The VFW Continues to Burn the Candle of Hope this POW/MIA Recognition Day

On September 19, we pause to remember the sacrifices of the 83,193 Americans who are still missing or unaccounted for. We remember their families – those whose pain and suffering does not subside with the passage of time.   

POW/MIA Recognition Day serves to remind us that the true cost of war extends far beyond the last shots being fired.  WWII claimed more than 130,000 Americans taken as prisoners of war, and at the beginning of this month, continues to list 73,539 Americans as missing in action. 

During the Korean War, more than 7,100 were taken captive, and 7,881 continue to be listed as missing in action. Vietnam brought nearly 800 American POWS, and today, 1,641 are still missing.  

We must also remember the 126 Americans who are still missing from the Cold War, and the three military pilots and three Department of Defense contractors who remain missing from Operation El Dorado Canyon over Libya in 1986, Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The VFW will not rest until we achieve the fullest possible accounting of all those who have not yet come home. In fact, as part of our full accounting mission, we remain the only veterans service organization to return to Southeast Asia every year since 1991, Russia since 2004 and to China for the past several years.    

The VFW salutes the families of the missing who continue to join us in keeping the candle of hope alive. And as veterans and family members of veterans, we must all do our part to remember their service and their sacrifice.    

Learn how the VFW is working toward the fullest possible accounting of all military service members from all wars.