The DPMO is the Defense Prisoner of War and Missing Personnel Office. Sometimes our guys go to war and don’t come back. The following DPMO statistics are valid as of mid-May, 2012.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in WWII, more than 400,000 died during the war. At the end of the war, there were approximately 79,000 Americans unaccounted for. This number included those buried with honor as unknowns, officially buried at sea, lost at sea, and missing in action.

Today, 73,690 Americans remain unaccounted for from WWII.

The Korean War accounting effort remains a priority for the U.S. government. DPMO pursues opportunities to gain access to loss sites within North Korea and South Korea. Additionally, identifications continue to be made from remains that were returned to the United States using forensic and DNA technology.

Today, 7,957 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.

The U.S. government continues to account for Americans missing in Southeast Asia from the Vietnam War. Since late 1973, the remains of over 700 Americans killed in that war have been returned and identified.

Many have been buried with full military honors in accordance with the wishes of surviving family members. Efforts continue to recover nearly 1,666 Americans who remain unaccounted-for from the conflict.

In addition to the thousands of service members who fought communist forces during wars in Korea, Vietnam, and other conflicts, many service members risked their lives off of the battlefield while collecting intelligence on the Soviet Bloc, the People's Republic of China, and North Korea during the Cold War. The sacrifice made by these Americans enabled the United States and our allies to contain the threat of communist expansion until the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Today, 126 service members remain unaccounted for from the Cold War.


Panama invasion, 1989-1990
Operation Just Cause

    Americans missing: None.
    American prisoners: None.

Kuwait liberation, 1990-1991
Operation Desert Shield and subsequent Operation Desert Storm

Two American warriors missing:

Lt. Cmdr. Barry T. Cooke, U.S. Navy, was lost on Feb. 2, 1991, when his A-6 aircraft went down in the Persian Gulf.
Lt. Robert J. Dwyer, U.S. Navy, was lost on Feb. 5, 1991, when his FA-18 aircraft went down in the Persian Gulf.

There are no Americans held as prisoners of the enemy.

Iraqi “No-Fly” Zones, 1992-2003
Operation Northern Watch and Operation Southern Watch

    Americans missing: None.
    American prisoners: None.

Somalia famine relief, 1992-1995
Operation Restore Hope and subsequent UN operation

    Americans missing: None.
    American prisoners: None.

Bosnian “No-Fly” Zones, 1993-1995
Operation Deny Flight

    Americans missing: None.
    American prisoners: None.

Haiti occupation, 1994-1995
Operation Uphold Democracy

    Americans missing: None.
    American prisoners: None.

Bosnia bombing, 1995
Operation Deliberate Force

    Americans missing: None.
    American prisoners: None.

Serbia bombing (Kosovo), 1999
Operation Allied Force

    Americans missing: None.
    American prisoners: None.

Iraq, 2003-2011
Operation Iraqi Freedom

    Americans missing: None.
    American prisoners: None.

Afghanistan, 2001-present
Operation Enduring Freedom

    Americans missing: None.
    American prisoners: One:

photo taken years ago

On June 30, 2012, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl will have been a prisoner of the enemy for three long years.


On May 10, 2012 we got this news:

Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, was captured in June 2009 and is believed held by the Haqqani network, an insurgent group affiliated with the Taliban, probably somewhere in Pakistan. He is the subject of a proposed prisoner swap in which the Obama administration would allow the transfer of five Taliban prisoners long held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Obama administration had worked out a framework deal to send those prisoners to Qatar, where they would be under some form of loose house arrest or supervision, while Bergdahl would be returned to the U.S. military. The proposed deal has been in limbo for months and faces serious opposition in Congress if it ever gets off the ground.


And on May 13, 2012 we learn:

Sergeant Bergdahl’s father, Robert Bergdahl, who said he went public to try to push the Obama administration to revive the talks, has in the meantime reached out to the insurgents. He is now in regular e-mail contact with a man he believes is a member of the Taliban with accurate knowledge of his son. “You don’t leave something like this to government officials,” Mr. Bergdahl said in one of three interviews with The New York Times in recent months, two of them last week in Idaho. “Why wouldn’t a father do this? This is my job.”


A half-year ago, Bowe attempted an escape:

One year ago, when their son had been held prisoner for two years, just after we killed Osama bin Laden and there was justfied concern that Bowe would be the subject of a beheading video in retaliation, his parents broke their silence with a pathetic video plea:

And when he was originally captured, I posted this: