May 26, 2012

A hero, finding those lost on The Hump

Pick anything on Senator Coburn's 2011 Wastebook of stupid government spending.  Any F'ing Thing.   Here's five of my easy picks:
 $750,000 on a new soccer field for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay.
10 million dollars to create a version of "Sesame Street" for Pakistani television.
 
Between 16 and 20 million dollars to help students from Indonesia get master's degrees.  

$2.6 million to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly.

17.8 million dollars in foreign aid to China in 2011.
 But pick any government program you want.  ANY PROGRAM at all and then justify to me why that money is better spent than funding this guy's personal mission to locate AMERICAN WORLD WAR II MIA SERVICEMEMBERS.
In eight separate trips, (Clayton) Kuhles has located 22 crash sites and helped account for some 193 U.S. airmen once classified as missing in action. Kuhles, 58, an avid mountaineer, was in India in 2002 when he first heard of old crash sites in the treacherous mountains. His guide mentioned in passing that he had heard of a plane wreck buried in the jungle.
Out of his own pocket, on his own time, risking his own life, this gentleman has returned to 'The Hump' area time and again, to locate wreckage and human remains that our government won't (due to 'diplomatic strain').
Finding service members missing in action, including nearly 75,000 from World War II, officially falls to the Hawaii-based Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC). The command requires sound security, medical evacuation, communications and transport to conduct searches, something that has been impossible in recent years due to diplomatic strain. Still, as many as 30 sites already investigated or excavated in 2003 and 2004, when the U.S. was forced to pull out, will likely be revisited under new terms negotiated between the State Department and Myanmar.
This area of our government screams for the red tape to be cast away.   It has been over seventy years since some of these families have had any definitive news about their loved ones.
On his website, that has heart wrenching photos of located crash sites, Mr. Kuhles notes that it costs him $15k a trip to search for these sites.  He asks for donations. By all means, donate to his cause, should you feel led.  Better yet, demand that our government get the hell out of the 'poop-throwing chimps study' business and support the recovery of our military members that are still missing.  Demand that government gets out of the way to let patriots like Kuhle do what he loves.  Demand that government not have another discussion, on any topic, with China, India or any other country keeping us from American crash sites or remains, until those countries have agreed to let us search for and recover any and all American military members and equipment.  
More than 83,000 Americans are missing from World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War and the 1991 Gulf War. Hundreds of Defense Department men and women -- both military and civilian -- work in organizations around the world as part of DoD's personnel recovery and personnel accounting communities. They are all dedicated to the single mission of finding and bringing our missing personnel home. The mission requires expertise in archival research, intelligence collection and analysis, field investigations and recoveries, and scientific analysis.  
Good God, could that last sentence be anymore telling?  Clayton Kuhles pulls his boots on and climbs the damn mountains where Americans disappeared.  His 'intelligence collection' consists of speaking with the indigenous people.  Scientific analysis?  He talks to the families and recovers what he can without going to jail in a foreign country.  Thank you, Mr. Kuhles, for being human and giving MIA families some peace.
"I'm so impressed by the sheer courage of those Hump airmen, flying their almost suicidal missions over the Himalayas, while knowing all the time that the odds were heavily against their safe return," said Clayton Kuhles, a self-described “professional adventurer” from Arizona who has made it his cause to seek out crash sites and bring closure to the families of the lost fliers.
"In fact, many of their buddies never did return, but simply vanished up there in those rugged and remote mountains," he added. "They were good men."

1 comment:

CenTexTim said...

"They were good men."

Yes they were - along with many others. They deserve better from their government.