Showtime’s hit drama Homeland scored a big win at the 2012 Golden Globes! What’s exciting about this (apart from the fantastic actors in the show, Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, and, of course, Mandy Patinkin) is that the show dramatizes something that is rarely discussed: the life-changing, scarring experiences of those held as prisoners of war. While the show takes dramatic liberties, it does a great job of bringing the many challenges POWs face — the ones lucky enough, anyway — when they return home.
Showtime's Golden Globe winning drama, "Homeland"
The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command estimates that more than 73,000 veterans of WWII and more than 1,600 veterans of the Vietnam War are still missing. Still missing! These are soldiers that were willing to lay down their lives to defend our country and our freedoms — and we are unable to locate them.
The American Ex-Prisoners of War organization is a not-for-profit veterans’ service organization that advocates for former prisoners of war and their families. I have the pleasure of being a card-carrying member, as family members of former POWs are invited to become members, if they choose to do so. My grandfather’s capture by the Nazis in WWII (and his return to the U.S., thank goodness) make it possible for me to meet and honor some of the amazing men and women who are a part of this organization.
The American Ex-POWs organization was started by two moms whose sons were missing in World War II, Mrs. Charles W. Bickford and Mrs. Fred E. Landon, whose sons were members of the 200th Coast Artillery. Their sons were captured by the Japanese. They originally organized as the Bataan Relief Organization with the mission of gathering as much information as possible and share it with loved ones of other missing service men and women.
Let’s celebrate Homeland’s victory while also celebrating the tireless work of those families who have to live (or have lived) with not knowing where their loved ones might be.