Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The National Alliance of Families for the Return of America’s Missing Servicemen (The Alliance) was formed in June 1990 when Dolores Apodaca Alfond, former POWs, and some family members of POW/MIA from World War II, Korean War, Cold War, and the War in Southeast Asia grew dissatisfied with what they were witnessing regarding the POW/MIA accounting mission. Our founding members did not start their quest for truth in 1990 but had been involved in the POW/MIA issue for several decades prior.

The Alliance is a respected and honest advocate for our missing Americans and their families. We strive to work truly as an “alliance” and work with other nonprofits, academia and concerned citizens to reach our goals, which are simple:

1.The return of any live POW.

2.An accurate accounting of our missing.

3.The recovery and scientific identification of remains or a reasonable explanation as to why return, recovery or full accounting is impossible.

Achieving these goals has been an uphill battle since our inception. Our original National Chairperson Dolores Apodaca Alfond (sister to Maj. Victor Apodaca, Jr., the first Native American to be accepted to and graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy and who was shot down in North Vietnam on June 8, 1967), primary researcher and concerned citizen Lynn O’Shea, our Board of Directors (including former Vietnam POW Mike Benge), and volunteers worked tirelessly for decades with people around the world to move the POW/MIA accounting process forward. Of note, The Alliance testified before the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs during the George H.W. Bush administration; participates and speaks in Rolling Thunder, Inc.’s Ride for Freedom; provides research to families regarding their missing loved ones; and has hosted and participated in meetings with North Korea, Russia, and China. When Dolores, my sister, passed away in 2010, I was nominated into the National Chairperson position. As from our beginning, we are an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization made of former POWs, family members of POW/MIA still unaccounted for, U.S. military veterans and concerned citizens.

The Alliance’s fight is still ongoing. This fight can be witnessed in our current world news. A key issue for The Alliance involves an accounting from North Korea for Americans last known alive in their hands but not returned. According to voluminous declassified files (with a lawsuit by a POW/MIA family to get more information), some of these men were sent from North Korea through China to the former Soviet Union.

A Vietnam War-era POW/MIA family The Alliance works with is currently in debate with the U.S. government over the status of their loved one. The U.S. government declared their loved one Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered (KIA/BNR). Research we provided has assisted the family with their fight in requesting for status change from KIA/BNR to MIA, as it is believed their loved one was alive in Laos after being shot down.

We have several decades’ worth of our research that can be found on our website, nationalalliance.org. We can also be found by searching for our name on YouTube, Pinterest and Facebook, and on Twitter @AlliancePOWMIA. We share information throughout the week through these social media outlets.

The Alliance further provides updates on various POW/MIA issues through our newsletter, Bits ‘N Pieces, which can be found on our website and Facebook page. If you are interested in contacting The Alliance, we can be reached at info@nationalalliance.org.

Please join us at our 29th Annual Meeting on May 26, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Crystal City. It is free to the public and all are welcome. For more information, please see our Facebook page for a complete agenda.

Janella Apodaca Rose is National Chairperson of The National Alliance of Families for the Return of America’s Missing Servicemen.

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