Wednesday, 9 March 2016

MIA Soldiers

During the Vietnam War, there were many examples of soldiers going MIA. Many of their bodies, or remains, haven't been recovered, and their Headstones stand over empty Graves.
It is reported that there were/are 1350 MIA/POW soldiers, as some haven't been closed yet, although there is obvious assumption that they are dead.

One of the most notorious, or infamous, examples, is a soldier by the name of Robert R. Garwood. Garwood was captured and presumed MIA in 1965. However, he was accused and eventually convicted of collaborating with the Viet Cong while he was MIA, as well as being accused of assaulting a fellow Soldier.
"A jury of five Marine Corps officers deliberated two days before returning the conviction. Private Garwood is the only Vietnam prisoner of war to be tried by court-martial on a collaboration charge, and his conviction is the first on such a charge in the armed services since 10 prisoners of the Korean War were convicted 25 years ago."
'These former prisoners said that Private Garwood was living with the Vietnamese camp guards and, in the words of Gustave A. Mehrer of the Army, ''He was squatting like them, walking like them and giggling like them. In my opinion, he was a white Vietnamese.'''
It was claimed by his defense lawyers that for 2 years he had suffered the same torture and deprivation as the other prisoners, and as a result, his mental condition had deteriorated further from the experience when the other prisoners saw him. It was also claimed that he was "driven mad by this coercive persuasion."

One of the most well-known soldiers that went "MIA" is John McCain, who was a POW and in 2008 ran against Obama for President of the United States. He was a POW for 5 and 1/2 years after his Plane was shot down in North Vietnam. There are many conspiracies surrounding McCain and the time he spent MIA. He was tortured, and suffered multiple injuries that were for the most, part untreated, and when they were it was minimal. These injuries included 2 fractured arms and a fractured leg, suffered by ejecting from his Plane.

John McCain being pulled from the water following his Plane crash.

Even today, there are still forensic tests that take place with the intention of identifying some of the remains that have been found. But, for many of the families that had members go MIA, they will never know whether they get found, or identified, and have to live with the knowledge that they will not get a proper burial.
There has been some accusation that America left some of the troops behind, although this has been repeatedly denied by politicians, in particular, McCain, who suggests that the records that may contain that information would only make things painful for the families involved, and as a result, this conspiracy remains, that the US simply left some of the POW's behind. 

"According to the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office, as at 2015 there are still 1,627 U.S. servicemen still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War."

Plaque for the MIA soldiers in Texas.

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