Prisoner of War

Missing in Action




          POW / MIA

My Marine husband David, and

my Marine son Dan, with their

POW/MIA flags




UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE -- Prisoner of War / Missing Personnel Office





News Releases
Fact Sheets
Annual Reports

The Strategy



LIBRARY OF CONGRESS -- Federal Research Division -- POW/MIA and POW Databases and Documents




ALPHABETICAL SITE DIRECTORY -- All Prisioners of War and All Missing In Action From All Wars -- Major Items Of Interest









The POW/MIA Flag

(from the website of the US Department of Veterans Affairs) 

In 1971, Mrs. Michael Hoff, the wife of a U.S. military officer listed as missing in action during the Vietnam War, developed the idea for a national flag to remind every American of the U.S. servicemembers whose fates were never accounted for during the war.

The black and white image of a gaunt silhouette, a strand of barbed wire and an ominous watchtower was designed by Newt Heisley, a former World War II pilot. Some claim the silhouette is a profile of Heisley’s son, who contracted hepatitis while training to go to Vietnam. The virus ravaged his body, leaving his features hallow and emaciated. They suggest that while staring at his son’s sunken features, Heisley saw the stark image of American servicemembers held captive under harsh conditions. Using a pencil, he sketched his son’s profile, creating the basis for a symbol that would come to have a powerful impact on the national conscience.

By the end of the Vietnam War, more than 2,500 servicemembers were listed by the Department of Defense as Prisoner of War (POW) or Missing in Action (MIA). In 1979, as families of the missing pressed for full accountability, Congress and the president proclaimed the first National POW/MIA Recognition Day to acknowledge the families’ concerns and symbolize the steadfast resolve of the American people to never forget the men and women who gave up their freedom protecting ours. Three years later, in 1982, the POW/MIA flag became the only flag other than the Stars and Stripes to fly over the White House in Washington, D.C.

On August 10, 1990, Congress officially passed U. S. Public Law 101-355, designating the POW/MIA flag:   "The symbol of our Nation’s concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia."

Displaying the POW/MIA Flag

Congress designated the third Friday of September as National POW/MIA Recognition Day and ordered prominent display of the POW/MIA flag on this day and several other national observances, including Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. The 1998 Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 105-85) mandates that on these national observances, the POW/MIA flag is to be flown over the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Korean and Vietnam Veterans War Memorials, the offices of the Secretaries of State, Defense and Veterans Affairs, offices of the Director of the Selective Service System, every major military installation (as directed by the Secretary of Defense), every post office and all Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers and national cemeteries. The act also directs VA medical centers to fly the POW/MIA flag on any day on which the flag of the United States is displayed.

When displayed from a single flag pole, the POW/MIA flag should fly directly below, and be no larger than, the United States flag. If on separate poles, the U.S. flag should always be placed to the right of other flags. On the six national observances for which Congress has ordered display of the POW/ MIA flag, it is generally flown immediately below or adjacent to the United States flag as second in order of precedence.





POW/MIA Freedom Fighters
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Gulf War II



Captain M. Scott Speicher

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On January 17, 1991, America navy pilot, Lieutenant Commander Michael “Scott” Speicher, was shot down while flying a combat mission over western Iraq on the first night of Operation Desert Storm.  His family, friends, and country took ever possible means to find him, never giving up hope for his return.  Pictures were distributed to our children that were serving in the War on Terror in Iraq and websites were set up with vigils, information, messages, and prayers.  On August 2, 2009, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) of the US Department of Defense announced that they had recovered the remains of Captain Speicher.









Spc. Edgar Hernandez


507th Maintenance Company

Mission, Texas

Was missing after an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003. Rescued April 13, 2003, north of Baghdad.

