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house Bill H. Res. 129

Should Efforts to Recover All 83,000 Missing and Unaccounted for U.S. Service Members be Intensified?

Argument in favor

The Dept. of Defense and foreign governments should do all they can to investigate and account for all missing U.S. personnel to honor their tremendous sacrifice and bring closure to their families. Considering this resolution is a simple but meaningful gesture.

Shelly's Opinion
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02/12/2018
I don’t think any American, missing in action or prisoner of war, should be forgotten or left behind. They should be brought home or their location and physical well-being verified before we are satisfied.
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Jason's Opinion
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02/12/2018
Ask any family member of the 83k missing service members what they think...
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Roan-william's Opinion
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02/12/2018
No man of the United States should be left behind or forgotten.
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Argument opposed

Missing and unaccounted for military personnel and their families are owed a debt of gratitude, but there’s no need for the House to briefly consider a non-binding resolution on the issue.

John's Opinion
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02/12/2018
I think we’re already doing this. This legislation seems like just a political ‘feel good’ ploy to make it seems like we’re doing more. There are more important things to deal with.
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RadicalModerate's Opinion
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02/13/2018
If we’re not already doing everything we can to help those men and women, then the war mongers that sent them in harms way should pay with their lives.
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Willmcavoy's Opinion
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02/13/2018
This is a very close call for me, but I know there’s already a program working on this problem. I would use the money to ensure that no more soldiers become MIAs.
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simple resolution Progress


  • The house Passed February 14th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 411 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Armed Services
      Military Personnel
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedFebruary 15th, 2017

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What is House Bill H. Res. 129?

This resolution would call for the Dept. of Defense and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency to intensify efforts to investigate, recover, and identify all 83,000 missing and unaccounted-for American personnel. It would also call on foreign governments with information on missing U.S. personnel, or those with missing personnel within their territories, to fully cooperate with the U.S. to provide the fullest possible accounting for all missing personnel.

As a simple resolution, this legislation is non-binding and wouldn’t advance beyond the House if passed.

Impact

Missing and unaccounted for U.S. military personnel; the DOD and other federal agencies; and foreign governments.

Cost of House Bill H. Res. 129

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) introduced this bill to call on the U.S. government and foreign governments to intensify efforts to account for the 83,000 missing American service members:

“This is a particularly meaningful week for me, it is when I returned home to my family after nearly seven years locked away as a POW in the Hanoi Hilton — 42 months of that in solitary confinement. The major reason my fellow POWs and I were able to make it home was because of our brave POW wives and folks like Ross Perot and Murphy Martin. They fought tooth and nail to educate the American public who believed North Vietnam’s false propaganda that we were treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention. While I was blessed to make it home to Freedom, many of my fellow compatriots did not. Our American Armed Forces swear to leave no man behind, which is why I have vowed I will never stop fighting for our Defenders of Freedom — just like our POW wives did for us. My commitment to this country and those who fight for it will never end. Thank you to all the brave men and women in our Armed Forces, past and present, for your service and sacrifice to the greatest nation in the world — the United States of America. God bless you and I salute you.”

This resolution was introduced on February 15, 2017 — the 44th anniversary of “Operation Homecoming” which brought nearly 600 American POWs home from North Vietnam. Among those POWs were none other than this legislation’s sponsor Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who drafted an identical resolution in the Senate. McCain added:

“I’m proud to join my friend and comrade Congressman Sam Johnson in introducing this resolution calling on the U.S. to intensify efforts to find answers about the American service members still unaccounted for abroad. Our  country remains in their debt, and our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones on the 44th anniversary of Operation Homecoming. The great honor of my life was to serve in the company of heroes in North Vietnam. Americans whose comradery, bravery, and resilience in the face of tremendous hardship inspired us to resist our captors and find strength and hope even in the darkest of hours. These men, those like them who served in other conflicts, and the thousands who made the ultimate sacrifice by never returned home, deserve our nation’s highest respect and gratitude. While we owe these heroes a debt we can never truly repay, it is my hope this resolution contributes to achieving a full accounting of our missing comrades and delivers to their families the peace of mind they have long deserved.”

This legislation has the support of 117 bipartisan cosponsors in the House, including 79 Republicans and 38 Democrats.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force - Dennis Rogers / iStock)

Official Title

Calling on the Department of Defense, other appropriate elements of the Federal Government, and foreign governments to resolutely continue efforts to investigate, recover, and identify all United States personnel designated as unaccounted-for from past wars and conflicts around the world.

