Susan Davis, 2009

Susan Davis, 2009 Opening Statement

Opening Statement by Congresswoman Susan Davis

"The hearing will come to order.

"I want to thank our witnesses for coming - we appreciate you being here with us. Our hearing today focuses on improving recovery and full accounting of POW/MIA Personnel from all past conflicts, an important issue which this subcommittee takes pride in overseeing.

"The subcommittee held an oversight hearing on the status of POW-MIA activities on July 10, 2008. It was the first hearing the subcommittee held since October 1998, over ten years ago. As I stated during the July hearing, while the subcommittee did not hold hearings in the intervening years, it has not forgotten its oversight responsibility, nor has it been sitting idly by on this issue.

"Over the past several years this committee has passed legislation focused on ensuring the POW/MIA effort remains a national priority and continues to receive sufficient funding to accomplish the mission.

"The subcommittee remains dedicated to the full accounting of all American Prisoners of Wars and those Missing in Action; we owe it to their families, but most importantly, we owe it to the men and women who are currently serving in uniform. Today we will hear testimony and discuss ways to improve the recovery and full accounting of those missing and bring them home to their families as expeditiously as possible. We have two panels of witnesses for our hearing.

"The first panel is comprised of members from a variety of organizations which all have a passionate interest in indentifying and recovering our missing. All of the organizations have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the matters of POW/MIA recovery and we are happy they could be here to provide us with their thoughts and ideas on how to improve the process.

"Let me welcome:

Mr. Michael H. Wysong Director of National Security and Foreign Affairs Veterans of Foreign Wars

Mr. Phil Riley Director, National Security & Foreign Relations The American Legion

Ms. Ann Mills Griffiths Executive Director National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia

Ms. Lisa Phillips President WWII Families for the Return of the Missing

Ms. Lynn O'Shea Director of Research National Alliance of Families

Mr. Frank Metersky Washington Liaison Korea Cold War Families of the Missing

Ms. Robin Piacine President Coalition of Families of Korean and Cold War POW/MIAs

Mr. Ron Broward POW/MIA Advocate

"Our second panel, both of who testified before us in July will consist of : The Honorable Charles A. Ray Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs

Rear Admiral Donna L. Crisp Commander, Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command

Once again, welcome.

"I would ask that you testify in the order that I stated and that you keep your oral statements to 3 minutes. We have received your written statement and will include them for the record. Also joining us today is Ms. Kilroy. I would ask unanimous consent that she be allowed to participate in the hearing. And now to dispense with some administrative business, I would ask unanimous consent that all of the testimony be entered into the record.

"Mr. Wilson, do you have any comments that you wish to make?"