On September 19, the VFW recognizes and remembers the sacrifices of the 83,000 men and women of the Armed Forces who are still missing or unaccounted for. We salute and remember their families – the sacrifices they continue to endure and candles of hope they continue to burn.

 

POW/MIA Recognition Day serves to remind us that the true cost of war extends far beyond the cease fire. WWII claimed more than 130,000 Americans taken as prisoners of war, and as of last month, continues to list 73,500 Americans as missing in action.

 

Five years later during the Korean War, more than 7,100 were taken captive, and 7,800 are still listed as missing in action. Vietnam resulted in nearly 800 American POWS, and today, nearly 1,600 are still MIA.

 

Let us also remember the 126 Americans who are still missing from the Cold War, and the three military pilots and three Department of Defense contractors who remain missing from Operation El Dorado Canyon over Libya in 1986, Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

 

As veterans, family members of veterans and supporters, we must all do our part to remember their service and their sacrifice. Today, the VFW reaffirms its commitment to achieving the fullest possible accounting of those who have not yet come home.

 

This POW/MIA Recognition Day, the VFW continues the soldier’s pledge to never leave a fallen comrade on the battlefield and reaffirms its commitment to those who put country before self, who suffered greatly in captivity, or who have not yet returned home from their wars.

 

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