“It's not that the Vietnamese won't let him go; it's that our government doesn't want him.
There used to be a retired Army Col. who went back and forth to S.E. Asia that swore he had proof of POWs were still alive.
I was told there were 1700 that were held back because the Vietnamese wanted 4 Billion in war damages from the USA.
McCain knew about the 1700 yet never a word was mentioned; or so the story went.
Many of the more valuable POWs ended up in Russia.
I could not imagine living in a Tiger cage and going through what those guys went through.
No matter how much ammo I had I always left one for me (as many of my friends did); capture was not an acceptable option for us.
I got out of the service in 77 after 8.5 years and 4 years in S.E. Asia. I was asked by a 2 star General who had become a friend of mine if I wanted
to stay in the military and I clearly remember telling him "that if there was another war I could not guarantee I would go, so for me it was time to
hang up my guns and master wings"; I did and never looked back.
I might be able to find the reference and story of the 1700 and 4 Billion. Humm was not as hard as I thought but even so what I found is not the
complete story as was told to me.
Following the battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954, the Vietnamese refused to return their French POWs unless Paris agreed to pay financial
compensation for the war. The French leaders paid the money and got their men back. Similarly, the Vietnamese refused to return their American POWs
unless the U.S. government agreed to pay reparations. Nixon signed a document promising to do exactly that, but the Vietnamese, being cautious, kept
many of the POWs back until the money was delivered. Then Congress refused to authorize the funds because “America doesn’t lose wars.” Nixon and
later U.S. leaders never acknowledged the fate of these captives lest the American people become outraged. And as the years and decades went by, and
various schemes to ransom or rescue the POWs were considered and rejected, their continued existence became a major liability to numerous powerful
political figures, whose reputations would have been destroyed if any of the prisoners ever returned and told his story to the American people. So
none of them ever came home. __________________________________________
I’m referring to the evidence that North Vietnam—after the peace treaty had been signed on Jan. 27, 1973 in Paris—held back hundreds of American
prisoners, keeping them as bargaining chips to ensure getting Washington’s promised $3.25 billion in war reparations. The funds were never
delivered, and the prisoners were never released. Both sides insisted to their people and the world that all POWs had been returned, challenging the
voluminous body of facts to the contrary.
But behind the scenes, where the press did not go then or now, President Nixon accused Hanoi of not returning a multitude of prisoners. In a private
message on Feb. 2, 1973, Nixon said U.S. records showed 317 prisoners in Laos alone. “It is inconceivable,” he wrote, “that only 10 of these
men” were being returned. END QUOTE
We had over 200 captured alive in Laos that I was aware of.
The unit you are in will come a get you even at the price of killing themselves for we/they would not leave our guys behind. The government in spite
of what they say will cut and run if it is politically expedient. Listen to some of Kissinger's quotes if you have any doubts...
QUOTE....Military men are “dumb, stupid animals to be used” as pawns for foreign policy....END QUOTE
"The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer."
The Military training and friends I made were a life's blessing and set me on a course that has served me well. But I also learned at a tender age,
actions speak louder than words.
There are still those in government who listen and think what a grand guy Kissinger is. Money and power can always buy you fair weather friends; he is