September 17th is National Prisoner of War / MIA Appreciation Day. It is a day of recess to remember and honor the commitments and sacrifices made by our country’s prisoners of war and those who go missing in all wars.
More than 83,000 soldiers are still missing from past wars. And their families are still waiting. There are still 1,584 MIA from the Vietnam War; 16 of them are from Montana.
Official US intelligence indicates that Americans known to have been alive or in captivity in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam were not returned after the war ended. The Department of Defense’s POW / MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) teams continue to search for AIMs around the world. A local effort and an expression of concern on the part of Americans is essential to garnering and maintaining the support of foreign governments in enabling our teams to search and assist them in locating our AIMs.
I am one of the lucky closest family members. My only brother, CFS Alan L. Boyer, was MIA on a covert special operations mission in Laos on March 28, 1968. Forty-eight years later, a small fragment of Alan’s bone matched my DNA to his femur and he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors on June 22, 2016.
Please take a break on September 17th to recognize US POWs / MIAs. Please write to your Senators and Congressional Representatives to ensure bipartite support for full and accurate accounting of our MIAs. As a nation, we must never forget their sacrifices and we must make a commitment to bring them home.