This Is What It Means To Say ‘No Man Left Behind’
It is one of the saddest realities of war that there are always some who fall in the chaos of battle, or are shot down from the sky over hostile territory, or in difficult terrains, who for reasons unique to the realities of war are not found and do not come home.
These, then, become merely names on a list and are known only as those Missing in Action.
To the families of those listed as MIA, the loss of their loved one remains a hole in the heart that is not able to be filled. They do not have the opportunity to bury their dead, to mourn and move on, knowing where he is, able to visit their loved one at the cemetery on family occasions, birthdays and the like. Instead, they live with the constant gnawing wonder if he is still alive, or if he is being held prisoner, alone and feeling forgotten.
There is an indescribable emptiness in their hearts and in their minds. Their memories are distorted by a host of unanswerable questions.
Those of us who have not experienced this ordeal can only imagine the mix of emotions that must come over those families who have their missing family members identified and returned to them, in most cases, decades after they went MIA.
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One woman you will see near the end of this video tells of how when her brother had been identified and returned to the family, she wanted to yell it to everybody she saw, “He’s home! He’s home!” There are tears in her eyes as she tells this. And you can see in them the admixture of both true joy and real sadness.
She then says how happy she is to be an American, that we live in a culture that has this attitude that we will “leave no one behind.”
The Defense Department POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) is the force behind the constant and ongoing effort of this nation to find, to identify, and to return our military members whose names are on the MIA list. This video captures the commitment, the dedication, even the love that this nation has for our MIAs and their families.
You will see what they do, how much human effort, scientific analysis, and time the DPAA gives to this effort to bring our fallen home. You will also see the effect that its efforts have on the families of our MIAs.
It is very powerful and moving evidence of a nation’s care for those who serve.
The Veterans Site wishes to thank the Defense Department POW/MIA Accounting Agency and all those scientists, technicians, and volunteers who work for it in this effort to find, identify, and return our missing fallen heroes. We thank them and the nation for honoring their commitment to bring our MIAs home to their families.