It is with profound sadness we inform you of the passing of Dolores Apodaca Alfond, Chairperson and founding member of the National Alliance of Families. Dolores passed peacefully, very early on the morning of December 2, 2010.
Dolores came to the POW/MIA issue the day her brother Victor was shot down over North Vietnam, on June 8, 1967. After the Vietnam War, she quietly worked on her brother's behalf. During her travels she, along with her husband David and son Michael visited Thailand. There they met with U.S. officials to discuss the POW issue and visited the refugee camps in search of information on our missing men.
Her private effort went public in June of 1990, when she joined with POW/MIA families from World War II, Korea, Cold War, and the War in Southeast Asia to form the National Alliance of Families. In what can only be described as an uphill battle, Dolores made the Alliance a respected and honest advocate for our missing men and their families.
Over the last 20 years, she dedicated her life to our unaccounted for POWs and MIAs. She worked tirelessly, feeding stories to the media, working the phones, writing letters, walking the halls of Congress and testifying before various Congressional Committees. She made it her life's work to bring the issue of our POWs and MIAs to the public and hold Washington accountable for their return.
Protesting the plan to lift the trade embargo against Vietnam, Dolores joined with POW/MIA family members Ann Holland, wife of T/Sgt Melvin Holland and Kathy Borah, sister of Lt. Dan Borah and Vietnam Vet Jerry Birch for a 30 day protest fast. Spending their days in a bamboo cage, the four existed on the POW diet of soup and rice.
Even in her last days, she continued to ask in conversations with Lynn O'Shea "what can we do to get the POW/MIA issue moving again" or "what's happening with H.Res 111." She never gave up her hope that one day an American POW would return from Southeast Asia, North Korea, China or the former Soviet Union.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the National Alliance of Families, and our Research Director Lynn O'Shea, we extend our deepest sympathy to Dolores' son Michael, daughter-in-law Barbara, grandchildren Brandon and Rachel, sisters Eleanor, Joyce, Janella, brother Leslie and the entire Apodaca-Alfond family.
Dolores will be sorely missed.