    I don’t think any American, missing in action or prisoner of war, should be forgotten or left behind. They should be brought home or their location and physical well-being verified before we are satisfied.
    Like (64)
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    I think we’re already doing this. This legislation seems like just a political ‘feel good’ ploy to make it seems like we’re doing more. There are more important things to deal with.
    Like (86)
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    Ask any family member of the 83k missing service members what they think...
    Like (33)
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    No man of the United States should be left behind or forgotten.
    Like (22)
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    We should never leave any of our own citizens or military members to unknown fates.
    Like (12)
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    Yes this is extremely important. We need to bring our troops home.
    Like (12)
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    Like there is ANY DOUBT?! Never leave a VETERAN ON FOREIGN SOIL!!
    Like (11)
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    Actually for once Im seeing stuff on yea or nay that I can agree with both dudes on this issue! I am a Vet and proudly served on active duty in the Army for 7 plus years until getting injured in a training accident or I would have definitely made it my career! I come from a military family as most all of the men on both sides of my family have or had military service! The DOD! Dept. of Defence has an office with full time people that work on the revert of MIAs. Unfortunately many MIAs who fought in tropical areas such as the South Pacific in WWII and Vietnam might never be found as human remains to include bones deteriorate fast in those climates especially where there is dense jungle! Also in Europe occasionally gamers in France and Belgium are turning up remains as the plow! A lot of men from both world wars are still MIA. I wish more could be done as it’s not like anyone in a foreign country would hide remains if they found them! So I agree with both sides on this matter that YES! There should be no one left behind and in the 20th century that was hard to do given the vast amounts of service members and the territories they fought in! I’m very confident that they are all smiling down at us from their Heavenly Home!
    Like (11)
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    It appears that after a certain period of time, that the process is either slowed down or completely stopped. The process needs to be continued until all missing military are accounted for and brought home.
    Like (10)
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    If we’re not already doing everything we can to help those men and women, then the war mongers that sent them in harms way should pay with their lives.
    Like (9)
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    I think this is a great effort, but I fear it may be in vain now. Why have we waited so long to pursue this? If we can save/find them, let's do it. It just saddens me that this wasn't more of a priority until now.
    Like (7)
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    We should never forget the POWs and those MIA. As has been already stated, there is an agency to recover remains and to achieve closure for the families. I agree that it’s #45’s agenda to be able to puff himself up and say ‘Look at my merciful self. I’m the biglyest of all Presidents!, instead of recognizing the sacrifice these military members have made. More money would not be needed ~ but what needs to be done is an increase of public awareness for support. NOT bringing any focus to #45’s ego.
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    YES. Those who served and gave all must be accounted for. If this action can bring one of our fallen home, it is the right thing to do. Mr Trump can put ‘Our’ money where his ‘Parade’ is, and compel all available resources to cooperate. This is American. Never forget our fallen. Never leave our soldiers behind. From a Democrat, a mother of a 9/11 veteran, a daughter of a WWII vet, a grand daughter of a WWI vet. From my family of service, Bring them home! Tyler, thank you for your service. #ImWithTyler
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    I absolutely believe the people and representatives of the United States owe their very best to those who have served their country. This bill represents step in the right direction, however, I have deeper concerns. What has the GOP controlled congress and executive branch done to prevent the multitude of suicides of our service men and women? What have they done to improve care at the VA? And what have they done to defend our nation against foreign adversaries who have interfered in our electoral process in an effort to undermine our democracy? The answer is nothing. The GOP, Trump and Ryan speak loudly about their support for our troops and our constitution, but their actions speak much louder of a group who allow foreign powers to undermine our democracy, our constitution, and the sacrifices of our military, law enforcement and intelligence communities.
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    It’s the least we can do for those lost in service to the country.
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    US Leave No Man, Woman, Child Of Theirs Behind. Never leave anyone behind, their families need closure. The United States needs to keep their promises to our US Troops. Bring them home dead or alive, honor their service to our county. Give them a proper military burial, all of them. No dumping their bodies in landfills or their ashes!!! Respect or US Military Troops who fought and died, defending the United States and US citizens. They earned respect and to be treated with dignity and not ever be forgotten, dead or alive forever and always. If you can’t do this then the US flag has no honor no meaning, the national anthem has no honor no meaning, our country isn’t a democracy and has lost its goal and purpose from how it was started.
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    From what wars and conflicts are we talking about? I’m not sure what our government presently does to address this issue, and how far back they go, but, as a family member of a missing WWII serviceman, I think it’s important that all families, no matter how long they’ve been missing, believe there is a chance they could be located. Especially if it was recent enough that he/she could still be alive. I saw my Dad and his family suffer in silence for years, not knowing conclusively that my Uncle was gone for sure. There is a group called “History Flight”, that actively seeks out and brings home unaccounted for military personnel. Let the government help fund them.
    Like (4)
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    Every service man that gave his life for our country should be found and accounted for!!
    Like (4)
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    It makes me sick that this many people aren't even accounted for. Yes, do whatever you can to locate and identify.
    Like (3)
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    Why don’t we worry about the active service men and women who are currently underpaid? Or the veterans who are having benefits cut? Or those who have slipped out of the system and are homeless?
    Like (3)
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