To the Editor:

January 27, 2013 marked 40 years since the signing of the Paris Peace Accord, a document to end active involvement in Vietnam.

At the time, then President Nixon promised the nation all American prisoners of war would be returned to the United States.

Five hundred ninety-one POWs were repatriated during Operation Homecoming. Even though the resolution of this issue was considered to be of the highest national priority during the Reagan administration, many families continue to wait for closure today in 2013.

Some families have been fortunate to learn the fate of their loved one and have been able to bury the individual with full military honors.

Far too many so-called resolved cases have been group burials because the government was unable to identify individual remains. Despite the lack of forensic evidence -- case closed.

Yet, there is clear evidence of POWs from World War II and Korea who have returned home, alive, decades after the cessation of hostilities to live the remainder of their lives with their families.

We still have hope.

We will continue to stand by the POW families in their search for an honest resolution to this national tragedy.

We will support our military personnel and continue to advocate for the return of POW Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl from Afghanistan. His initial capture in June 2009 and recapture after an escape attempt in December 2011 have been verified.

Our best hope is for an international, no-fault policy which would generate a global peace policy. Our unrecovered POWs, their families, and our military personnel deserve nothing less.

As former Captain Eugene "Red" McDaniel, believed to be the most brutally tortured POW to survive the Vietnamese prison system, once said, "We were prepared to be captured, tortured, and killed. But we were never prepared to be abandoned."

Kathy Shemeley




New Milford