“When an American soldier went missing at the start of the summer,” writes Mr. Bissonnette, who wrote the book under the pen name Mark Owen, “we dropped everything to find him.”
The book sheds light on the issue of POWs, a seldom-discussed topic today, particularly in comparison with the Vietnam War era.
In part, this is because there were far more POWs in Vietnam than in Iraq or Afghanistan, where US troops have largely been confined to heavily-fortified bases.
In 1973, in keeping with the peace accords, Hanoi returned 591 American POWs to the United States. Today, there remain 1,660 US troops who are unaccounted for, according to Department of Defense (DOD) statistics.
Each year, the DOD’s Prisoner of War/Missing Person’s office hosts “family updates” to discuss ongoing efforts to find the US military’s missing with relatives.
Attendance at these events has been growing steadily from 645 in 2001 to 1,161 in 2011.