Of all the things drilled into you in the military, “leave no man or woman behind” might be the most uncompromising ethos of them all. The military would fail its mission if troops didn’t operate under complete faith and trust, in life and in death.

National POW/MIA Recognition Day was established in order for us to recognize when those fought were never found, or were captured by the enemy in a time of war. According to the Defense Department, 83,417 troops are still unaccounted for, stretching from WWII to Iraq and Afghanistan. Those missing troops don’t just have a profound impact on their units, but their families as well. That’s a lot of families that may never see closure.

The other half of our reflection is reserved for troops captured by the enemy in battle—or in James O’Neal Hughes’ case, by revolutionaries during the Iran hostage crisis. Their incredible sacrifice is almost impossible to conceive, and our gratitude can never be enough.

This is also a day to recognize the hard work by the folks at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, whose mission is to search for, identify, and bring home remains of our men and women overseas from sites all over the world.

Take a moment to reflect on those who have suffered in the hands of the enemy, and those who never came home.

Share this story

Published on Sep. 21, 2012

Estimated reading time is 1.2 min.

Views to date: 90


  1. cush September 23, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    God bless America
    God bless my brothers in arms.

  2. scott September 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    the alexandria Louisiana va is evil and corrupt

  3. Robert Garnett September 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    We need to bring this man home.

    Sgt Bowe Bergdahl-US Army-POW

    The United States Government: Bring our only POW Bowe Bergdahl home – held captive since 2009


  4. Dianna Spory September 22, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    My husband is a disable vietnam veteran and we are always trying our best to do everything possible to support our troops in all ways possible. The sad part of this information being sent to us, is that it arrived on 9/22/12.

    That makes it a little hard for us to reflect on our POW/MIA’s on 9/21/12, by visiting local VFW’s and Legions to spread the word and to spend time with our POW’s if we do not get the info in time!

    Reflecting on all veteran sacrifices is something we do daily anyway, but it would be nice to get your e-mails in a timely manner to properly acknowledge these special days.

    • Kenneth V> Rice September 26, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      Thanks. Spent 3yrs9Mos26Days as Japanese POW

  5. Charles Lilly September 22, 2012 at 11:27 am

    So who exactly is benefitting from WAR after WAR? Gee whiz, now let me think. The Military / Industrial Complex owned and operated by millionaires and Billionaires who own the Ship Yards, the Tank Factories, the Fighter and Bomber Factories. So why in GOD’s name are we still in Korea after 60 years? We lost 650,000 young Troops in the Civil War, another I don’t know from the 1st World War, Korea 50,000, Vietnam 58,122 aprox, now we pissed away a lot of lives in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, where next? What is an American Soldier’s Life worth to you. 18 Veterans commit suicide everyday 24/7. Too darn many Aircraft Carriers, while American children go homeless.

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • VA has simplified and streamlined the application process for medical debt relief, allowing Veterans better access. Apply for and receive medical debt relief now.

  • Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers has expanded to now include caregivers of eligible Veterans of all service eras.

  • In the aftermath of Hurricanes Fiona and Ian, VA has benefits and resources for Veterans and families impacted by this natural disaster.