The Forgotten Americans of the Vietnam War (James Hiteshew)

But the matter of our American servicemen who have sacrificed their freedom, their health, and the peace of mind of themselves and their families in behalf of freedom for others—this is a matter that concerns us all. By the hundreds, these men languish in North Vietnam prisons and in Viet Cong jungle camps—unprotected by the Geneva Conventions which are supposed to guard the rights and persons of all prisoners of war. That the bulk of these American prisoners are airmen brings their plight a little closer to us, perhaps. That others have lost life and limb in the same cause is even more saddening. But death and wounds are retrievable, and all we can do is to make suitable provision for the wounded and the survivors of the dead. The prisoners, on the other hand, are alive and are retrievable. We can do something about them. We must.

The author, who has done such a thorough and painstaking job, served for many years on the staff of The Journal of the Armed Forces, ultimately as its Editor. Lou Stockstill has devoted his professional life to the examination and explanation of the problems of the armed forces of the United States. He is now a freelance writer in Washington. This article represents, in our judgment, the finest effort of his distinguished career. It explains the POW problem better, and in more detail, than anything published to date. —The Editors

Once a month, from her living room high up in an Arlington, Va., apartment building, removed from most brutalities of life except her own thoughts, Gloria Netherland walks a long hallway to the mail chute and deposits a letter.

She watches it drop from sight on the first leg of a journey into an unknown void halfway around the world. The letter begins “Dear Dutch.” But whether Dutch will read it, or someone else will read it, or whether it will go unopened is impossible to say. Gloria and Dutch have been married eighteen years, but she doesn’t know—hasn’t known for a long time now—if he is alive or dead. And if alive, she doesn’t know where he is or how he is.

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