tv [untitled] October 12, 2011 10:31pm-11:01pm EDT
hello again to welcome to spotlight the into the show our team and al green all of them today my guest on the show is richard norton a veteran say warrigal's on tell its last victim is there are thousands of soldiers america sent overseas are still missing but hope dies last and families are p.o.w.'s and m.i.a. still waiting for their beloved to return home in america the veterans of foreign wars are those ration deal with problems all the servicemen including assistance with searches of the missing how was it going on and are we sharing experience let's ask the commander in chief of the americans veterans of foreign wars on those asian richard good morning to. both russia and the u.s. to continent conflicts across the world world war two the vietnam war and various military operations in all parts of the goalpost both countries thousands of
missing soldiers after the iron could foul joins russia u.s. commission on prisoners of war and missing in action was created its primary objective is to clarify the fate of both russian and american servicemen missing military conflicts in the past and the present. home is there welcome to the show thank you and thanks very much for being with us thank you al so great to be here thank you very much great to how you are first of all i would like to ask you about the veterans of foreign wars association your association playing in what you call the fool accounting mission it's aimed at recovering the traces of more than eighty thousand american servicemen those still missing is that true that is true well i've got to before i answer your question i would like to thank the russian government very much for appointing a co-chair recently to the u.s. russian commission for p.o.w.'s. we work together jointly and we appreciate their
commitment by appointing this co-chair to answer your question yes we are advocates for the recovery and identification of p.o.w. m.i.a.'s we actually travel to many countries russia being one of them and we are part of a joint as i said the joint commission we have a joint commission with russia on that and we visit recovery sites recently i was in cambodia i went to a recovery site where the four young american soldiers went down in during vietnam and they were working to recover those remains we also visit china to try to get assistance from the chinese government as well so we are very very active in this issue we take it very very seriously and of course the purpose is to get closure to many families who have lost loved ones of world war two to the present so so you do really would collect on the ground really is the we do we do every country they
have to visit with well we we visit taiwan we visit china we visit russia and primarily those countries and of course we also visit southeast asia where the actual many of the vietnam remains still. there and but of course we're also interested in world war two and korea as well we'd like to get into north korea possibly your government might be able to help us do that then i heard that the russian the russian official rest of the fish was they they volunteered to be a sort of a middleman to try to talk the koreans in correcting you into the country absolutely never the remains of the absolutely how successful have the russians well we're not there yet but i've heard rumors that things are getting better is all we're hoping in the near future that we may be able to we were in there in the ninety's for a short period of time and we then we were asked to leave. well you know that is to come back to north korea this will be a breakthrough i mean and it's
a little of this will be what we call a grass roots like getting the country together absolutely we still have a thousand. missing in action that have not been accounted for and we're very concerned about finding out. whether what happened when we talk a thousand tens of thousands of american soldiers still missing from world war two this definitely isn't europe it should be most mostly the pacific the because in europe i think i think i think most of the most of the people killed and you have been recovering bodies a trial i don't know the statistics exact statistics but i would i would say they are probably correct on that we have recently just found some world war two remains in the pacific theater there's approx seventy odd thousand still unaccounted for and i would like to add to that it was the vietnam veterans who started the movement for the recovery of p.o.w. m.i.a. which of course we went back and also it advocated for recovery of the world war
two as well so it was my generation and the war that i was involved in that actually was responsible for starting this movement you started this interview by mentioning by thanking the russians by pulling for appointing this lady. you could sit in that pretty high. and i didn't mention her name because i i think i'm with i would probably why doesn't. your folks but. except communicating with with koreans what else do russians are russia's ready to do to help putin and if you feel your mission well i know that the russians have a great deal of concerns in recovering some of their m.i.a.'s in afghanistan and obviously they they are hoping that we can help them doing that on the other hand it's a reciprocal thing basically this commission one hand helps the other. i understand
i just found out today myself i met with the federation and they mentioned to me that we actually saw some russians went to our laboratory in hawaii and we assisted them and gave them some d.n.a. kits and show them some of the ways that we had done a five remains and so forth so my answer would be that it's a reciprocal thing this ways that they can help us with the north korea issue in this way that we can help them maybe in afghanistan and other places as well i would be i would be frank with you i know that the joint russia u.s. commission on p.o.w. m.i.a.'s was was founded back in one nine hundred ninety two mistaken but but today is the first time that i hear about it really in the news so why is that why is it has it they kept such low profile i mean you knew news ones i'm not really sure i don't know whether it which government possibly didn't have as much commitment to that issue but we're certainly not worried about that now because. certainly russia
has come through and committed themselves by appointing a co-chair and in our government is going to be funding the they are part they are part of the commission so i think we're on the right road now. i can't really say too much of a. what happened at the pats but ok you mentioned the russians that may like to to find them missing soldiers soldiers missing in afghanistan do you think the americans will be ready to really assists russian groups and russian delegation on entering have gathered stone on their land and digging in for looking for as well as of course being in a veterans organization i'm not a politician and i was a professional marine professional soldier. professional soldiers are not politicians so i can't speak for my government but i would say that i would like to think yes. because there's much to be gained by working together and
