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Race against time to find US troops' remains in Vietnam

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posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 04:58 AM
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In a remote valley in Vietnam, US investigators sift through piles of red soil. Despite recovering the remains of hundreds of fallen troops, the hunt goes on for many more still missing in a race against time.
With witnesses ageing, acidic soil eating into remains, and rapid development encroaching on areas where troops died during the Vietnam War, investigators warn there is little time left before all evidence is lost...

...More than 40 years later a joint US-Vietnamese recovery team is hunting for the remains of those who were lost -- and must find them before all traces disappear...

,,,Nearly 60,000 American soldiers died in the bloody Cold War-era conflict, which also claimed the lives of up to three million Vietnamese civilians and soldiers before ending in 1975 with Vietnam's reunification.

When the guns fell silent, 1,971 Americans were left unaccounted for, according to figures from the US Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Command (JPAC), which handles the search for MIAs.
Since then, 687 have been identified and repatriated and 586 are listed as "no further pursuit", meaning it is not possible to recover their remains. But JPAC is still hunting for about 700 missing individuals.


Source

In our current world, where we are all weary and numbed by our current wars, which have been raging for nearly ten years, it is easy for us to forget that we still have not finished the business left to us from a war that is now forty years gone.

My father and two of his brothers served in Vietnam. All three made it home alive. At least their bodies did. From the time of his return from combat in Vietnam, in 1970, until his death in 1996, my father was a changed man - forever scarred by his experiences in war. I am told that my uncles also were forever changed by the things that they witnessed and survived.

Now only one of them remains alive and, though he seems fine... he will not speak of his experiences in war, nor of the country of Vietnam. Even forty years later, the subject is too tender and the wounds still hurt.

Knowing the price these men, in my own circle have paid, I cannot fathom the difficulties that the families of the 1,284 still missing men have faced for so long now. My heart breaks to think about how much they have been robbed of and how empty their hearts must be simply not knowing.

As we enter this politically charged season of elections, in a climate that is very reminiscent of that same politically unstable era when Vietnam was an active campaign and social issue - I ask that we all put aside our partisan bickering and take a moment to think about the brave young men who dropped all, and gave the ultimate sacrifice at the alter of liberty. You don't have to agree with the war they fought, or the motives behind it... Only that they answered the call and served with honor and dignity.

God bless those who give unselfishly, so that others might have.






~Heff

edit on 8/30/12 by Hefficide because: bb tag




posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 05:18 AM
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What if some are still alive in some Laos hellhole prison?



posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 05:23 AM
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reply to post by RealSpoke
 


All the more reason for us not to forget them. This is exactly why I posted this article - to remind people that we've still got unfinished concerns from previous wars that need addressing, even as we deal with the fallout and tragedies of current or recent ones.

~Heff



posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 05:32 AM
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Originally posted by Hefficide
reply to post by RealSpoke
 


All the more reason for us not to forget them. This is exactly why I posted this article - to remind people that we've still got unfinished concerns from previous wars that need addressing, even as we deal with the fallout and tragedies of current or recent ones.

~Heff


Yet so many wars and crimes are still being started by the US....obviously no-one REALLY cares about past lives lost otherwise present and future lives would be treated with more respect.



posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 05:47 AM
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posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 07:26 AM
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I can't help but wonder if the scars are deeper on thoses who were conscripted right out of High school to fight in a war they didn't believe in.

At least the most recent ones were fought as a result of direct attacks on the US. Plus they were already signed up or knew where they were going before they signed up.



posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 08:08 AM
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S&F for your post. It is easy for people to forget with the current wars, economic upheavals and other troublesome issues that take center stage in the media. We hear the cries and protests of our citizens to "Bring our boys home" referring to the wars in the middle east. We need to be hearing just as loudly cries to Bring our Lost Men home from the Vietnam war.

Realspoke raised the specter of soldiers potentially still surviving in hellish prison camps, which could seriously be a possibility and all the more reason not to forget about those still lost.

Imagine what it must be like for the family members and loved ones of those still missing. Because there is a possibility of some still being held in prison camps even after 40 years, there is no end, no closure for the loved ones of those missing, I can't imagine it would be easy to give up a lost loved one for dead if there is the slightest chance that they are still alive.

Never Forget Them



posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 09:05 AM
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reply to post by RealSpoke
 


Your post led me to do some research and, at least on the surface, the facts here seem fairly compelling.

~Heff



posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 09:44 AM
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Very good and meaningful thread. Amen to all those that served in the Vietnam War. War changes people and unfortunately sometimes it cannot be avoided. Extra thanks to all those that served!



posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 05:22 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


I would imagine that all of them would probably just have been executed by now, but you never know.


Ross Perot stated that he believed that hundreds of American servicemen were left behind in Southeast Asia at the end of the U.S. involvement in the war,[41] and that government officials were covering up POW/MIA investigations in order to not reveal a drug smuggling operation used to finance a secret war in Laos.[42]


query.nytimes.com...

en.wikipedia.org...


Two former secretaries of defense under Richard M. Nixon testified Monday that the U.S. government believed in 1973 that many American fliers remained in enemy hands in Laos and were not returned with other prisoners at the end of the Vietnam War, despite Nixon's public assurances to the contrary.

"As of now, I can come to no other conclusion. (But) that does not mean there are any alive today," said former Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger, who also once served as head of the Central Intelligence Agency.


tech.mit.edu...


This was February 1, 1973. The North Vietnamese were stalling on signing the peace agreements, trying to get the best deal. So Nixon sent them a secret letter, promising $3.25 billion in war reparations—or “reconstruction aid.”


www.pythiapress.com...



posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 12:01 PM
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Bumping because honoring our fallen matters.



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