Our Mission:Jerry was an F4 Phantom pilot, whose aircraft was shot down on August 29, 1969, approximately 20 miles South of Da Nang, Vietnam, after six months in country. Neither Jerry nor his navigator, 1st Lt. Al Graf, was able to eject because of the altitude and trajectory of the aircraft. They were initially classified as Killed in Action/No Body Recovered (KIA/NBR). Years later, both Marines were listed as MIA, along with other service members whose bodies were never recovered – regardless of their original classification.
Although Jerry has been gone for four decades, our family learned that his remains might be recoverable, so we are doing everything possible to work with JPAC to make this happen and bring Jerry home to the United States where he belongs.
Posts Tagged ‘LtC Todd Emoto’
For the past several years, DPMO has produced a special poster for National POW/MIA Recognition Day. These posters are poignant reminders of our continued respect for those service members who paid the ultimate price on behalf of our country and that the mission to bring home their remains will never end. The 2014 poster is one of my favorites.
National POW/MIA Recognition Day is observed annually on the third Friday of September in honor of the brave men and women of the armed services, who are still missing from past wars — namely, WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam War and the Cold War. Each are officially listed as POW/MIA, and this special day is one in which the US Government renews its commitment to do everything possible to bring them home to their families and to the country for which they made the ultimate sacrifice. The 2014 event falls on the 19th this year and is traditionally observed at government installations, including the Capitol and White House, along with multiple locations where active duty military, veterans, families and other patriotic Americans gather to remember these special heroes.
Although formal observances may differ, many will include the very recognizable POW/MIA flag flying below the American flag. This black flag made its debut after the Vietnam War, and its presence continues to move Americans, who now know what it signifies and that it has come to represent all POW/MIA service members from past wars. In more recent years the Department of Defense began producing a unique poster, specifically for POW/MIA Recognition day. They are true works of art that always send a powerful message, and the 2014 poster is no exception, as noted above. The inscription on the poster says it best: “Missing … Seeking Answers.”
Many families with loved ones still missing would give anything to turn back the clock and be given just one do-over. But we all know that do-overs are trendy ways of saying second chances, and our plight is not a game but rather a dream that the remains of our husbands, fathers, sons and brothers will be found one day, and allow us to close the circle.
As the Department of Defense prepares to debut a new agency that will try to speed up global recovery efforts of our MIAs, I wish them success and hope all MIA families and veterans will help make it work. There will be opportunities for many of us to become partners in this very complex effort. With the threat of terrorism looming large and the drawdown of military troops leaving us with fewer service members than post-WWII, please make National POW/MIA Recognition Day more than an annual observance — let’s pledge to help the DoD get the job done.
L-R: Alisa Stack, a senior DoD civilian specialist, appointed by Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Lumpkin to lead the accounting community transition team; Major General W. Montague “Q” Winfield, USA Ret., Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs; and Elaine Zimmer Davis, attending the 2013 League meeting in Washington, D.C. Stack is not a newcomer to the complexities of transitions — her record in Afghanistan speaks for itself.
The 45th annual meeting of the National League of POW/MIA Families (League) is scheduled for June 11-14, 2014, in Washington, D.C. The event traditionally attracts 300-plus families and government officials during three days of scheduled meetings. It is a testament to families with loved ones still unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War, who believe that giving up on our MIAs is not an option. Many have been making the D.C. trek for decades.
Were it not for the League and people like Chairman of the Board Ann Mills Griffiths, there would be no accounting program for any of us, including families with loved ones missing from the Korean War and WW II, which have their own annual meeting soon after the League’s.
Mills Griffiths will be at the podium much of the time, keeping everyone on their toes during the Department of Defense’s unveiling of the newly rehabbed accounting community.
I will post a follow-up blog after returning from D.C. I’m anticipating a lot of changes within the accounting community, namely because DPMO and JPAC, along with a few other key players, will be consolidated into a single organization with a new name and new civilian leader under the DoD umbrella.
I look forward to hearing Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Lumpkin, as the keynote speaker at the Opening Session, elaborate on the future of Vietnam War recoveries. I also hope to see many of the people in the military and civil service, who have been instrumental in bringing home our loved ones from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and providing families with emotional support along the way.