What a Joke
Summary. Elsewhere on the WWW one can find the "POW-MIA
Freedom Fighter's" site. It is maintained by an individual using the name
"Lady Jen." "Lady Jen" is not above stretching the facts; read my experience with her here. On the "POW-MIA
FF" site one frequently finds claims about how much "we" are doing to
"bring home" missing men. What a joke.
The mission of the "POW-MIA FF" organization is stated on their web site.
I thought about copying and pasting the missions statement here but I noted that
"Lady Jen" has a copyright symbol on her mission statement and I will not
violate her copyright. Even if I gave her credit, given my previous experience with
"Lady Jen," there is no telling what her reaction might be.
Latest unsupportable claim
Recently (October 12, 2000), the following message (not copyrighted) appeared on the
"POW-MIA FF message board."
Since the move of the webring from Yahoo! to
Ring Surf, I've had the priviledge of really taking the time and visiting all the
wonderful tributes out there (via the POW/MIA Ring) that have been made in Honor of our
The POW/MIA Ring links together tribute pages honoring our POW/MIA's. By starting from any
one of our wonderful tribute pages, you can go from one page to the next and learn about
the Heros we left behind...read their stories, their bios, their loss incident reports.
See their faces, know their names, get involved! When one American is not worth the effort
to be found, we as American's have lost!
I would really like to encourage any of you that haven't had the honor of visiting these
tribute pages, to do so. You can start on your own homepage (if you are a member of the
ring) or enter the ring on the ring homepage:
If you haven't submitted your site yet, I would like to really encourage you to do so. It
is a great way to get their stories out there.
Traveling the POW/MIA Ring is a wonderful opportunity to meet the Heros we are working so
hard at getting home!
END QUOTE (Article was cut-and-pasted from the "POW-MIA FF Message Board" --
misspellings are in the original.)
It's the last line that is the real joke: ". . . that we are working
so hard to get home."
It's the government actions, stupid
Not a single thing the "POW-MIA FF" crowd has done has any impact on bringing
anyone home. Since before the end of the Vietnam War, the military services, the
Department of Defense, and other branches of the Executive Department -- aided from time
to time by the Congress -- have been conducting operations and activities unprecedented in
the history of warfare that are aimed at recovering missing servicemen from Southeast Asia
and now from Korea and WW II.
There are several elements to this recovery effort.
|On the ground searches. US search teams are conducting
-- and have conducted for years -- searches on the ground for missing men and for clues as
to what happened to them. Obviously, such searches are most productive in the case
of aircraft losses where there is a crash site to deal with. In the case of ground
losses, search teams interview local people who may have been eyewitnesses -- or who may
have hearsay information -- to loss incidents. These on-the-ground searches develop
information that leads to further action.|
|Excavations. After search teams have located crash sites
or possible grave sites, those sites are excavated. Excavations are supervised by
board certified anthropologists; the excavations are just like an archaeological dig.
Items, including human remains, that are recovered from these excavations are used
to establish the fate of missing men and to identify remains. See
|Oral history project. US researchers seek out and
interview -- as many times as needed -- former enemy personnel:|
|who served in locations where US personnel were lost; |
|who were in the reporting chain and may have information; |
|who are knowledgeable of enemy methods of processing US POWs and remains;|
|who may have other knowledge that would help establish the facts of a man's fate and
that may help recover his remains.|
|Document and archival research. Our former enemies kept
records; military forces worldwide keep records -- there is nothing unusual or sinister
about keeping records. We should not assume perfection -- even US units lose
records, records are destroyed in combat; file management procedures may require that
records be purged after a number of years; and the like. Still, there are records of
some kind that will shed light on many loss incidents and on the fate of many missing men.
US researchers are working in the archives, libraries, museums, and other
record-centers of former enemies to locate and analyze such records.|
|Keep families informed. Department of Defense policy has
been for years that if a piece of information does pertain to a missing man or may
pertain to a missing man, that information is provided to the man's family.
This policy has been strictly adhered to; families have access to -- most of them
have their own copies of -- all material in their missing man's records.|
All of the above was in place long before the "POW-MAI FF" discovered that
men were missing from the Vietnam War or from any other war.
If you visit the "POW-MIA FF" site, you will find references to
"Operation Pressure." There is a monthly topic for "Operation
Pressure," along with a suggested letter to Congress and other government officials.
Folks are urged to write to their representatives, etc., and urge action on this
month's topic. Supposedly, with piles of letters, faxes, e-mails pouring into
Congressional offices, the truth will be forced out of the Pentagon.
In the first place, there is no truth being hidden. Whatever is known about a
missing man has been provided to his family -- and as new information is developed, that
information is provided to the family.
In the second place, the folks who dreamed up "Operation Pressure" need to do
a bit of reading about the way that such letters, faxes, e-mails, etc., are handled.
"Operation Pressure's" impact is best described as "a dry
Correspondence that arrives in Congress, the White House, State Department, or anywhere
else that deals with missing military personnel is sent by the receiving agency to the
Pentagon for an answer. Thus, anything that is submitted by "Operation
Pressure" in an attempt to put pressure on the Department of Defense is answered by
the same people, the same offices, in DoD that are the targets of "Operation
Pressure." Big Fat Deal.
Material supplied to families
In many instances, I refer to material being supplied to families. Let's stop for
a minute here and be more specific.
For each missing man, there is a family member who is designated as the Primary
Next of Kin -- the PNOK. It is this person who is authorized by law to
receive material about missing men. Thus, when you hear a "family member"
complaining about he/she is not receiving material about their "family member,"
more than likely you are hearing complaints from someone who is NOT the PNOK.
Here are a few examples from real life.
|One vocal MIA "activist" is a distant cousin of a missing man who has no
friends in the man's immediate family -- the split in the family goes back in time but
it's real and current. This cousin had little contact with the missing man when they
were growing up but, now that it's fashionable to be able to claim that you are a
victimized family member, this lady is there all the time -- at Congressional hearings,
MIA events, etc., etc. -- proclaiming about how she is cut off from information. She is
cut off because the PNOK got tired of her foolishness and told the Defense Department not
to provide her with any more material -- this is something that the PNOK can do.
Such a case is not unusual - the PNOK and immediate family members know the score
but some distant in-law(s) decide to jump on stage and proclaim about their "missing
|Go to this article and read about SGT Jimmy Ray's
"sisters" who are not. They provide an example of "family
members" whose claims are bogus.|
|In many cases, the "family member" is a son or daughter who was an infant when
the father was lost. Mother kept all her contact with the service to herself,
protecting the child(ren). Now that the child(ren) is an adult, he/she has questions
about what happened to the father. There may be a distance between the child(ren)
and the mother, mother may have re-married, any number of things may have happened to
cause the child(ren) to start from scratch trying to find out about the father. In
these cases, family matters often get aired in public with "the government"
getting the blame.|
I started writing this article in response to the nonsense claim by the "POW-MIA
FF" as to how much they are doing to bring our heroes home. What they are doing
is zero -- but it keeps them off the streets and out of trouble, and everyone needs a
This article prepared: October 12, 2000