There is approximately 82,000 American soldiers, sailors and civilians missing in action according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency since World War II.
With this being said, I am truly offended when I hear someone call those who are missing in action or a prison of war, losers. Many of these brave men and women either volunteered or were drafted to defend this nation and its national interest. To disrespect these brave soldiers and sailors, is not only beneath the dignity of the common citizen but also elected officials.
My father, John Howard Gamble was a Vietnam Veteran. He did not volunteer but was drafted like so many men of color. A Washington D. C. native, he did not seek a waiver but committed himself to serving in the United States of the Army.
A warrior bound is formed out of necessity. Soldiers and sailors become ever so close when their lives are on the pinnacle of death. Combat allows you to appreciate life.
Life being your own and those around you. A warriors bound comes down to survival. The necessary survival of you and your new combat family.
In love and war, there is never a winner. There is only the proclamation of victory.
A common phrase to denote soldiers being deployed to a foreign country is “boots to the ground.” Boots meaning the soldier who exchanged civilian shoes for combat boots at basic training. Once the new soldier arrives at his first duty installation, he assimilates into a family, a military/warrior family. When a warrior family deploy, “Boots to the ground,” there multitudes forms an extreme bound and fighting force.
A warrior’s bond and accountability is what service members rely on in time of warfare. “I have your back and you have my back.” So, when a service member goes missing, it is like a family member being kidnapped. You don’t know where they are or what happened to them. All you know, they are no longer with the family. There is no body. There is no closure. There is no story to be told.
Now, a prisoner of war on the other hand, we have closure. We a have body. They are able to tell their story. Many will come back damage whether that is mentally or physically, they will never be the same. That is alright, we have our American son/daughter back home to our family.
So, don’t disrespect our family by calling them a loser. Especially, when you, yourself, did not honor your commitment to this nation. When you disrespect one, you disrespect us all. This includes past, present and future soldiers and sailors. Just like a shelf with empty boots, we rejoice when one of our children are able to place themselves back into their boots and march with the family. Therefore, please don’t disrespect our MIA or POW. Thank you for service The Late John McCain “An American Son.”
Ms. Donna Gamble