12 Mar 2009
REFERENDUM OF ALL MEMBERS REGARDING THE LEAGUE’S CONTINUATION
National League POW
For the League to sustain operations, a commitment from 500 individuals, families or groups to donate $25 per month is required. All need to understand that a few members, advisors and some dedicated state and local level veteran organizations have been donating substantial sums for years and years. We hope their generosity will continue with increased support from other League members, especially family members, even though our numbers dwindle each year, just from attrition. The Board recognizes that not all members can afford to send in $25 per month, but many can. Some just don’t realize the gravity of the situation.
The League was never intended to be an ongoing nonprofit organization, but was planned from inception to close as soon as the fullest possible accounting had been achieved. It never occurred to the founders that the League would be necessary some 40 years after formation. Had this possibility been considered, our POW/MIA flag would have been legally protected, and income to sustain operations would never have been a problem. It needs to be clearly understood: The League receives no government funding. None of the POW/MIA flag manufacturers donate a cent to the League, despite the profits they make on US Government contracts for supplying POW/MIA flags to fly on required dates.
Despite these realities, and the all-too-often desperate financial hardships, if the League had not existed and pushed every step of the way until President Reagan made this issue a priority, the effort would long ago have been shelved, as was originally intended post-war. Had it not been for the League closely monitoring each step since1992 – including overcoming the disastrous impact of the Senate Select Committee – there would have been no expansion of personnel and resources to achieve continuing success. The organizations that comprise the official accounting community – DPMO, JPAC, AFDIL, LSEL, Stony Beach – and more, simply would not exist, at least at today’s level. The Korean War, Cold War and WWII families would not have had any hope for final answers. Having said that, we cannot expect others to shoulder most of the burden; this is a responsibility that must be shared by more of the POW/MIA families, even though our membership is aging and many are on fixed or reduced incomes. The younger members must now step up to the plate if you, also, want the League to continue.
If you are willing and able to make this commitment, please complete the form that appears on page six (6) of this newsletter and mail or email it to the League office so that it will arrive no later than April 15th. Your stated commitments will bear heavily on the Board’s decisions in May.