Robert Dorr’s recent Colum in the Marine Corps Times suggests that the POW/MIA flag is out of date and reflects out of date imagery that should be retired.  His opinion of the imagery is that it is counter productive and has out lived its usefulness. Service members who become separated from their units or evading the enemy can’t survive without ht mere hope of being found. Their hope finds strength in that their country will come looking for them. That they are not forgotten and that won’t stop looking for them. This also applies to our family members as a constant reminder that POW/MIA will constantly be sought after. The biggest factor to us while fighting in Iraq was that we had the very best medical attention waiting for us if we were wounded. We weren’t afraid of getting hurt because we knew America’s best was waiting for us if we were wounded. Following that the best combat multiplier was that if were in trouble, help was on the way. We called it “Dads coming”. It came from the top brass and it worked great. If we got into a big shit sandwich or got separated from our unit we knew Dad was coming. This happened when a sniper from 3/25 was separated and detained by the enemy. The Marines brought everything they had to the town where he was last seen. It was cordoned off so quickly that the enemy had no choice but to give the Marine up. Unfortunately he expired before they decided to release him from previous wounds in an earlier gunfight. The fact is that the Marine knew dad was coming for him and after 30 aircraft, multiple special Ops teams and a Battalion of Marines swamped the small town near Haditha the enemy didn’t want to be caught with the wounded Marine. That’s the same kind of positive reinforcement the POW/MIA flag instills for service members who are still MIA from Viet Nam and recent wars. Granted the Muj doesn’t have too many enemy watch towers in position but who wants to flay a flag with hooded scumbags on it ready to be head a service member?


  1. Is he saying the flag should be eliminated, or just the graphics changed? I agree with you Captain, that our troops must always know we will never forget or stop looking if they are MIA. As always, you are a defender of the troops! Always a leader. We are so blessed to have you!
    Semper gratus,

  2. Ditto Donna…I didn’t know if it was drop the flag or change the image…regardless…never should the troops think we’d forget!
    We won’t…We Can’t!
    Thank you for the best Capt!
    Semper Gratus!

  3. God Bless and keep you Captain B. Your honest thoughts and leadership reflect the true reality of the Corps I love. Take care and continue to be an inspiration to the men you lead and their families at home.
    Lest we forget.

  4. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? Why change something that’s worked all these years?
    Btw, Capt B, I tried to email you but it came back. :O(
    Just wanted to say THANK YOU for all you do. I’ll be praying for God’s favor in your missions and for your safe return. God Bless you!!

  5. I found your blog through:, a woman whose husband will soon be deployed, and have enjoyed reading through some of your posts.
    Thank you … for serving our country … for protecting my freedom … for protecting the freedom of my two precious daughters. Thank you.
    Every citizen of our country is precious and should never be forgotten … especially you, and those you fight with, and who have fought before you and who are now fighting and will fight after you … and especially those who are POW/MIA.
    Again … Thank you … to you and your precious family … you are valued and valuable.

  6. Good idea to update the POW/MIA flag, have a new flag & still keep the old. We will never forget these war heroes; they have been through Hell.

  7. The old flag has become tradition and that is comforting. I can embrace Laura, Marine Mom’s idea of adding to, and keeping the old as well, but to change it completely. No, it represents too much from the past that is important.
    Mr. Dorr: The POW/MIA flag isn’t a product that needs “freshening” for increased sales. It’s a symbol, one of hope. Changing it would be akin to significantly changing the American flag.

  8. Heh. He’s just popluar and hasn’t emptied his mailbox, I think. ‘B’ if you are reading comments, please shoot me an email. Have a question.

  9. I will always associate the MIA/POW flag with Vietnam, but it does serve a purpose and makes me very emotional, no matter what war we’re talking about.

  10. Capt…your email is indeed down…just received “undeliverable” notice on the Shepherdaway account. Just FYI.

  11. This has been on my mind all day long. Well, anything to keep my mind occupied besides work is a blessing..ha!
    Why change it? If the flag has been an enduring symbol of hope for decades then why change now? Is the Statue of Liberty outdated too? Should she get a makeover complete with a M16 and missile launcher? Maybe her middle finger could be raised in a salute to Osama with a caption on her skirt that says, “Take that Osama!”
    Can you tell change stresses me out????? ha!!!

