Take time to remember POW/MIA Day
Today, Sept. 21, is National Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Recognition Day, which is the third Friday of September each year. It is a day to remember those members of our armed forces who never returned from a war or who were a prisoner of war.
It is a tragedy for the family as well as the missing service member, and the nation owes them as full an accounting of their loved one as is possible.
The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency was set up to do just that and is constantly investigating and resolving cases.
There are still 72,823 missing, as of today, from World War II, 7,683 from the Korean War, 1,594 from the Vietnam War, 126 from the Cold War, and five from the Gulf Wars.
Here are some of the latest updates from the DPAA:
• CDR. James B. Mills, USNR, of California has been accounted for after his remains were discovered in June of this year. He was listed as MIA on Sept. 21, 1966, over North Vietnam.
• Col. Richard A. Kibbey, USAF, of New York was accounted for Aug. 6 when his remains were noted as returned on April 17, 2017. He was listed as missing on Feb. 6, 1967, over North Vietnam.
• Navy Seaman 1st Class Robert W. Headington, who was killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor, and was accounted for on Aug. 6, 2018. He was previously buried as unidentified but his remains were disinterred for identification.
• Army Staff Sgt. Karl R. Loesche, killed in World War II, was accounted for on Sept. 13. He, too, was buried as an unknown in the Philippine Islands.
• Army Pvt. Charles G. Kaniatobe, who was killed during the Korean War, was accounted for on Sept. 13. He had been missing since July 10, 1950.
Also intensely interested in this issue is the National League of POW/MIA Families, located in Falls Church, Va. The League was formed in 1970 and is composed of wives, children, parents, siblings and other close blood and legal relatives of Americans who are listed as Prisoners of War, Missing in Action, Killed in Action/Body not Recovered and returned American Vietnam War POWs.
Keep this issue in mind and support the important work going on to achieve the fullest possible accounting of missing personnel.
This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Crystal Stevenson, John Guidroz, retired editor Jim Beam and retired staff writer Mike Jones.