There are at least 2,500 MIA'S/POW'S still out there. While you sit comfortably in your recliner watching the t.v., there is in the far reaches of humanity, our beloved soldiers desperatly crying out with a voice that has become silent. Silent from a country that gave up on the very people it was supposed to protect. People who took that oath wholeheartedly, without reservation or question. They are sitting there today because of the loyalty that the rest of us have seemed to forget. While we worry about what these HMO's are doing for our healthcare, there are those that have not seen the healing hands of a doctor in twenty to thirty years. While we complain about the common cold, these soldiers are fighting dysentary, beri-beri and malaria.
Why is it that the only time we think about our brothers is when guilt overrides us? Are we that cold and barbaric that our conscience forgets, what our subconscience always remembers? We should be crying in shame and anger that our soldiers are still not home. Please, do your part to help these families find some peace where right now, there is none.The only way we are going to be able to make a difference is to speak out. That is what sets us apart from other countries. Below is an email link to our president. Let him know that we will stay quiet no longer. Make sure to also write to your local representatives in your area.
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Meet my adopted MIA:
Name: James Edward Whitt
Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
Unit: 25th Tactical Fighter Squadron
Date of Birth: 01 February 1934
Home City of Record: Penfield IL
Date of Loss: 23 March 1972
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 160958N 1064659E (XC818886)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2 Suspect Knowledge
The Phantom, used by the Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, it served a multitude of functions including fighter-bomber, interceptor, photo and electronic surveillance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast, flying at Mach 2, and had a long range (900 - 2300 miles, depending on stores and mission type). The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and high altitudes. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes around.
Maj. James E. Whitt was the pilot and Capt. James T. Jackson the bombardier/navigator on an F4D attached to the 25th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Ubon Airfield, Thailand. On March 23, 1972, the two were assigned an operational mission that would take them over Savannakhet Province, Laos.
Other pilots in the flight observed Whitt's aircraft crash in an inverted position upon egress from the target, about 25 miles southeast of the city of Muong Nong. Both men were briefly classified Missing in Action, during which time Jackson was promoted to the rank of Major. On March 24, however, it was determined that both men had died in the incident, based on the receipt of unspecified evidence of death received by the Department of the Air Force. A category 2 or suspect knowledge is defined as: Lost in areas or under conditions that they may reasonably be expected to be known by the enemy, connected with an incident that was discussed but not identified by name in the enemy new media, or probably identified through analysis of all source intelligence.
Major Whitt had attended the University of Illinois, majoring in Engineering and graduated in 1956. He left behind his wife Dixie Cler and their five children, Julie, Jean, Tom, Joan and Bill. You can find Major Whitt's name on the Vietnam Memorial on Panel 02W--Line 119.
Jackson and Whitt are listed among the missing because their remains were never recovered. They are among nearly 600 Americans who disappeared in Laos. Many of these 600 are known to have been alive on the ground following their shoot downs. Although the Pathet Lao publicly stated on several occasions that they held "tens of tens" of American prisoners, not one American held in Laos has ever been released.
Laos did not participate in the Paris Peace accords ending American involvement in the war in 1973, and no treaty has ever been signed that would free the Americans held in Laos. Over 10,000 reports relating to Americans prisoner, missing, or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. since the end of the war, convincing many authorities that hundreds are still alive. It's time we brought our men home.
It is very important that we write our senators, congressmen, state representatives, President, Vice President, First Lady and the Vice President's wife. One voice can make a difference when all of the "one voice's" make a united stance. If you were in the POW/MIA's shoes, wouldn't you want us to do the same? Here is a sample letter I wrote to all my reps here in Illinois, and to President Bush and the white house staff.
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