Marleau to witness the introduction of the resolution after being welcomed
on the Senate floor earlier this morning when an identical resolution was
introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop.
Private Fouty and Specialist Altaie, both from Michigan, are
2 of only 4 soldiers declared missing in action in the current conflict in
"My heart goes out to the friends and family of those who
cope with the devastation of having loved ones who are prisoners of war and
missing in action, especially during this difficult holiday season," said
Marleau. "However, I am proud to join with my colleagues and the concerned
citizens of Michigan in order to remind our loyal men and women in uniform
that they are not forgotten."
The resolution establishes
Dec. 16 as 'POW-MIA Recognition Day.'
PHOTO ADVISORY: (From left to right)
Pictured in the state capitol:Dennis Koski, Post Commander of
the Sterling Heights American Legion;
State Rep. Fran Amos; Gary Tanner, Post Commander of the Dearborn American
Gordon Dibler, step-father of missing soldier Byron Fouty of Waterford;
State Rep. Jim Marleau;
Diane Prater and Tracy Roberts, Director of MI Military Moms and author of
"surviving the war from your kitchen table."
Kellwood, one of the Navajo code talkers during World War II, has died at
The Navajo Nation
Council confirmed his death, hailing the services and sacrifices made by
Monday at the Veterans Hospital in Phoenix He served in the First Marine
Division and fought during World War II in the Pacific front,
seeing battle in Cape Gloucester, Peleliu and Okinawa.
As a boy, Kellwood
had been spanked in school for daring to speak Navajo.
But his language skills would later prove indispensable in US war efforts.
tweeted a video of Kellwood singing the Marines' hymn in Navajo and wrote:
"Honor the fallen.
Yesterday, one of the last remaining Navajo code talkers passed away at 95
Kellwood worked as
a Navajo code talker until the war ended in 1945. He was awarded the
Congressional Silver Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Combat Action
Ribbon, Naval Unit Commendation, Good Conduct, American Campaign Medal,
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and WWII Victory Medal, according to his
governor called Kellwood a "hero and patriot."
"Kellwood served with distinction
in the 1st Marine Division as a Navajo code talker, ultimately helping lead
the allied forces to victory in World War II,
"Gov. Doug Ducey said in a statement. "Let us never
forget the countless contributions that code talkers made to our state and
ARIZONA STATE CAPITAL MALL
Navajo Code Talkers Frank "Chee"
Willeto Jr. and Keith Morrison Little
Keith M. Little
Keith Little served as a Navajo Code Talker with the US Marine Corps from
December of 1943 until after the war. He fought in numerous engagements of
WWII, including battles in the Marshall Islands, Sai Pan, and Iwo Jima.
Like most of the Navajo Code Talkers, he wasn't aware of the significance
of his contribution to the war effort until much later in life. It was
only then that he understood the importance of documenting their story for
posterity. In conversation about his hopes for the new museum, he speaks
with certitude of his desire to teach the younger generations of the
importance of striving for excellence and of serving above and beyond the
call of duty. Promoting a greater understanding of the Navajo culture,
traditions and way of life is a cause he also holds dear. When asked why
he chose to go to war, he answers simply: "[because] the Japanese made a
sneak attack on the US," adding that he wanted "to protect our people,
land and country." Recognition from the U.S. government and awareness of the Code Talkers
— even within the Navajo community — has been slow to come.
It wasn't until 2000 that the Congressional Gold Medal was bestowed
on the survivors of the original 29 Code Talkers and Silver medals were given to the rest.
Famed Navajo Code Talker Passes Away
January 4, 2012
Frank "Chee" Willeto Jr.
Willeto was born on June 6, 1925 in Crownpoint, New Mexico and enlisted in the
U.S. Marines 6th Division in 1944. After completing Code Talker training
Willeto served in the Pacific Theater in Saipan and Okinawa. Following World
War II, he returned to the Navajo Nation where he worked with the Bureau of
Indian Affairs roads department from 1946 to 1974 according to the release. He
was then elected as a tribal councilman in 1974, serving in that capacity until
1986 when he was elected president of the Pueblo Pintado Chapter. His vice
presidency was under the Milton Bluehouse administration. He also sat on many
boards and was a Navajo Nation Supreme Court Justice.
Willeto received the Congressional Silver Medal in 2001 for his service as a
Navajo Code Talker.
Famed Navajo Code Talker Passes Away
June 27, 2012
TOTAL NUMBER OF HEROES THAT ARE
AND THEIR FAMILIES ARE STILL WAITING FOR SOME ANSWERS
FROM ALL WARS.
COLD WAR 120
from the Vietnam War
Prisoners of War,
Missing in Action and Killed in Action/Body not Recovered
Allard, Richard Michael
Anderson, Warren Leroy
Austin, Ellis Ernest
Beckwith, Harry Medfor III
Boltze, Bruce Edward
Buckley, Louis, Jr.
