Today, Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, issued the following statement in recognition of National POW/MIA Recognition Day:
"On the third Friday of every September we pay tribute to the lives and contributions of the more than 83,000 Americans who are still listed as Prisoners of War or Missing in Action. "Leave no one behind' is a familiar refrain which echoes throughout the ranks of our Armed Forces. This motto is also what propels the men and women of Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), who devote their lives to finding the remains of those unaccounted for in foreign lands.
"While JPAC's task is challenging, their cause is worthy. Those who never made it home hold a special place in our hearts, and it is the responsibility of the living to give them a proper resting place here at home on American soil.
"This past July, the remains of Lt. Col. Clarence F. Blanton of the U.S. Air Force, who was lost on March 11, 1968, in Houaphan Province, Laos, were recovered. Lt. Col. Blanton is a symbol for all those who are missing. No matter how much time elapses--in his case 42 years--no cause is lost.
"We are committed to finding all 83,000 POW/MIA and bringing them back to the home they sacrificed so much to defend, and to give their families an answer."