Saying Goodbye to Ted Sampley: The Activist’s Activist

Ted Sampley

Over the years I had always heard stories about Ted Sampley.  In each of them he seemed larger than life.  I remember being a bit nervous the first time I met him at a POW/MIA event wondering if what I had to say would resonate with someone as tuned in to the Issue as Ted was.  What I found was what I can only refer to as a gentle giant.  Ted’s eyes said more to me than anything that would come out of his mouth that day.  I saw compassion, tenderness and most importantly, as I told him our story, I saw the wheels in his head turning.  Ted was a wonderful speaker but he was also an amazing listener.  He asked probing questions and made thought-provoking suggestions.

Ted, for all extensive purposes, gave his life to this Issue; for the families and for the spirit of each of those who are still unaccounted for.  His passion and selfless acts, as daring and creative as they were, were all part of a deeper sense of dedication and loyalty to those less fortunate; those who never made it out of Vietnam alive. 

The most incredible part of Ted Sampley is that he was able to maintain this passion, this furvor for decades.   His love for his fellow warrior and for the nation that he dedicated 10 years of his life to was linked to every project that he became a part of, be it restoring or rejuvenating the vibrancy of his hometown or standing with a bullhorn on The Mall in DC, Ted was a believer.

Since his death, one of his detractors collectively with the Washington Post here here and here have unsuccessfully attempted to take parting shots at Ted.  The WaPo has been “selective” in the comments that they have allowed to appear coupled with these articles.  The Pow Warrior has submitted a lengthy response that has, interestingly enough, not yet been accepted.   If you would like to have a copy, please email me.

I will leave you all and Ted, with the closing paragraph of my commentary which I am sure Ted would find quite fitting and may well give him cause to smile …

This hit piece and that of Ms. Keating’s do far more to illuminate your own personal characters than that of Ted Sampley.  Ted believed in a cause, sacrificed himself and dedicated his life to that cause.  Few people leave this world with the ability to have this said about them; even fewer in that select group are reporters.  Therefore, in the end, Ted still wins.

“That Small Number is … 59”



Lynn O’Shea, the Director of Research for the National Alliance of Families, best be the recepient of the Activist of the Year at the 2009 Annual Meetings.  Her dedication to the POW/MIA Issue has no equal.   Over the past few months Lynn has pulled together some very important documentation from the 1992 Senate Select Committee that finally answers the question we have all been asking since the final committee report came out, “What is the small number that was left behind after Operation Homecoming?”

Lynn has found the answer as well as the names of these 59 men.  I am sure that many families will read this list with interest. The additional piece of information is that these 59 are just the beginning of a list, this number is the minimum of “the small number” that were still alive after Homecoming that the Senate Select Committee’s final report referenced.

 After reading her report in this month’s special edition of the Alliance’s Bits N Pieces, of all the amazing information contained in it, the thing that astounds me most is the exclusion of Daniel Nidds, one of the well-known Mangino 4, from the list.  The remaining three, Mangino, Winters and Hasenbeck are all on the list.  Why is Daniel excluded?  What information did the investigators have that allowed them to exclude Nidds? This, in my mind, can’t be reasoned away as a clerical error by any means.  Seperating one of the Mangino 4 from the others would have jumped out at even the greenest of researchers.  It would be like Fred Astaire without Ginger Rogers – Mikey without Minnie – Sonny without Cher; it just doesn’t happen.

Here is the direct link to the report.  Grab a cup of coffee, put your feet up and read.  You will be blown away!

If only Lynn worked was in charge at DPMO! 


The POW Warrior

December’s Bits N Pieces and House Res. 111 Update

SSGT Keith “Matt” Maupin
Will he be the next generation of forgotten Servicemen?
Not if we can help it!

 I hope you all are enjoying the blessing of the Season and I am sure we all look forward to the hopes of 2008.  As the end of the year is just around the corner, I wanted to share the following with you ~

 First, as of the date and time of this post, we are at an amazing 256 co-sponsors for House Resolution 111.   Congratulations to all who are working so hard on making this Select Committee a reality!  I know there are some big steps left to get this bill to the floor of the House but, I have supreme confidence is what we all can do collectively.   So as not to reiterate what Lynn has in this edition of Bits N Pieces, there is still some work to do.  Together we can make this happen.

And now, the most recent Bits N Pieces, from the Research Director of the National Alliance of Families, Lynn O’Shea ….


National Alliance of Families

For The Return of America’s Missing Servicemen

World War II – Korea – Cold War – Vietnam – Gulf Wars

Dolores Alfond – 425-881-1499

Lynn O’Shea — 718-846-4350

Web Site


December 22, 2007

A Christmas Story – This past week a father and his three children became lost in a California snowstorm while searching for the perfect Christmas tree. They were rescued after three days in the woods. As CNN reported “A few seconds could have made all the difference in the fate of a family who spent three days lost in the snowy California woods, according to the helicopter pilot who found them.”

