One of the bitterest components of the Vietnam Legacy is that of the MIA question. For almost half a century hundreds individuals whose loved ones have been classified as missing in action have been suffering through the waiting and wondering if the remains of those so designated will ever be found. It is so important for that closure to be completed for a loved one who died for their country many years ago.
There is a story in The Courier of Cedar Falls, Iowa titled: New hope of finding C.F. pilot’s burial site submitted by Pat Kinney (firstname.lastname@example.org) that tells of one MIA relative how received a slight glimmer of hope in finding the remains of her father who vanished on an Air Force mission over the Kingdom of Laos in 1969.
She is Nancy Whitford Eger, daughter of U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Lawrence William Whitford Jr. of Cedar Falls, a reconnaissance pilot, declared missing in action after a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War on Nov. 2, 1969. Out of the clear blue she received information the location of a burial site where her father’s remains may be interred may be found.
It just so happens that President Barack Obama and his trusty sidekick U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, himself a Vietnam veteran of almost four months time in country are making a sojourn to Laos in September. Eger is hopeful she can enlist the aid of the dynamic duo in finding the location of her father’s remains.
In addition to political concerns, there are two roadblocks that may get in the way of the lady’s intentions. First the commie Laotian government still hates the US for the tons of bombs it dropped on its real estate. They are in no hurry to help find remains of persons who may have had a part in the aerial war that violently disturbed their bucolic country side. Another challenge to the lady comes from domestic political actions. The Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency or DPAA which is tasked with helping find MIA remains is being threatened with drastic budget cuts.
We wish Ms. Eger the best in the pursuit of her father’s remains. Here complete story in the podcast.