POW/MIA Hunter to Discuss Mission, Reality of the Search for Missing United States Service Personnel

Written by Michael Castellon

DATE: Sept. 25, 2006
CONTACT: Michael Castellon, michaelcastellon@gmail.com
(806) 742-2136

LUBBOCK- The search for missing prisoners of war and soldiers listed as Missing in Action in Southeast Asia will be the theme of a presentation given by Gary Flanagan of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hanoi. The event begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 26) at the International Cultural Center (Sixth Street and Indiana Avenue, Lubbock).

Flanagan, a veteran of the Vietnam War, has been in Hanoi for more than a decade. He is Chief of the Casualty Resolution Branch of the U.S. M.I.A. Office in Hanoi, a detachment of the Joint P.O.W./M.I.A. Accounting Command.

In addition to his presentation, Flanagan will speak to several classes at Texas Tech outlining his experiences searching for the remains of missing soldiers.

Flanagan’s visit was arranged by the Vietnam Center at Texas Tech University, which contains the Virtual Vietnam Archive.

“This issue is of tremendous relevance not only to the United States and its history, but also to the South Plains,” said Dr. James Reckner, director of the Vietnam Center at Texas Tech University. “Many of the sons from this region who served in Southeast Asia are still missing. It’s the work of people led by Gary Flanagan who give us hope that their remains will some day be returned to their families.”

The Virtual Vietnam Archive is assisting the Joint P.O.W./M.I.A. Accounting Command by providing Internet access to documents relating to the Vietnam War that previously have not been accessible. Thus far, the Texas Tech facility has provided 41 new actionable items of intelligence about currently unresolved M.I.A. cases in Southeast Asia. The on-line documents also have been used by Veteran’s Benefits Counselors with the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, who have validated more than 800 Vietnam veterans' medical claims.

The online archive enables scholars, students and members of the community to conduct research on the Internet without the expense of traveling to Lubbock. The archive also enables Vietnam veterans to access records that might be of importance to them in their continuing efforts to understand their experiences.

The archive facilitates the research and writing of participants' memoirs, and gives students an important and authoritative source of information as they seek to understand the complexities of the Vietnam War.

The Virtual Archive currently includes 2.5 million pages of materials online, including documents, photographs, slides, negatives, audio and moving image recordings, artifacts and oral histories. New items are added daily.


CONTACT: James Reckner, director, Texas Tech Vietnam Center, (806) 742-3742, james.reckner@ttu.edu, or visit www.vietnam.ttu.edu.