Spc. Joseph Hudson23507th Maintenance CompanyAlamogordo, New MexicoWas missing after an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003. Rescued April 13, 2003, north of Baghdad.
Spc. Shoshana Johnson30507th Maintenance CompanyEl Paso, Texas Was missing after an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003. Rescued April 13, 2003, north of Baghdad.
Pfc. Jessica Lynch19507th Maintenance CompanyPalestine, West VirginiaWas missing after an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003. Rescued April 2, 2003, by U.S. troops from Saddam Hospital in Nasiriya.
Pfc. Patrick Miller23507th Maintenance CompanyWalter, KansasWas missing after an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003. Rescued April 13, 2003, north of Baghdad.
Sgt. James Riley31507th Maintenance CompanyPennsauken, New JerseyWas missing after an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003. Rescued April 13, 2003, north of Baghdad.
Chief Warrant Officer David S. Williams30Company C, 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation RegimentFloridaCaptured after his AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter was shot down near Karbala, Iraq, on March 24, 2003. Rescued April 13, 2003, north of Baghdad.

Chief Warrant Officer Ronald D. Young


Company C, 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment

Lithia Springs, Georgia

Captured after his AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter was shot down near Karbala, Iraq, on March 24, 2003. Rescued April 13, 2003, north of Baghdad.






Sgt. Matthew Maupin

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Maupin's fuel convoy was attacked near Baghdad International Airport on April 9, 2004.   A videotape broadcast by Al-Jazeera on April 16 showed Maupin being held hostage by Iraqi insurgents.  The Pentagon later changed his status from MIA to captured.  Maupin was promoted in absentia on May 1, 2004, from private first class to specialist.  All held hope that Matt would return home safely and kept constant vigil for him until  March 31, 2008, when we were told that SGT Maupin's remains had been found.





Nikki's POW/MIA Vigil





March 31, 2008 -- Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin's Remains Found

Sgt. Matthew Maupin Remains Found
March 31, 2008

Ohio Soldier's Remains Found in Iraq
By TERRY KINNEY – 1 hour ago
BATAVIA, Ohio (AP) — Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin's parents vowed to never let the U.S. Army forget about finding their son.

Their efforts included trips to the Pentagon and even meeting with President Bush, but they ended in disappointment Sunday: An Army general told them the remains of Maupin, a soldier who had been listed as missing-captured in Iraq since 2004, had been found.

"My heart sinks, but I know they can't hurt him anymore," Keith Maupin said after receiving word about the remains of his son, who went by Matt.
The Army didn't say how or where in Iraq his son's remains were discovered, only that the identification was made with DNA testing, Maupin said. A shirt similar to the one his son was wearing at the time of his disappearance was also found.
The Army was continuing its investigation, Maupin said.
Lt. Lee Packnett, an Army public affairs officer in Washington, said an official statement about the identification would be released Monday.
Matt Maupin was a 20-year-old private first class when he was captured April 9, 2004, after his fuel convoy, part of the Bartonville, Ill.-based 724th Transportation Company, was ambushed west of Baghdad.
A week later, the Arab television network Al-Jazeera aired a videotape showing a stunned-looking Maupin wearing camouflage and a floppy desert hat, sitting on the floor surrounded by five masked men holding automatic rifles.
That June, Al-Jazeera aired another tape purporting to show a U.S. soldier being shot. But the dark and grainy tape showed only the back of the victim's head and not the execution.
The Maupins refused to believe their son was dead. They lobbied hard for the Army to continue listing him as missing-captured, fearing that another designation would undermine efforts to find him.
The Pentagon agreed to give the Maupins regular briefings, and Bush met with them when he traveled to Cincinnati.
Keith Maupin said the Army told him soon after his son's capture that there was only a 50 percent chance he would be found alive. He said he doesn't hold the Army responsible for his son's death, but that he did hold the Army responsible for bringing his son home.
"I told them when we'd go up to the Pentagon, whether he walks off a plane or is carried off, you're not going to leave him in Iraq like you did those guys in Vietnam," Maupin said.

Keith Maupin and his ex-wife, Carolyn, held a candlelight vigil Sunday night outside the Yellow Ribbon Support Center in Batavia, an office they used to package thousands of boxes of donated snacks and toiletries for shipment to soldiers in Iraq.

