By Richard Zowie— On Thursday, Sept. 26, I covered the POW/MIA remembrance ceremony here in Fredericksburg. Jack Ledford, whom I wrote about two weeks ago, spoke of his 555 days as a prisoner of war in the Korean War.
These ceremonies are always very emotional, when you consider the physical, psychological and emotional pain the survivors went through and when you wonder what happened to those still officially listed as Missing in Action.
At home, I have a bracelet of an MIA helicopter pilot, Chief Warrant Officer Frederick Cristman. His chopper — hit by enemy gunfire and losing transmission oil pressure —crashed in Laos on March 19, 1971.
When I was younger and very naïve, I thought perhaps he was still alive in a prison in Laos. Now, I believe it’s as simple as this: his remains have yet to be recovered. Most likely, he died immediately in the crash.