Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Have You Forgotten Him?

The navy pilot pictured in this newspaper article is Lt. Ron Dodge being escorted by Vietnamese soldiers. This picture first appeared in the Paris Match in 1967 and has appeared on the cover of Life magazine as well as on the cover of over five million VIVA brochures. Every place that this image has been featured, it has aways been accompanied by Lt. Dodge's name. However when the North Vietnamese gave our government what they called a "Complete" list of Prisoners of War his name was not there. He is one of many whom there was proof of capture, whose names were never found on any list handed over by their captors.

I was among many people that wore a POW/MIA bracelet. I wore mine until I developed an allergy to the metal in it and broke out in a rash. I battled that rash with creams and even tried coating the back of the bracelet with finger nail polish. Nothing worked and I eventually placed it in my jewelry box. I still watched for the name, Maj. Lawrence N. Helber in every news article I came across concerning POW/MIAs. His aircraft went down over enemy territory on January 24, 1966. 

I have since done a google search and found information at the The U.S. Veteran Dispatch . The information page for Maj. Helber can be found here if you would like to read about him. He never returned home to Logan, Ohio and his family. 

At the end of the write up on Maj. Helber there is a paragraph that I have copied and will paste as the closing words of this post. I couldn't find a better way of saying it than the original words that were written.

"Military men in Vietnam were called upon to fly and fight in many dangerous circumstances, and they were prepared to be wounded, killed or captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they so proudly served." ~ The U.S. Veteran Dispatch