"It hurts," Carolyn Maupin said. "After you go through almost four years of hope, and this is what happens, it's like a letdown, so I'm trying to get through that right now."
The Maupins said they would hold to their previous plans for Monday and appear in the baseball season opening day parade for the Reds in downtown Cincinnati.
Asked how they would suspend their grief and take part in the parade, Keith Maupin said, "Our mission continues." They raise funds for the Yellow Ribbon center and for scholarships for children of veterans.
The Maupins were told by an Army official on Friday to expect an update on their son over the weekend, Keith Maupin said. The Army broke the news about their son's remains at a somber meeting.
"When you look out there in the parking lot and see a three-star general get out of a car, you know it ain't good news," Keith Maupin said.
Matt Maupin graduated from Glen Este High School, just east of Cincinnati, in 2001 and attended the University of Cincinnati for a year before joining the Army Reserves.
Dan Simmons, the athletic director at Glen Este, remembered him as a quiet but hardworking backup player on the school's football team.
"Matt was a selfless kid on the football field," Simmons said. "He did whatever the coaches told him. He wasn't a starter, but he made the other kids play harder."
A month after his capture, Maupin was promoted to the rank of specialist. In April 2005, he was promoted to sergeant.







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The Third Friday of The Month Of September






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Missing In Action, Prisoners Of War

Lord, I'm here to take a stand 
For all those missing from our land 
Missing in action, prisoners of war 
Lord, bring them home to America once more.

When America needed them they were there 
Lord, let us show them we care 
It may not be an easy task 
But let us bring them home at last.

Lord, put an end to all their turmoil 
Bring back home to American soil 
Missing in action, prisoners of war 
Lord, bring them home to America once more.

~ Gloria J. Shuttlesworth ~


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As you entered the dining area, you may have noticed a table at the front, raised to call your attention to its purpose -- it is reserved to honor our missing loved ones [or missing comrades in arms, for veterans].

Set for six, the empty places represent Americans still [our men] missing from each of the five services -- Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard - and civilians. This Honors Ceremony symbolizes that they are with us, here in spirit.

Some [here] in this room were very young when they were sent into combat; however, all Americans should never forget the brave men and women who answered our nation's call [to serve] and served the cause of freedom in a special way.

I would like to ask you to stand, and remain standing for a moment of silent prayer, as the Honor Guard places the five service covers and a civilian cap on each empty plate.

Honor Guard:

(In silence or with dignified, quiet music as background, the Honor Guard moves into position around the table and simultaneously places the covers of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard, and a civilian hat, on the dinner plate at each table setting. The Honor Guard then departs.)


Please be seated ....... I would like to explain the meaning of the items on this special table.

The table is round -- to show our everlasting concern for our missing men.

The tablecloth is white -- symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to duty.

The single red rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of the missing, and the[ir] loved ones and friends of these Americans who keep the faith, awaiting answers.

The vase is tied with a red ribbon, symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing.

A slice of lemon on the bread plate is to remind us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.

A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek answers.

The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.

The glass is inverted -- to symbolize their inability to share this evening's [morning's/day's] toast.

The chairs are empty -- they are missing.

Let us now raise our water glasses in a toast to honor America's POW/MIAs and to the success of our efforts to account for them.

Courtesy of:





I Hear Them Calling

I hear them calling in the night
When my world is calm and quiet.

They speak to me in words I would not hear
Yet their voices won't be silenced.

They beseech me with whispers
Asking, "Why were we left?"
They cannot understand.

The wind carries their questions.

The stars shine down as tears.

The moon becomes their faces.

And I have no answer worth speaking.

~ Dennis Johnson ~






Department of Veterans Affairs

Former Prisoners of War (POWs)

Who Are Former Prisoners of War?

Since World War I, more than 142,000 Americans, including 85 women, have been captured and interned as POWs. Not included in this figure are nearly 93,000 Americans who were lost or never recovered. More than 90% of living former POWs were captured and interned during World War II.

