Remembering POW/MIA veterans - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Remembering POW/MIA veterans

October 14, 2005

Lowndes County - Susan Stephens will always wonder exactly what happened to her brother in law. "You adapt and go on but there's always that daily pain of not knowing," said Stephens.

Stephen Geist left for Vietnam in 1967, and never returned home. For 39 years, his family had no indication of what happened to him. "I stand before you as the worst nightmare of any military family," said Stephens.

Three years ago, military investigators brought them some sense of closure. "We were informed that he did survive the crash but was executed and he and the pilot were set on fire," said Stephens.

Her family's experience sent Susan on a one woman mission to make sure no one taken prisoner of war or missing in action is ever forgotten. She helped start the National League of Families of POW/MIA, and speaks to groups, like this one at Moody Air Force Base, about the importance of honoring these men and women. "It's a pledge I made to Stephen, that I would not stop speaking on this issue, I made it in my heart and I know he hears me," said Stephens.

Tens of thousands of Americans who served overseas are still unaccounted for. "From World War II there are 77,000, from the Korean there are 8,177, from the Cold War there are 124," said Stephens.

Stephens works with the military and POW/MIA families to make sure everything possible is being done to bring some part of their relative home. "I use a saying that dying for freedom isn't the worst that could happen, being forgotten is," said Stephens.

And she'll continue doing all she can to make sure that never happens.

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