“The father of the family, Frederick Dominguez, came running out of the culvert where they had sought shelter when family members heard the sound of the California Highway Patrol helicopter Wednesday afternoon. “Had he not been moving, we would not have seen him, because the tree line was very dense and he came climbing out of the culvert,” helicopter pilot Steve Ward told CNN on Thursday. “We were just very lucky.”

“Dominguez had arranged branches to spell the word “help” near the culvert, but rescuers didn’t see that until they were turning the helicopter around after spotting Dominguez.”Imagine what DPMO would have said had they spotted that “help” signal. Shadows…. Snow drifts…. An Anomaly…. Spelling Snow…..####################

256 Co-Sponsors and Counting – As of this writing H.Res 111 calling for the formation in the House of Representative a Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs has 256 co-sponsors This gives us more then enough votes for passage. Unfortunately, H.Res 111 remains bogged down in the Rules Committee. While more co-sponsors will be helpful, we must focus efforts on Speaker of the House Nancy Peolsi and Chairperson of the House Rules Committee Louise McIntosh-Slaughter.After the holiday rush, please call the toll free number 1-866-727-4894 for the Capitol switchboard. The first call is to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Ask Speaker Pelosi to request a mark up of H. Res 111, in the Rules Committee to provide for, at minimum, a full two-year review of all POW/MIA matters and direct upon completion of mark-up that H.Res 111 be sent to the House floor for a vote. The second call is to Rules Committee Chairperson Louise McIntosh Slaughter. Again, ask that H. Res 111, be marked up for, at minimum, a full two-year review of all POW/MIA matters and send H.Res 111 to a vote.

Letters should be faxed to:

Honorable Nancy Pelosi                                                     Honorable Louise McIntosh-Slaughter

United States House of Representatives                         United States House of Representatives

235 Cannon House Office Building                                    2469 Rayburn House Office

BuildingWashington, D.C. 20515                                       Washington, D.C. 20515

Fax: 202-225-8259                                                             Fax: 202-225-7822

We are the voice of the voiceless. Let’s make our voices heard.


This will be the last Bits N Pieces for 2007. During this Holiday Season, please keep a special spot in your heart for Scott Speicher, Matt Maupin, Ahmed K. Altaie, Alex Jimenez and Byron Fouty held as Prisoners of War somewhere in Iraq, for the American’s reported alive in Southeast Asia in 1998, and all our POWs and MIAs in North Korea, China and the former Soviet Union, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

To our Troops Deployed – You are in our prayers, stay safe and may you all be home soon.To our POW/MIA family members, veterans and concerned citizens, we wish you a Happy Chanukah, a Merry Christmas and a healthy and Happy New Year.For this holiday season we, once again, share our favorite poem and Bible verse with you.

“Though we’ve come a long way, there is much, much more to be done.

The deck is stacked against us. Our adversaries are well-entrenched

and well-financed and scared of any change in the status quo.


In the long run, we will prevail.

We hold the trump card, folks and when the dust clears, and the dense morning fog burns off,

when we clear our wire of sappers, and the gunships go home,

by God, we’ll still be there, because what we seek to do is right.”

— Author Unknown

“Thus saith the Lord; Refrain thy voice from weeping,

and thine eyes from tears;

for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord:


and they shall come again from the land of the enemy;

and there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord,

that thy children shall come again to their own border.”

JerMIAh 31:16–17:

Let us all work together in the New Year to make the words


“I’ll be home for Christmas”


more than just a dream for our POW/MIAs.



Dolores and Lynn and the Board of Directors of the National Alliance of Families



House Resolution 111 – To Establish a House Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs


They are there.  They are waiting for us.  How much longer will they have to wait?  Hopefully, not very long.   As of posting this message today there are now 226 co-sponsors for this resolution.  We all know how fabulous this is, many have worked very hard and dedicated much if not all of their efforts into getting these co-sponsors.  But we know we can do better.  We can and we will.  This is now crunch time.  We need to focus on those key Representatives who have influence with the Armed Services Committee and with the Rules Committee.   We all are getting the e-mails from Lynn and updates from Roger, you can do it! 

It is simple, you don’t have to be an expert on the issue to convince these staff people to get their bosses’ ears and listen.   If you are a family member, tell your personal story, if you are an activist who is familiar with a specific case, share that story. 

Lynn has put together some great general information sheets to share with your congressional offices.  You can find what you need here. It can’t get much easier than that!

Do it! You will feel so great when you see a Represenative who you contacted on the list of co-sponsors and you will have done something concrete for those still wanting to come home.

Thank you