Saturday, September 17, 2016

McCaskill: Search for soldier killed 50 years ago in Laos to begin this fall

American and POW MIA Flag(From Sen. Claire McCaskill)

On June 28, 1966, Captain Thomas H. Wolfe was killed in action. 50 years later, much-needed closure may finally be on the way.

Captain Wolfe was a beloved father and family man who, as a young man, took care of his three younger siblings after their father's death.

"Dad died when I was 7 and Tom, who was the oldest, became the leader of the family," his sister recently told the Springfield News-Leader. "My mother depended on him greatly and he rose to the occasion. He was my hero and I never dreamed he would not come home..."

Three months into his deployment, Captain Wolfe was shot down over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in the jungles of Laos, and his body was never recovered. As the daughter of a World War II veteran, I can't begin to imagine the heartache Captain Wolfe's family must feel at having never been able to say goodbye and lay their father to rest.

That's why it was so important to me that—after writing a letter to President Obama urging him to make POW/MIA recovery a priority discussion during his recent visit to Laos—the Lao government has committed to increase the size and flexibility of joint recovery operations and help us bring our missing loved ones home.

There are more than 300 missing Americans who have not been brought home from Laos, and many, many more from around the globe. And today, as we recognize National POW/MIA Day, it's important that we remember the countless American families whose deserve closure.

I'm happy to say that a search for Captain Wolfe has finally been scheduled for the Fall, and I hope and pray that through improved relations and agreements like the one we have with Laos, we can continue to bring peace to families across Missouri and the country whose loved ones were lost to faraway places.


Anonymous said...

When was the war declared on Laos?

Anonymous said...

6:44 PM: We haven't declared war since WWII, which of course doesn't mean we haven't fought wars since then. Laos was in fact the first "domino" to fall, followed by of course South Vietnam and Cambodia, but no further.

Anonymous said...

Laos was one of Trick Dick and Henry's Excellent Adventures. (as were Chile, Bangladesh, East Timor etc etc) ;-(

Anonymous said...

Research proxy war

Anonymous said...

Laos was one of Trick Dick and Henry's Excellent Adventures.

Nixon inherited that Southeast Asian mess from JFK and LBJ ("... how many kids did you kill today?") and made the best out of it, even winning the war to keep South Vietnam free before the Democratic Congress defunded the South, although Laos was pretty much a hopeless case due to logistics. That also helped bankrupt the Soviet Union, for they supplied the equipment for 3 full mechanized armies to the NVA. The first was used up piecemeal, the 2nd was destroyed by the ARVN with US air support, only 40,000 out of the 150,000 invading NVA managing to make it back north, and the 3rd was used to finally take an abandoned by us South Vietnam.

Chile: You thing the military and the rest of Chile's civil society was going to let Allende and all the Cubans he was bringing in take the country Communist, and slaughter then by the millions? By then the pattern was very clear, and Latin America not ending up like the post-WWII abattoir of East Asia is directly due to vigorous, very nasty but very successful efforts, indeed aided by us, to stop the rot which started in earnest with Cuba, but had long been building starting back before he was Eisenhower's VP.

Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, was never going to be stable, and when West Pakistan started slaughtering the natives, "Kill three million of them the rest will eat out of our hands", and prompted another 10 million to flee to India, there was no way India was going to let that run to its awful conclusion. I've never before heard of Nixon and company being blamed for any significant part in this.

East Timor: You're claiming Nixon had a hand in the Communist revolution that captured Portugal in April 1974, when he was politically crippled and focused on Watergate, less the 4 months away from his resignation, or had a hand in the regime it replaced, that got started when he was 13???

You would be better served by learning history instead of talking points.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you need to take a few history courses too. Laos was all about the poppy plant at a time when drugs was the preferred payment for CIA operations. Chile was all about the mineral rights and Anaconda Copper being forced to abandon a mine which was seeping heavy metals into the water supply. Bangladesh was all over who could handle the refugees from the hurricane that killed off a bunch of the population and problems with the oil distribution point for the pipeline through Afghanistan. East Timor was a sideshow that only the Australians and New Zealanders cared about. If you really want to get into American involvement in these travesties then learn something about Operation Phoenix and Operation Condor. Nixon and GHW Bush were in it up to their eyeballs.

Anonymous said...

And our actions in Laos helped the poppy growing how? And this is relevant to the Communists both wanting and taking it, and using it to funnel arms and men to South Vietnam how?

The Chilean military and politicians not in the hard left were more concerned about Anaconda making money than getting killed by the Communists? To them, that mine was a "sideshow".

Bangladesh has typhoons that kill thousands of people all the time, it's baked into their geography and population distribution. You don't think invaders from West Pakistani slaughtering 3 million of them is qualitatively as well as quantitatively different? And what the devil does a pipeline in Afghanistan have to do with Bangladesh 1,500 miles away as the bird flies over very rough or worse terrain? That claim is not even wrong.

And Operation Condor was exactly what I was referring to when I said "vigorous, very nasty but very successful efforts, indeed aided by us, to stop the rot which started in earnest with Cuba", and we will rue the day that we didn't implement some version of it all the way up to North America (executing traitors like Alger Hiss and the Weather Underground types with due process of law would have been a start, instead, Truman view him as a PR problem for the Democratic Party, and today they latter are lionized, Obama even started his political career in the home of two of the most notorious of them), those of us who survive the coming debacles engineered by our hard left, that is.