Sen. Toomey Announces "No Man Left Behind" Resolution
Honoring Veterans Day by reinforcing America's commitment to leave no man or woman unaccounted for in any military action
WASHINGTON, D.C. - As the nation prepares to honor Veterans Day this Sunday, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) will introduce a resolution expressing the sense of Congress that no member of the armed forces who is missing in action or captured should be left behind.
"The members of the armed forces are willing to give their all to defend our country, ensure our safety, and protect the principles of this great nation. We owe it to them to commit ourselves as a nation to the promise that we will leave no man or woman behind. As we honor our veterans Sunday, I urge my fellow members of Congress to join me in supporting this resolution and reaffirming our commitment to leave no soldier, sailor, airman, Marine or Coast Guard member behind," Sen. Toomey said.
The senator's resolution would affirm the sense of the Senate that "abandoning the search efforts for members of the armed forces who are missing or captured in the line of duty now or in the future is unacceptable."
It also states that "while the United States is beginning the strategic withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan, the United States must continue to fulfill these important promises to any member of the armed forces who is in a missing status or captured as a result of service in Afghanistan now or in the future."
Sen. Toomey will formally introduce the resolution when Congress reconvenes Tuesday, Nov. 13. The full text of the senator's resolution is available at the end of this release.
A House companion, H.Res. 503, is sponsored by U.S. Representative Richard Nugent (R-Fla.).
Veterans and veterans' advocates across Pennsylvania praised the senator's resolution.
"As a proud American Legion member, I thank Sen. Toomey for this resolution. It's not only the logical thing to do but also the moral thing to do," said former Army Lieutenant Colonel Alan Gallagher, adjutant of the American Legion Robert H. Hoke Post 272 in Linglestown.
"I support Sen. Toomey's resolution 100 percent. When my 173rd Airborne Brigade returned from a combat action in Vietnam and discovered we had one soldier missing, the brigade commander sent an entire battalion back in to the war zone to look for that one soldier. This resolution honors and reinforces that time-honored obligation," said retired Army Colonel Don Bliss, life member of the Military Officers Association of America's chapter in Carlisle.
"This resolution is vitally important to our armed forces and veterans, and it should be equally important to the American public. When I was active and deployed, we accounted for one another and did not leave anyone behind. Our government must account for and bring every man, woman, mother, father, son and daughter home," said former Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Evan Weaver of Pittsburgh, co-founder of the non-profit Veteran Student Community Initiative.
"This legislation formalizes the time-honored military tradition of bringing everyone home and leaving no man or woman behind. Sen. Toomey understands the promise this country has made to its military to not forget those brave men and women who willingly go in harm's way to preserve and protect all that this country holds dear. This resolution is another example of Sen. Toomey listening to and acting on what is important to our nation's military and their families," said former Navy Lieutenant Commander Kevin Kelly, a volunteer at Philadelphia Homeless Veterans.
"I strongly support this resolution. Much controversy still exists regarding the POWs and MIAs from the Vietnam era. We should leave no man behind," said Cory Shay, coordinator of the Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success at the Community College of Allegheny County.
The full text of the senator's resolution is below:
"Resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the United States should leave no member of the armed forces unaccounted for in the withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan.
"Whereas the United States is a nation of great honor and integrity; whereas the United States has made a sacred promise to members of the armed forces who are deployed overseas in defense of this country that their sacrifice and service will never be forgotten; and whereas the United States can never thank the proud members of the armed forces enough for what they do for this country on a daily basis:
"Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the Senate - (1) believes that abandoning the search efforts for members of the armed forces who are missing or captured in the line of duty now or in the future is unacceptable; (2) believes that the United States has a responsibility to keep the promises made to members of the armed forces who risk their lives on a daily basis on behalf of their fellow Americans; (3) supports the United States Soldier's Creed and the Warrior Ethos, which state that ‘‘I will never leave a fallen comrade''; and (4) believes that, while the United States is beginning the strategic withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan, the United States must continue to fulfill these important promises to any member of the armed forces who is in a missing status or captured as a result of service in Afghanistan now or in the future."