In 1981, Congress passed Public Law 97-37 entitled "Former Prisoners of War Benefit Act." This law accomplished several things. It established an Advisory Committee on Former Prisoners of War and mandated medical and dental care. It also identified certain diagnoses as presumptive service-connected conditions for former POWs. Subsequent public laws and policy decisions by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs have added additional diagnoses to the list of presumptive conditions.


What Are the Presumptive Conditions for Former POWs?

Today, former POWs are generally entitled to a presumption of service-connection for seven diseases, regardless of the length of captivity, if manifested to a degree of 10 percent or more after discharge or release from active military, naval, or air service. These diseases are:

· Psychosis

· Any of the Anxiety States

· Dysthymic disorder, or depressive neurosis

· Post-traumatic osteoarthritis

· Cold Injury

· Stroke and Complications

· Heart Disease and Complications

If a former POW was interned for 30 days or more, the following additional diseases are presumed to be service-connected:

· Avitaminosis

· Beriberi

· Chronic Dysentery

· Cirrhosis of the Liver

· Helminthiasis

· Irritable Bowel Syndrome

· Malnutrition, including associated Optic Atrophy

· Any other nutritional deficiency

· Pellagra and any other nutritional deficiency

· Peptic Ulcer Disease

· Peripheral Neuropathy, except where directly related to infectious causes


How Should a Former POW Apply for VA Compensation?

Former POWs can apply for compensation for their service-connected injuries, diseases, or illnesses by completing VA Form 21-526, Veteran’s Application for Compensation and/or Pension. They can also apply online at http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp.


Are There Medical Benefits for Former POWs?

Yes. Additionally, the VA health care system affords priority treatment for former POWs. Those who have a service–connected disability are eligible for VA health care. This includes hospital, nursing home, and outpatient treatment. Former POWs who do not have a service-connected disability are eligible for VA hospital and nursing home care – without regard to their ability to pay. They are also eligible for outpatient care on a priority basis – second only to Veterans with service-connected disabilities.


While former POWs are receiving treatment in an approved outpatient treatment program, they are eligible for needed medicines, glasses, hearing aids, or prostheses. They are also eligible for all needed dental care. There is no co-payment requirement for former POWs at VA pharmacies.

Are There Benefits for Survivors of Former POWs?

Yes. The major benefit is Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) which is a monthly benefit payable to the surviving spouse (and the former POW’s children and parents in some cases) when the former POW:

· was a service member who died on active duty; or

· died from service-related disabilities; or

· died on or before September 30, 1999 and was continuously rated totally disabled for a service connected condition (including individual unemployability) for at least 10 years immediately preceding death; or

· died after September 30, 1999, and was continuously rated totally disabled for a service-connected condition (including individual unemployability) for at least 1 year immediately preceding death.

DIC is terminated for a surviving spouse who remarries, but can be resumed if the remarriage ends in death, divorce, or annulment. However, a surviving spouse who remarries on or after attaining age 57, and on or after December 16, 2003, can continue to receive DIC.


Are There Other Benefits for Former POWs and Their Dependents/Survivors?

The following are other significant VA benefits to which certain Veterans may be entitled: disability pension, medical care, education and training, home loan guaranty, and burial benefits. Certain disabled Veterans may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation and employment services, insurance, clothing allowance, special adapted housing assistance, and specially adapted automobile equipment. Certain dependents/survivors may be entitled to health care, death pension, education and training, home loan guaranty, and burial in a national cemetery. See other VA fact sheets on those benefits, or contact VA for more information.


Is Special Assistance Available to Former POWs?

Each VA regional office has a coordinator for former POWs. Any former POW who needs special assistance should ask to speak to the Former POW Coordinator. Additional former POW information is available at http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/Benefits/POW/index.htm .


For More Information, Call Toll-Free 1-800-827-1000 or Visit Our Web Site at www.va.gov .

Compensation and Pension Service – October 2008


3rd Friday of September Each Year


Today, the third Friday of September, is observed annually in America as POW/MIA Recognition Day.  From morning to evening, solemn ceremonies of remembrance are held throughout our country which pay homage to our wartime Armed Forces personnel who have been or are being held captive and to those who are missing in action.

