We hear the mantra of “No Man left behind” (referring to both men a women) coming from the Military. But the left behind principle has more to do with those living. Although it does pertain to those that are MIA (Missing in Action). The “No Man left Behind” is seen as ---no matter the cost--- that no stone will be left un-turned to get them home if they fall into enemy hands or fall in battle. This is one promise that spurs soldiers to fight even harder for their country.
One of the most dangerous—and revered—missions of the Vietnam War was the U.S. attempt to rescue 65 American POWs held at North Vietnam’s notorious SonTay prison. A 116 plane air unit, composed of fighters, gunships and helicopters, flew hundreds of miles over mountainous territory at treetop level to the prison camp—just 23 miles from Hanoi, then one of the most heavily defended areas in North Vietnam.
As the assault force attacked the camp during a hard fought battle—killing more than 100 North Vietnamese guards in the process—the raiders discovered that the prisoners had been moved, and they were forced to return empty-handed. Yet when the POWS learned of the attempt, morale soared. According to one report, the POWs no longer felt abandoned or forgotten. Though unsuccessful, the raid illustrates the kind of extraordinary effort those serving expect their nation to make for them.