Written by Sen. Bob Smith
Some Never Forget is, of course, fiction. However, the similarity between this fictional novel and truth is chilling, heartbreaking and sad.
My first introduction to the Vietnam War was as a Navy sailor in the Gulf of Tonkin aboard the USS Navasota (AO-106) in 1966. Several years later as a freshman member of Congress in 1985, I was fascinated by the numerous POW live sighting reports that kept pouring out of Southeast Asia, even though the war was “officially” over in 1973, when the last plane load of POWs returned home. I joined with former Congressman Billy Hendon of North Carolina and a few other congressmen to investigate these reports. These investigations led to numerous trips to Southeast Asia, China and Russia. After reading thousands of reports and documents and interviewing countless witnesses over the years, I found myself finding more questions than answers. After being elected to the US Senate in 1990, I founded and co-chaired the POW/MIA Select Committee to try to ascertain the truth about our missing men. When I left the Senate in 2003, it was a huge personal disappointment that so many families still waited for answers from their own government about the status of their missing loved ones.
Mr. West’s characters, Walter and Meredith Greene, spent their lives searching for the truth about their MIA son, Tommy. There are hundreds of real families who have endured the plight of the Greenes. Families who have seen the status of their loved ones changed from MIA to KIA without providing supporting evidence. Moms, dads, brothers, sisters and spouses dealing with persistent lies from their own government and having to fight for decades to gain access to long de-classified documents that might provide answers and comfort. This, sadly, is fact not fiction. Men were abandoned and it is chilling to think that our own government would send our men into harm’s way, and then when they were lost, ignore the desperate pleas of their loved ones, who only wanted to know the truth. Walter Greene probably did go from “sensible to conspiratorial” as Mr. West suggests in his novel. However, there is plenty of hard evidence both in the fictional account and in real life to warrant his catharsis.
It is my profound hope after reading Some Never Forget that the reader will conclude that “none should ever forget”.
Former Congressman and U.S. Senator from New Hampshire (1985-2003)
- Read Synopsis to Some Never Forget