POW/MIA Recognition Day

September 15, 2023 – “DOD Won’t Stop Looking Until All POW/MIAs Are Home,” — C. Todd Lopez , DOD News

According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the most recent update as of May 22, 2023 puts the number of Americans Missing in Action at more than 81,000. More than half of the missing are presumed lost at sea.

“The Defense Department remembers and honors those Americans who were prisoners of war and those who served and never returned home. DOD’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency continues the search for the missing, fulfilling the nation’s promise to leave no service member behind,” states the Department of Defense’s website.

The search continues for those who are MIA from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Gulf Wars, and other recent conflicts like the Iraq War.

A Congressional Research Service report shows that: 130,201 World War II service members were imprisoned; 14,072 them died, 7,140 Korean War service members were imprisoned; 2,701 of them died, 725 Vietnam War service members were imprisoned; 64 of them died, 37 service members were imprisoned during conflicts since 1991, including both Gulf wars; none are still in captivity.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s data shows that 83,114 Americans are still MIA: approximately 73,515 from World War II, 7,841 from the Korean War, 1,626 from Vietnam, 126 from the Cold War, and 6 from conflicts since 1991.

Not one military member is Missing in Action from the war in Afghanistan.

“On this day, may we recommit to our search efforts for all those missing and unaccounted for, as well as our support for their families. May we honor the remarkable bravery, sacrifice, and commitment to service of former prisoners of war. And may we continue to keep the flame of liberty burning bright and continue working toward a more perfect Union for which our service members sacrifice so much,” proclaimed President Biden. 

A POW/MIA Recognition Day event was held at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District on the evening of Tuesday, September 12th.

The event was hosted by the Association of the United States Army, Central California Chapter 6105. Some of those in attendance were: military members, veteran group leaders, the Central Valley Blue Star Moms, AUSA Cadets, a Veterans Association Hospital representative, City of Clovis representatives, the Sounds of Freedom Band, and more. The event was sponsored by CVMD, AUSA, the VA, and other veteran groups. 

There were dozens of MIA, POW, and Secret Guerilla Unit (SGU) displays, including a Missing Man Table. 

May we never forget the U.S. Armed Forces members that are missing or unaccounted for.

Destiny De La Cruz is a budding journalist with a passion for photojournalism. As a Fresno State alumni, she earned a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication & Journalism, the Film & Media Arts option with a minor in Anthropology. She has an interest in all things film, food, literature & outdoors.