so i'm hopeful that both governments will take this commitment seriously yes what is the the w. doing good sit mean rule in the supporting the the families of the m.i.a.'s. there are there is m.i.a. groups in our country and to basically we support them by keeping them abreast of what the efforts that we. are doing at the current time we also. advocate for them with the defense p.o.w. m.i.a. office deep d.p.m. all and by doing so i think that gives them hope that things will be done i think we give them hope but i am glad i said that i think we do give them hope they know that we're advocating for them we won't let this issue die i think that if there were it was an advocacy time does make people forget and we don't want to forget we
want to make sure that everyone is accounted for all the use of the soldiers are not politicians but you have to you you have to get engaged in politics to tell the yes we do about what i want i guess what i'm saying is we don't take sides and we don't but we do have to lobby the lobby and probably at least. and you have to you have to be political yourselves i mean to in to a certain degree do you do raising money for those people who are or it all comes from the phone to that that the government of well or the n.g.o.s the. i would say the m.i. . the missing in action groups in america probably get their own donations and so forth that well as we do. you know we get our own fund fund re a funding from fundraisers membership. dues. corporate donations and so forth all of that goes with our form of finance and so forth and most of those m.i.a.
groups have the same type of benefactors and all of the government to what extent is the government engaged in helping and giving money to the people to the families that need help the government funds the d.p.m. all office yes which is part of the department of defense and all of the activities of the office in hawaii feel cruiser go wild fun recovery missions and so forth that's all funded by the government and of course we lobby to make sure that they continue to fund that and that's our role i should say do you do you have a long of people a lot of families that approach you with with specific questions specific requests . i don't know just how many families to contact us i'm sure there's many the do what is going on or what is being done where are we now in this endeavor i'm sure that our washington office gets calls and that i don't know how many i
haven't got a count on that but yes and if they did we would certainly try to find the information for the may answer. says richard there neuer commander in chief of the american veterans of foreign wars organization spotlight will be back shortly will take a break right now and then please join us again here on russia today spotlight will continue to stay with. a very warm welcome to you this is your news today protesters on the walls streets they have. ladies and gentlemen your child the chance to sit to get links to the status of the human
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about veterans being nonpolitical and this is true i mean i mean i agree and i am a veteran myself but watching the current news coming from the united states the process the occupy the wall street movement you know how long before we see a lot of war veterans engaged taking part in these protests well it doesn't make them automatically political but it shows us that they are politically active for a one zero one two hundred asked is is are the veterans really important for the u.s. government do you think that the government will certainly take into account what the veterans sounds have to say is a demonstration becoming more serious more more. important when the official see out of the vets out there on the street well to answer your question i would say yes and i would say we are currently involved in
a war in afghanistan and we were just recently getting out of iraq. and we have a great large percentage of veterans that are homeless and we have a large percentage of veterans that are unemployed and so it's an economical thing a centrally and their protest on shore the ones that you're referring to is an economic protest they want work they want homes they want to get off the street they want to go on with their lives and i would say they want to be productive citizens. nearly one hundred well at least more than a third of the americans the poor afghan war and also in the we're in iraq believe that these wars weren't worth the money spent on the war itself do you think that the opinion of those veterans are pretty young people will it somehow influence the
whole withdrawal strategy i don't i can't speak for our government as far as their restraint how they come up with with this strategy i do know that i believe our president said that we he was going to be removing people out of afghanistan i think by two. thousand and twelve i think it was or something like that next year but of course every person whether they serve in the military and i was entitled to their opinion and is entitled to their political philosophy all i can say is that we don't endorse candidates we don't support the candidates we stay away from that and their view on the war whether it was worthwhile or whether it wasn't or whether it was too costly and not is as is theirs and they they are entitled to have it. they knew veterans the young veterans people coming back from the afghan war of iraq war are on the facing the same problems that your generation with facing i
mean guys that were thirty from vietnam all of these new wars are have something in particular i think that they're facing the same. problems that the vietnam veteran faced with exception. more people are separating the war from the warrior and they are appreciating the service that these young people have given their country yeah this was different than the oh absolutely no question about it it was an unchanged propaganda i think i think so when i went when i would say when i say yes propaganda i think the news media distorted a lot of the war and and people seem to. group the war and the warrior together and they blamed the war when he was doing what his country asked him to do this is this is understandable because what we remember about the vietnam war is the deer hunter the epic. movies like that but hollywood contributed to it put into the air you know even wants to put to it and you think you know
