In 1953 / 1954, a war began in a distant country - a battle for freedom. In early 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson made the decision for the United States to become involved in this war. This war triggered many mixed emotions, and occurred in a time of promoting free love, peace not war, drugs, psychedelics, and many anti-war protests. There was a lot of question as to the reasons for our being involved in Viet Nam. Some of us were fortunate enough not to lose friends or family in this war; many others knew the deaths of their loved ones and friends. But there are yet unanswered questions as to the fates of those still listed as KIA / BNR (Killed In Action - Body Not Returned) or MIA / POW (Missing in Action / Prisoners of War). I grew up during this era, and I remember the stories of those that did not return - that they are still there; some preferring to remain because they have families there, or could not cope with returning Stateside to resume a 'normal' life. If it is truly their choice to remain in Viet Nam, then that should be respected; but at least let the families know that they are alive and well so that they can bring closure to this mystery.
It is for the others - those whom died in Viet Nam and their bodies are not yet returned, and those whom are still prisoners of war with no chance of freedom unless we pursue the battle here in our own country to see them brought home - These men and women whom fought for their country - some volunteered, others were drafted, but still performed the duty expected of them - families yet wonder what happened - they wonder if they are alive somewhere in a jungle prison - wondering if their loved ones are even aware that the war is over. Answers need to be found - answers beyond the Government's decision to declare that those yet listed as MIA / POW were deceased, even though evidence had been presented a few months earlier that some were yet alive. All were legally declared deceased in 1991.
Much time has passed since the American troops were formally pulled out of Viet Nam in 1973. According to the Virginia Viet Nam War Memorial, there were 1303 casualties from the state of Virginia - among those are listed those that are MIA/POW. Viewing different sites on the internet, I came across letters and notes from children of those casualties, seeking to find others whom may have known their fathers, or in some cases, brothers that they never really got to know. Enough time has passed now that their grandchildren will also be joining this quest to learn more of the grandparent they never knew - asking what happened and why.
It is so easy to dismiss a 'casualty of war' when they are merely a name and number - a statistic. It is when personal information is added that that name gains notice. A family member's persistent inquiries, awareness on the internet, and on local grounds. We should never forget any whom has died, or whom has not yet been brought home. There is no reason for one man, or one government to so casually forget those whom fought for their country. This country should not rest until they have the answers as to the fates of those yet unaccounted for.
If you wish to join in this, write to your local and state politicians and ask them what they have learned of the fate of this person. You can find their addresses