As I wrote in my story last week, there are still nearly 1,800 Americans listed by the Department of Defense as missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War, including 124 from New York.
As Vietnam veterans and their former enemies have shared information in recent years, those numbers have gradually decreased. Thanks to ongoing excavations prompted by interviews with North Vietnamese soldiers,Â Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) has just announced the remains of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Maurice H. Moore, of Baltimore, Md., missing in action since 1968, have been identified and will be buried with full military honors tomorrow.
On Friday, the DPMO also announced the identification of the remains of U.S. Air Force Maj. Robert F. Woods, of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Air Force Capt. Johnnie C. Cornelius, of Maricopa County, Ariz. Both had also been missing since 1968.
This Bernie Duff painting, “Price Tags,” came to mind when we heard this news.
It’s an interesting, perhaps appropriate coincidence that these fallen veterans finally flew home nearly the same time as two of the volunteers we met last month: Kim Browne, the British woman who was one of the last babies airlifted out of Saigon in 1975, and Jennifer Weaver, the recent college graduate from Seattle. Both spent the past month volunteering at the Go Vap Orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City. (I imagine that they’re pretty jet lagged – my father and I are still recovering! – but I expect to have some updates on their overall experiences soon.)
By the way, Kim told me to make sure to let readers know that if they want to help kids like Wang and Hien at the Go Vap Orphanage and other institutions in Vietnam, it’s better to give time or equipment, not money. Not sure why that is – but I’ll let you know when she gets back in touch.