about the war right why why do we see films movies. this accountable to do better than you were going to war is different well i think that people understand maybe there's been better communication better publicity but i think they seem to understand that there is a war on terrorism. there were two buildings in new york that went down and nearly three thousand people along with the pentagon died on that particular day and i think they see the necessity of having some kind of common front against terrorism . but they don't obviously the cost is something to consider which you elaborated to earlier but in vietnam i guess they did not see the necessity of it i can't speak for the people who are again against it i fought in vietnam i'm a proud vietnam veteran i'm not going to you know i'm not going to say that i'm ashamed of anything that i did i answered my country's call and most vietnam
veterans if not all feel that way we're proud of what what we did i think. i eighty today feels differently and now i get many people saying it's many years later but thank you for your service society has changed their outlook somewhat so many veterans suffer from the so called post-traumatic stress disorder those the v.f.w. . help them overcome overcome this this called the disease help them adapt to to to to normal we do we direct them to the. the help that they need we have the v.f.w. has service officers are our veterans advocates just about every federal get building in every major city in the country and those veterans who have problems need medical care need assistance with disability compensation we are prepared to
help them absolutely who are returning from war for many soldiers means having to cope with post-traumatic stress life even though the media has more about. the course tremendous stress disorder p.t.s.d. was going up to good war in vietnam us veterans found it difficult to read just for civilian life after all they've gone through in russia these shoes started to be talked about after its military campaigns in the ghana stand and later to. remind to lube of remembers how he was sent to change in one thousand nine hundred nine he had when i was boy the hopelessness it was our first battle for of course we were scared to lose size militants were shelling us and it's also terrible to see your friends some dead others injured and crying for help now we're veteran of many missions remonde says he's first back who was a nightmare that will stay with him for the rest of his life likewise many veterans
of the u.s. led war in iraq and afghanistan have faced significant physical emotional and. truly tional disruptions after they'd come back home when their clash back sore or nightmares there really isn't any control or try to but there really isn't. and so you're still shaking your heart's racing your mind is going you know one hundred eighty miles a minute and. you know complete loss of control you scientists have recently discovered it proved to you that could lead to the development of a drug that helps you raise traumatic memories but working on these kind of you might take these proven decades meanwhile the terrans often have to cool. not all of them are ready to share the b. to memories who ask for help. developing drugs that would raise bits of memories
this of course something on the future but if we talk about today if we talk about specific ways of helping those guys yes settled in the in the peaceful world what's what do you think personally is the best way the best we have program group therapy group therapy it it seems. after i left the marine corps i spent twenty two years in the marine corps i spent twenty years in veterans advocacy and many of the veterans who came in to me with p.t.s.d. or psychological problems the v.a. has these group therapy they call them vet centers their group therapy centers and they just sit around and talk and they have a clinical psychologist or a clinical social worker that kind of leads the group and most of them that i've ever talked to that have participated in that and found that very rewarding so so so these sort of help each other and this psychology sort of like a like a talk show host like you know get out of the community like the well is that true
yeah yeah yeah a little bit but isn't well it's strange that it's easier for them to be in a group of people who. are. more like humans and it's not better for them to be in a group of just ordinary people have to be know they need to be in a group with those that have a similar circumstance a similar account each of the books in exactly that how do you help them to normal life well i think it possibly i quite i can't speak for every one of them but i would say that they probably find that hey this guy's got the same problem i have and he's making it he's dealing with it i can do that too and i think it's something on that on that vein if you are i'm a veteran myself and you want and i do remember my so feeling any post-traumatic stress disorder did you well i was very fortunate first of all i didn't serve in the infantry i served in combat support i spent thirteen months in vietnam i was not out in the bush as as they say therefore i did not kill anyone and i didn't see
anybody get killed and i was very fortunate i was very very very fortunate so so you think it depends on and actually when you use the exact we do know because i was in the air force i mean right i also didn't see anybody die and i will have them saying and some people say well a marine you must have been and you are bad you must have seen people die and some do some don't and it depends on what your role is in your job mine was to make sure that the infantry got the ammunition and that they needed in order to fight their war and i was very fortunate that i didn't have to have some of the experiences that some of those who is painful isn't that for people like you when you return back you have to because you get used to it so quickly i mean you get these couple of views you get used to that this is you don't know and when you come back to normal life there is certainly in a just it doesn't seem normal that he will yeah i spent twenty two years in the marine corps and i was thirty nine when i retired and there was certainly an
adjustment and the adjustment is difficult because military life is best what it is it's a way of life and. if there is an adjustment but for the not anywhere near the type of adjustment that someone that was in the infantry was unnaturally was in combat thank you thank you very much surprised to be with us and just i remind you that my guest on the show today was richard lui mondrian chief of the american veterans of foreign wars and that's it for now for wallace he will be back with you until then stay on r.t. and take care thank you.
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