  12. This Vietnam Vet flies the MIA/POW flag every day just below the United States flag, I see no disgrace in it’s being viewed. Maybe it makes people uncomfortable to be reminded that we have abandoned these men.
    It flies to remind me of those who didn’t come home, from WWII through Iraq.
    We have MIA from all those wars, we also have prominent Congressmembers and Senators who disgrace their memories on a daily basis. One Senator from Arizona wants all of us to forget about our fallen and missing brothers in Vietnam. Why?.
    Then we have those two darlings from Massachussets, one is a traitor and the one loudmouth from Pennsylvania who charges our troops with murder from the chambers of Congress, what a disgrace.
    The Communist appeasers ( ) in this nation have a long history of leaving behind our dead and missing despite the “leave no man behind” doctrine.
    These are the reasons I fly both flags.
    Thank you Capt.B for your service and dedication.

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  14. Keep it the way it is.
    We should think, everyday, about the Heroes who are MIA.
    May we never rest until they are all found!

  15. My first thought was to leave the flag alone. Then I read about it’s creation and wondered…
    In 1971, a MIA wife suggested a flag to remember those POW/MIA in Asia, and subsequently it was created by a flag manufacturer. On August 10, 1990, the 101st Congress passed U.S. Public Law 101-355, which recognized The National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia POW/MIA flag and designated it “as the symbol of our Nation’s concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, thus ending the uncertainty for their families and the Nation”. The history can be found at
    So the question shouldn’t be whether it is ‘outdated’, but perhaps whether it should be/remain a symbol for those POW/MIA in Asia only, or if the representation should be changed (though apparently generally assumed) to include all POW/MIA, from all wars, or should there be an additional flag created to represent the POW/MIA from all other wars?

  16. My father is 86 years old and an ex-POw (held by the Germans for 18 months after being captured at Anzio in World War two.)He flies the MIA/POW flag evry day in honor of those who didn’t return. I know he wants the flag to stay just like it is.

  17. I believe the POW/MIA flag should be updated. Not completely, but added to it to more represent other eras beside Vietnam. I fly my POW/MIA flag along with the US and Navy flags!

  18. How wonderfully put! I agree with “if it aint broke why fix it” This flag reminds me of all those that gave in Nam. They should never be forgotten. none of our people should be forgotten

  19. I vote No to changing that graphic at all. Just a couple of weeks ago I enjoyed a Mariner’s baseball game – a few days after Flag Day and the Army birthday, and a couple of days before Father’s day. The big U.S. flag was flying proudly, of course, but what was special was the (smaller) POW/MIA flag flying directly under it. I was thrilled to see it, and only wished that the announcer had called direct attention to it. It means a lot to me that we continue to find and return them home as we find them – for proper burial and closure for the family.

    after his release by Hanoi in 1973, McCain had nothing but praise for Perot and his followers who ignited and fanned the flames of POW/MIA activism.
    Nor has McCain stopped there. He has also viciously attacked fellow war hero, fellow POW and fellow retired Navy captain, Eugene “Red” McDaniel, as a fraud and a dishonorable man who preys upon the families of those still unaccounted for from the war.
    Again, it is a case of McCain attacking the activist. McDaniel has been in the forefront of activism in keeping the POW/MIA issue alive during the years, before the Select Committee, when few, particularly much of the press, could have cared less.
    Today, there is extreme pressure on members of Congress to lift the trade embargo with Vietnam and to establish diplomatic relations with Hanoi, both actions are opposed by the POW/MIA activists.
    McCain, like his fellow Senator, Mr. Kerry, favors lifting the embargo and both were on record as such long before they became associated with the Select Committee. In fact, the efforts of both have reflected at times more interest in bettering relations with Vietnam, in consort with greedy U.S. big business interests, than resolving the POW/MIA issue by accounting for the missing men; in McCain’s case his FELLOW POWs.

  21. He came home today. I spent July 4th in the ER with my first love. He had been so good–not a braggard, not a tough guy, just a good kid wanting to do good things. They were afraid of him and me and the 1955 Chevy. They signed for him to join up when he was only 17.5 years old. He went two times: based in Japan, they sent him to “top secret duty” in Viet Nam. We married in 1963 our baby born in 1965, divorced in 1968. In spite of my pleas for him to stay close to the daughter he loved–he disappeared for 12 years. I found him in 1980 and told them both–father and daughter–to make the best possible relationship they could. They did that for 25 years. Off again, on again: here again, gone again. Second wife, third wife etc.etc.
    He came home this week terminally ill with cancer. We played with fireworks after spending 5 hours in the ER room –no insurance. He left without warning on Sunday morning. We loved him, couldn’t change him, couldn’t stop his pain, couldn’t stop the running. But we tried to show him he was loved. Wherever you are, Say G’night sweetheart because we shall never say good bye

  22. That is understandable that cash can make people independent. But how to act when somebody doesn’t have money? The only one way is to try to get the home loans and just student loan.

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