VFW recognized Prisoner of War (POW) and Missing in Action (MIA) soldiers during a recent meeting. To honor and remember those individuals, a table with solemn place settings was established with all branches of the service represented.
“We should never forget what our service men and women do for our country, as well as the sacrifices that their families make,” said Phyllis Barnes, president of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary. “With the table, we wanted to also remember those who have yet to return.”
According to the National League of POW/ MIA Families, there are still 1,644 personnel listed by the Defense POW/ Missing Personnel Office as missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.
The number is less than it was when the Vietnam War ended in 1975. Since that time, the government has found and identified 939 American soldiers with the last being Col. Francis J. McGouldrick, USAF. He was listed as MIA on Dec. 13, 1968. Remains were found on May 22, 2012 and identified as McGouldrick on Aug. 28, 2013.
Of the 1,644 unaccounted-for personnel, 90 percent were lost in Vietnam or in areas of Cambodia and Laos under Vietnam’s wartime control: Vietnam 1,276, Laos 308, Cambodia 53, PRC territorial waters seven, over-water losses on the list of “No Further Pursuit” cases number over 600.
National POW/ MIA day was Sept. 20.