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Korean War Veterans Association, Inc.

Incorporated June 14, 1985... Chartered by Congress June 30, 2008

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Rick Tavares Special POW Report - 02/27/2005


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The atrocities committed against Prisoners of War have long been known. As a matter of fact, and as I have stated previously, my wife’s uncle expired from starvation and beatings as a POW during the Korean Conflict.

I just watched a portion of a History Channel program that outlined the fact that the abuse of American Prisoners of War was taking place even back during the Revolutionary War! As a matter of fact, at first, the British wanted to execute [and probably did] American Seamen and ground combatants, claiming that these POWs were still British Subjects, and were in effect, traitors to King George?

It was only after (then) General George Washington threatened to do the same to English Prisoners that the British” relented. Even with the enemy’s back step, however, the treatment that was afforded to our captured countryman was brutal at best!

In this respect, not much has really changed over the years. When the Alamo was finally captured by the Mexican Army under Santa Ana, those men who were taken alive [including ex-Congressman Davy Crocket] were summarily executed! And as a matter of fact, the horrific treatment and murder of American combatants was common place during the Civil War [Andersonville etc], WWII [the execution of American Servicemen by the Germans and Japanese alike], in Korea [The Tiger Death March etc], and in Vietnam at the Hanoi Hilton etc!

Unfortunately, many of those who committed these atrocities have never been caught, and a few of those who were captured, like those who ran dastardly scientific projects that were deemed valuable after the war, were made deals with and went on to live the good life, some even here in America!

It strikes me as poignant that the criminal treatment of American Prisoners of War has been going on for at least 224 years or more. As such, when the bill known as “Honoring our Fallen Prisoners of War” does get back before Congress [shortly I hope], I pray that it will be quickly passed into law!

As most of you already know, the Bill [HR 4425] was introduced by Congressman Filner (California) late last year, but unfortunately, it was too late for Congress to act upon it. The Bill would grant a Purple Heart to those gallant souls who perished [1941 to the present and beyond] from starvation, beatings, lack of medical care, froze to death, etc, while in enemy captivity. The Bill is scheduled to be introduced again, I am informed, very shortly!

I can not urge you all strongly enough to support this effort, as our very honor hangs upon our never forgetting those who gave their all for each and every one of us!!

Rick Tavares


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