"If you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide to feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind. "
The Vietnam War and World War II were both devastating conflicts in which many men and women lost their lives. These casualties of war are often used to indicate the severity of the conflicts. However, another factor that needs to be considered as a devastating effect of war is how many men and women are not only killed, but how many of them are unaccounted for, missing in battle, and taken prisoner.
In both wars, prisoners were taken and held as POW's. A POW, or prisoner of war, is a "person who surrenders to (or is taken by) the enemy in time of war." Nations have signed agreements concerning the humane treatment of prisoners of war. In World War II and the Vietnam War, American POW's were treated badly, the guidelines of the Geneva Conference were broken, and the soldiers taken captive suffered from lasting effects.
The Geneva Conference of 1949 set the rules for holding Prisoners of War. They state, "every prisoner of war was entitled to adequate food and medical care and had the right to exchange correspondence and receive parcels. He was required to observe ordinary military discipline
and courtesy, but he could attempt to escape at his own risk. Once recaptured, he...