Burgess, John Lawrence
Carroll, Patrick Henry
Allen Park, MI
Chapman, Rodney Max
Cline, Curtis Roy
Crossman, Gregory John
Cudlike, Charles Joseph
Dailey, Douglas Vincent
Dix, Craig Mitchell
Dye, Melvin C.
Feneley, Francis James
Gauthier, Dennis L.
Green, Larry Edward
Mount Morris, MI
Greiling, David Scott
Groth, Wade L.
Hill, Robert L.
Holman, Gerald Allan
Jarvis, Jeremy M.
Jerome, Stanley Milton
Johnson, Bruce G.
Harbor Beach, MI
King, Donald L.
Kipina, Marshall F.
Klimo, James Robert
Klugg, Joseph Russell
Kooi, James Willard
Leonard, Marvin Maurice
Grand Rapids, MI
Marvin, Robert Clarence
Massucci, Martin J.
Royal Oak, MI
May, Michael Frederick
Nelson, James R.
Paul, James Lee
Perry, Otha Lee
Riggs, Thomas F.
Roberts, Richard D.
Robertson, Mark John
Seablom, Earl Francis
Stroven, William Harry
Stuifbergen, Gene Paul
Tromp, William Leslie
Tucci, Robert L.
Tyler, George E.
Royal Oak, MI
Walker, Kenneth Earl
Wallace, Michael J.
Ann Arbor, MI
Welch, Robert J.
Woloszyk, Donald J.
Worcester, John B.
Big Rapids, MI
Wozniak, Frederick J.
ANNOUNCED REMAINS RETURNED FOR BURIAL
- Killed in Action, Body Not Recovered
KK - Died in Captivity, Remains Not
Total MM - Missing
Total PP - Prisoner
- Presumptive Finding of Death
FACT VS FICTION.....
are wrong. Let's look at the facts, starting with who actually served in
The image of those who
fought in Vietnam is one of poorly educated, reluctant draftees --
predominantly poor whites and minorities. But in reality, only one-third of
Vietnam-era veterans entered the military through the draft, far lower than
the 66 percent drafted in World War II.
It was the best-educated
and most egalitarian military force in America's history -- and with the
advent of the all-volunteer military, is likely to remain so. In WWII, only
45 percent of the troops had a high school diploma. During the Vietnam War,
almost 80 percent of those who enlisted had high school diplomas, and the
percentage was higher for draftees -- even though, at the time, only 65
percent of military-age males had a high school diploma.
Throughout the Vietnam
era, the median education level of the enlisted man was about 13 years.
Proportionately, three times as many college graduates served in Vietnam
than in WWII.
assumption: The war in Vietnam was fought by youngsters wet behind the ears,
who died as teenagers barely old enough to shave. In fact, more 52-year-olds
(22) died in Vietnam than 17-year-olds (12). An analysis of data from the
Department of Defense shows the average age of men killed in Vietnam was
22.8 years, or almost 23 years old.
Though the notion
persists that those who died in Vietnam were mostly members of a minority
group, it's not true. About 5 percent of KIAs were Hispanic and 12.5 percent
were black -- making both minorities slightly under-represented in their
proportion of draft-age males in the national population.
A common negative image of the soldier in Vietnam is that he smoked pot and
injected heroin to dull the horrors of combat. However, except for the last
couple of years of the war, drug usage among GIs in Vietnam was lower than
for U.S. troops stationed elsewhere.
When drug rates started to rise in 1971 and 1972, almost 90 percent of the
men who served in Vietnam had already come and gone. A study after the war
by the VA showed drug usage of veterans and non-veterans to be about the
same. And marijuana -- not heroin -- was the drug used in 75 percent of the
cases. Of those addicted, 88 percent kicked the habit within three years of
In fact, Vietnam veterans
are as successful or more successful than men their own age who did not go
to war. Disproportionate numbers of Vietnam veterans serve in Congress, for
instance. Vice President Al Gore is a Vietnam veteran, as is enormously
popular Colin Powell.
They run Fortune 500
corporations (Frederick Smith of Federal Express), write screenplays (Bill
Broyles formerly of Newsweek) and report the evening news (ABC correspondent
Actor Dennis Franz, who
plays a detective on TV's NYPD Blue, is a Vietnam vet, as are large numbers
of real law enforcement agents, prosecutors and attorneys. No facet of
American life has been untouched by the positive contributions of Vietnam
While stereotypes may
persist in Hollywood and the media, America's finest increasingly run the
Posterboy of Anti-War
The anti-war movement
paraded Vietnam servicemen who had deserted their units as "proof" that it
was an immoral war. But of the 5,000 men who deserted for various causes
during the Vietnam War period, only 5 percent did so while attached to units
Only 24 deserters
attributed their action to the desire to "avoid hazardous duty." Some 97
percent of Vietnam veterans received honorable discharges, exactly the same
rate for the military in the 10 years prior to the war.