The unknown fate of US servicemen missing in action from the Vietnam War and associated theaters of operation in Southeast Asia, was to bring forth US Public Law 101-355 on August 10, 1990.  In said law, our 101st Congress designated the National League of POW/MIA Families' black POW/MIA Flag, "as the symbol of our Nation's concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, thus ending the uncertainty for their families and the Nation".

This flag now stands proud to honor and represent all POW/MIA of our nation from all U.S. wars, and it was flown today, Friday September 18, 2009,  in ceremony after ceremony held by a grateful nation to honor our heroes who have sacrificed so much.

Our government has established the Defense Prisoner of War / Missing Personnel Office who oversee policies on the rescue of live soldiers and the recovery / identification of American remains.  Please see their website for information: http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/

Our Library of Congress has on public record our POW/MIA databases and documents: http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/powmia-home.html

We have a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command: http://www.jpac.pacom.mil/
Each year the President of the United States issues a proclamation for POW/MIA Remembrance Day. 

You can view 2009 here:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Presidential-Proclamation-National-POW/MIA-Recognition-Day-2009/
We must never forget our brave men and women who have given so much that we might live free.  Some still await today their journey home.  Some, like the ex-prisoner of war that I heard speak today ~ forced to march 500 miles in the snow and ice, beaten and abused by guards, watching comrades fall to their death on the frozen ground ~ some, like him, never fully return.....    And some, just never to be seen again. 
Yes, we must remember ~ we must always remember!  At present, there are an estimated 88,000 Americans still unaccounted for since WWII.  Today we give special honor to them~ we remember ~ and we stand with their loved ones who still wait their return!



 POW / MIA Message -- Posted By PNP Susan Naill


Tomorrow, the third Friday in September, has been set aside to recognize those men and women who have endured being held as a Prisoner of War by a foreign power. American captives most often did not and will not receive the rights given under the Geneva Convention which includes human dignity and accounting

Most of those captured die a long painful death by hands of the enemy. Those who did and might make it home alive are tormented by memories.

Thousands are still on foreign soil. Some are listed as unaccounted, captured missing, missing in action, missing status unknown, undetermined, etc.. The loved ones who wait must deal with these labels. On a daily basis, these families and friends, remember, hope, pray, cry while waiting for their loved one to return. Their life always contains an empty place at the table, a hug not received, a smile not felt, a hand not held and a journey of healing not quite reached. The sun always has a cloud and the moon a haze.

The national recognition tomorrow is what these families experience every single day.

As we all stop and remember tomorrow, let us make a promise to join the families in their mission to bring home every American to a safe habor.

Let us continue to speak out to our government, to advocate with the families and educate the Nation that our children must come home.

Joining all in prayer, respect and honor to those who returned, those who remain and the families who still wait,

Susan Naill, Past National President, BSMA
Proud Mom of Jason (USMC Persian Gulf)











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Please visit me on my other websites:

Women of Ministry / Women of Faith  www.WomenofMinistryWomenofFaith.com

Faith and Life Ministries  www.FaithandLifeMinistriesInternational.com


On the websites of those I am affiliated with:

Patriot Guard Riders    www.PatriotGuard.org

Connecticut Patriot Guard Riders   www.ctpatriotguard.org 

Missing In America Project  www.MIAP.us

 VA Voluntary Service  http://www.volunteer.va.gov/

Military Ministry  http://www.militaryministry.org/

Christian Military Fellowship  http://cmf.com/ 

VFW National Home For Children  http://www.vfwnationalhome.org/

Post #296 VFW Ladies Auxiliary   www.vfwpost296ladiesaux.com

Marine Corps League Auxiliary  http://mcldeptct.org/pages/mcl_ct_auxiliary.html

American Soldier Memorial Project http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AmericanSoldierMemorial

  No Soldier Left Behind  Memorial    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NoSoldierLeftBehindMemorial/


On my husband's websites:

JESUS My Lord and Savior Church www.JesusMyLordandSaviorChurch.com  

Men Walking With God  www.MenWalkingWithGod.com/