04 May 2006

Another pair of Vietnam MIA's come home

I grew up in a military family. My father spent 22yrs in the Navy working on the Grumman A-6 Intruder. He worked on it and maintained the electronics in them. He spent 2 cruises off Vietnam. Once in 1968 and again in 1973-1973. A number of the people he became real good friends with were pilots or Naval Flight Officers that flew in the A-6 up north into Vietnam. As a kid I grew up listening to sea stories that sometimes began with "There I was with Cool Hand...." Or "There I was on board the USS with VA-XX....". One of the other things that I also grew up with was a few of these guys use to wear MIA bracelets. A number of them also served with a few of the guys that are listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall and those that are still listed as MIA's. I have also meet a few people that were POW's near then end of the war of the North Vietnamese and listening to them talk about their experiences sort of pulled at my heart as a kid.
Why do I bring this up? Well I read in my local paper about the remains of 2 USAF MIA's from Vietnam were identified this past week. Here is a local write up from the paper near my home town, Seattle Times page on the family . I am glad that this family finally has closure some 30yrs after their fathers, husbands, sons, brothers went missing.

It is really amazing what the folks at the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office, have been doing since the increase use of DNA. They also have teams in all over the world looking at remains, fragments of material trying to bring home nearly all of the missing from World War 2 on up to the 1991 Persian Gulf war. I raise a glass in toast to their office and hope that they can bring home all of them.

For those interested, here is the link to the Virtual Wall, which has a large number of those listed on the Vietnam Memorial wall in Washington DC, along with a picture and a short write up about the person. If you haven't been to the wall yourself it is something to see. I have been there twice. Once with a couple friends and and again all by myself. The wall like the American Cemetery in Normandy, it gives you a moment to take a step back and think.

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