After the war ended, reports began to circulate of veterans so depraved from
their war experiences that they turned to crime, with estimates of the
number of incarcerated Vietnam veterans as high as one-quarter of the prison
population. But most of these accounts were based on self-reporting by
criminals. In every major study of Vietnam veterans where military records
were verified, an insignificant number of prisoners were found to be actual
A corollary to the prison
myth is the belief that substantial numbers of Vietnam veterans are
unemployed. A study by the Labor Department in 1994 showed an unemployment
rate of 3 percent for Vietnam veterans -- lower than that of Vietnam-era
veterans who served outside the Vietnam theater (5 percent), and for all
male veterans (4.9 percent).
The same is true for the nonsense that Vietnam vets have high rates of
suicide, often heard as the "fact" that more veterans had died by their own
hand than in combat. But that's a myth, too. A 1988 study by the Centers for
Disease Control found Vietnam veterans had suicide rates well within the 1.7
percent norm of the general population.
A Statistical Profile In
Uniform and In Country Vietnam Vets: 9.7% of their generation.
9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam era
(Aug. 5, 1964-May 7, 1975)
8,744,000 GIs were on active duty during the war (Aug. 5, 1964-March 28,
3,403,100 (including 514,300 offshore) personnel served in the Southeast
Asia Theater (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, flight crews based in Thailand, and
sailors in adjacent South China Sea waters).
2,594,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam (Jan. 1,
1965- March 28, 1973).
Another 50,000 men served in Vietnam between 1960 and 1964.
Of the 2.6 million, between 1-1.6 million (40-60%) either fought in combat,
provided close support or were at least fairly regularly exposed to enemy
7,484 women (6,250 or 83.5% were nurses) served in Vietnam.
Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30, 1969).
Hostile deaths: 47,378
Non-hostile deaths: 10,800
Total: 58,202 (includes men formerly classified
as MIA and Mayaguez casualties). Men who have subsequently died of wounds
account for the changing total.
*8 nurses died -- 1 was KIA.
*Married men killed: 17,539
*61% of the men killed were 21 or younger
*Highest state death rate: West Virginia- 84.1 (national average 58.9 for
every 100,000 males in 1970).
*Wounded: 303,704 -- 153,329 hospitalized + 150,375 injured requiring no
*Severely disabled: 75,000 -- 23,214 100% disabled; 5,283 lost limbs; 1,081
sustained multiple amputations.
*Amputation or crippling wounds to the lower extremities were 300% higher
than in WWII and 70% higher than in Korea. Multiple amputations occurred at
the rate of 18.4% compared to 5.7% in WWII.
*Missing in Action:
*POWs: 766 (114
died in captivity).
Draftees vs. Volunteers:
*25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees. (66% of U.S. armed
forces members were drafted during WWII.)
*Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam.
*Reservists killed: 5,977.
*National Guard: 6,140 served; 101 died.
*Total draftees (1965-73): 1,728,344.
*Actually served in Vietnam: 38%
*Marine Corps draft: 42,633.
*Last man drafted: June 30, 1973.
*Race and Ethnic Background
*88.4% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian; 10.6%
(275,000) were black; 1% belonged to other races.
*86.3% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian (includes Hispanics);
*12.5% (7,241) were black; 1.2% belonged to other races.
*170,000 Hispanics served in Vietnam; 3,070 (5.2% of total) died there.
*70% of enlisted men killed were of Northwest European descent.
*86.8% of the men who were killed as a result of hostile action were
Caucasian; 12.1% (5,711) were black; 1.1% belonged to other races.
*14.6% (1,530) of non-combat deaths were among blacks.
*34% of blacks who enlisted volunteered for the combat arms.
*Overall, blacks suffered 12.5% of the deaths in Vietnam at a time when the
percentage of blacks of military age was 13.5% of the total population.
*76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from lower middle/working class
*Three-fourths had family incomes above the poverty level; 50% were from
middle income backgrounds.
*Some 23% of Vietnam vets had fathers with professional, managerial or
*79% of the men who served in Vietnam had a high school education or better
when they entered the military service.
(63% of Korean War vets and only 45% of WWII vets had completed high school
*Deaths by region per 100,000 of population: South-31; West-29.9;
Winning & Losing
*82% of veterans who saw
heavy combat strongly believe the war was lost because of lack of political
*Nearly 75% of the public agrees it was a failure of political will, not of
*97% of Vietnam-era veterans were honorably discharged.
*91% of actual Vietnam War veterans and 90% of those who saw heavy combat
are proud to have served their country.
*66% of Vietnam vets say they would serve again if called upon.
*87% of the public now holds Vietnam
veterans in high esteem.
Missing - Korea (PMKOR)
(Report for Michigan
Report Prepared: 9/27/2016
Missing - Cold War
(Report for Michigan
Report Prepared: 9/27/2016
Missing - Viet Nam
(Report for Michigan
Report Prepared: 9/27/2016
ALL OF THESE
MICHIGAN FAMILIES ARE WAITING FOR ANSWERS
SOME COULD BE YOUR NEIGHBORS.
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