featured in 2009 Calendar.
Dear HOUSTON family, (from R. Dana Charles)
I urge all NGs to join the American Ex-Prisoners of War organization (AXPOW). Membership is available not only to former POWS, but also to spouses/widowers and children of Ex-POWS. It's a very worthy organization, which needs members to continue its efforts on behalf of all American Ex-POWS and their families. Membership includes the organization's official national magazine "AXPOW Bulletin," which helps keep Ex-POW families up-to-date on ongoing POW health issues, legislation pertaining to Ex-POWS, AXPOW projects, efforts, and more.
As you know, most VA benefits that only Ex-POWS have today did not exist until the early 1980s. All of that began to change when AXPOW leaders, backed by other national veterans' organizations including the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a great "grass roots" letter-writing effort by AXPOW members persuaded
Congress to pass Public Law 97-37, Former Prisoner of War Benefits Act (1981).
Today, AXPOW leaders are still pressing lawmakers for additional "presumptives." A few years ago, I attended the AXPOW national convention and heard (then) VA Secretary Principi announce that Cardiac problems would be added to the list of "presumptives."
Trained National Service Officers (NSOs) of AXPOW are always available to help Ex-POWS and their families deal with the VA system. Some of our NGs might want to pitch in and help in this great effort.
AXPOW's motto: "We exist to help those who cannot help themselves." I think that these words express a point of view that American POWS have had to learn the hard way, which is that POWS can hope to survive as long as other POWS are around to help. The track record of this organization shows that this motto is more than mere words.
AXPOW also produces some nice calendars, too. -- Dana For more info, go to the AXPOW website: http://www.axpow.org/ R. Dana Charles Son of H.R. "Bob" Charles US Marine Survivor USS HOUSTON (CA-30)