On “Returniversary,” Hanoi Hilton POWs Johnson, McCain Call for Intensified Efforts to Account for 83,000 MIAs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week marks the 44th Anniversary of “Operation Homecoming” when U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX) and U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) returned from North Vietnam back to the United States, along with almost 600 American Prisoners of War (POWs). In memory of their fellow POWs and those Missing in Action (MIAs) who never made it home, Johnson and McCain introduced identical resolutions in the House and Senate calling for intensified efforts to investigate, recover, and identify all missing and unaccounted-for personnel of the United States.
Specifically, H.Res. 129 and S.Res. 61 call on the United States government to intensify efforts to account for the 83,000 American service members who are still unaccounted for around the world. The resolutions also call on foreign governments to fully assist in search and recovery efforts.
“This is a particularly meaningful week for me,” said Johnson. “It is when I returned home to my family after nearly seven years locked away as a POW in the Hanoi Hilton – 42 months of that in solitary confinement. The major reason my fellow POWs and I were able to make it home was because of our brave POW wives and folks like Ross Perot and Murphy Martin. They fought tooth and nail to educate the American public who believed North Vietnam’s false propaganda that we were treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention. While I was blessed to make it home to Freedom, many of my fellow compatriots did not. Our American Armed Forces swear to leave no man behind, which is why I have vowed I will never stop fighting for our Defenders of Freedom – just like our POW wives did for us. My commitment to this country and those who fight for it will never end. Thank you to all the brave men and women in our Armed Forces, past and present, for your service and sacrifice to the greatest nation in the world – the United States of America. God bless you and I salute you.”
“I’m proud to join my friend and comrade Congressman Sam Johnson in introducing this resolution calling on the U.S. to intensify efforts to find answers about the American service members still unaccounted for abroad,” said Senator McCain stated. “Our country remains in their debt, and our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones on the 44th anniversary of Operation Homecoming. The great honor of my life was to serve in the company of heroes in North Vietnam, Americans whose comradery, bravery, and resilience in the face of tremendous hardship inspired us to resist our captors and find strength and hope even in the darkest of hours. These men, those like them who served in other conflicts, and the thousands who made the ultimate sacrifice but never returned home, deserve our nation's highest respect and gratitude. While we owe these heroes a debt we can never truly repay, it is my hope this resolution contributes to achieving a full accounting of our missing comrades and delivers to their families the peace of mind they have long deserved.”
“On behalf of the POW/MIA families, please accept our heartfelt gratitude for once again stepping forward to help achieve the fullest possible accounting for Americans still missing from our nation’s past wars and conflicts,” said Ann Mills-Griffths, Chairman and CEO of National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia. To read the full letter of support, CLICK HERE.