LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - American soldiers who are prisoners of war and missing in action were remembered Friday at the Pentagon in an elaborate ceremony at the Pentagon River Parade Field.
Defense Secretary Gates said the United States is doing everything it can to bring back missing and captured service members. He also said the U.S. has returned the bodies of more than 60 missing service members to their families over the past year.
It is a federal law to display the POW-MIA flag on government buildings, veterans administration offices, veterans administration hospitals, veterans cemeteries and post offices on certain specified days: POW-MIA Recognition Day, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day.
This year, the POW-MIA Recognition Day's poster is a graphic reminder of why all Americans should respect the words written on the POW-MIA flag" "You are not forgotten."
A Lubbock woman contacted KCBD NewsChannel 11 to tell us her story, and to share pictures of her husband who was listed as MIA.
Mr. Smith Swords III was born in Los Angeles, California on July 17, 1929. Swords enlisted in the Air Force in 1951. He was married to Mary S. Swords, who currently lives in Lubbock.
Mr. Swords was an Aircraft Commander (F-4C Aircraft) was officially reported missing in action on December 30th, 1967. He was considered MIA until August 17th, 1979, 12 years later. An official report of casualty was filed for August 17th to be the presumed date of death. It stated that he was killed in battle. The last tour he was on was September 12th of 1967 in Laos, Southeast Asia.
The report closes stating, "No further information has been received concerning the fate of this individual since the date of his missing status."
The third Friday in September each year is national POW-MIA Recognition Day. A new corridor in the Pentagon has been dedicated to POW's and MIA's.
©2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.