POW/MIA COMMITTEE REPORT
BY GARY JONES, CHAIR
All organizations pick time frames to measure their success.
We look at benchmarks and goals and try to measure how well
we have done over some period of time. VVA is no different
and certainly owes its membership progress reports. So, here
is a look at the status of the POW/MIA Committee’s
PM-3-95 Declassification of Information: Work
continues on this Resolution. We have worked hard to develop
a good working relationship with JPAC and DPMO. I believe
we have succeeded.
PM-7-95 Possibility of Live POWs: The committee
has worked with JPAC units and asks for updates on case files
frequently. Additionally, we remind all Vietnamese veteran
and government groups that we hold the issue of “last
known alive” personnel
to be a top priority.
PM-8-95 Fullest Possible Accounting:
This is the central issue for the committee. VVA supported
HR 111 to form a select congressional committee to evaluate
the processes of fullest accounting. The Veterans Initiative
effort going into Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia continues to
bring successful results for Vietnamese and American families.
We have added contact with former Soviet military personnel
who have knowledge of U.S. losses over northern Vietnam.
This has been responsible for the recent resolution of two
formerly stalled cases. We returned to Ukraine in March to
continue this contact.
PM-9-95 Americans Missing in Laos and
Cambodia: The VI team has focused its efforts on our Laotian
mission this past two years. The work continues satisfactorily
there and in Cambodia. It is hoped that the casualty resolution
specialist from Laos and Vietnam and Hawaii will visit us
at the Leadership Conference in July in Greenville.
Honoring Returned POWs: Last year VVA supported S 848 and
HR 1179, the Prisoner of War Benefits Act, and improvements
to existing legislation. These have now passed Congress and
PM-13-01 POW/MIA Flag: Efforts continue to spread
the use of the flag and to educate the public on its meaning.
It continues to surprise us that some would like to write
this issue off. Consequently, we ask all members to help
support and educate the public on this issue.
VITF-2-95 Veterans Initiative Effort and Scope: The VI continues
as a program of the POW/MIA Committee. We have now returned
information accounting for over 10,000 personnel who were
lost to the people of Vietnam during the war. As a result,
JPAC and DPMO acknowledge to us that this has greatly enhanced
their information stream and smoothed their relationship
with the Vietnamese in locating American personnel. VVA has
achieved international acclaim as a result of this program,
and it has directly led to contacts in other parts of the
world who now help in the fullest possible accounting.
the past four years the VI team has added four new members
to the travels in Vietnam: Gary Jones, Jack Devine, Bob Johnston,
and Grant Coates. We maintain a familiar and trusted experience
base with the old hands, while introducing new members to
the accounting community. It is expected we will continue
to do this. The cost of travel has become a very serious
consideration. We deeply appreciate VVA’s continued
financial and spiritual support in this effort.
members: Gary Jones, Chair; Al Cummings, Vice Chair; Darryl
Brown, Grant Coates, Bill Duker, Lee Fisher, Bob Johnston,
Jim Kuschel, Bob Maras, Michael Marks; Special Advisers:
Kaye Gardner, Susie S. Harvey, Diane Nicholson; Staff Liaison: