I know two of them personally. One of them has been seen and talked to by other westerners. These so-called "Investigative Journalists" had no concept of "Category 3." When the Black man denied being a POW/MIA, the journalists closed the case and the female went off the rails. At the time I could not really expound on this group of people, other than to say I knew McKinley Nolan. The name he now goes by is Ly Bear. (English translation; turns right or left). I do know this; this lady is now trying to sell a book on the POW/MIA issue. But why not? Any number of other people claim to have inside information on this subject and have written books. But the only ones that have come close to actually cutting to the heart of the issue are: (1) Kiss The Boys Goodbye (2) The Men We Left Behind (3) Soldiers Of Misfortune (4) Moscow Bound and last, but not least, (5) Spite House.

What many people do not understand is how the people in Category 3 have assisted in the disinformation on POW/MIAs. These people have become a great asset to Vietnamese Counter Intelligence and certain sorry members of our own Government. This latter group of "MIA Hunters" has members from the Executive and Legislative Branches, including serving Military Officers. I used to disregard the reports from agents and ethnic groups claiming that US Officials had seen and provided money to support people in Category 3. I now wish to state, that I believe this is true, without question. They have been told what will happen if they return. As Sergeant First Class "Sau Sang" (Number Six Cross) stated; "The Law is the Law and my former Commander can do nothing for me." He also stated the following, after showing his Vietnamese ID Card. "I am Vietnamese, I am no longer an American." This is where the Sergeant is wrong. He not only is an American, he is still a Sergeant First Class in the US Army. In fact he has been promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant. He is on the list of POW/MIAs and he is on The Wall in Washington. The Commander he refers to is me. He says "The Law is the Law" and he is correct. If there is any Senior Military Officer or civilian, including the President of the United States of America, who believe they can charge this man, without my participation, you had better read "The Law" the Sergeant refers to.

The "fate" of the NCO referred to, known locally as Ong Tay (The Foreigner), has been used to try and discredit me, even with his family. An insinuation has been made that perhaps I left him, instead of the other way around. Some have even speculated that I might have killed him. This falls into line with the unsavory, under the table claims that perhaps I shot my own Commander, LTC Richard Schott. These same people of course, vehemently deny ever making such statements, but they have.

There are "Intelligence Reports" about the Sergeant "heroically charging the enemy," before being "killed." One of the witnesses is a Vietnamese Doctor. That Doctor was with me when he was captured and I was the one bringing pee on the enemy and not my "heroic" Sergeant. He had been captured hours before me. A review of intelligence reports will reveal that the Vietnamese said they were "having trouble with him and he will come later." I figure he died in an air strike. I was wrong. The trouble they had with him, was his reluctance to be incarcerated with me, once he knew I had survived. Put that in your "fantasyland" computer and give it a whirl.

These people were captured on the battlefield. They did not receive the "Crossover" number until much later. But they have them now. I am now forced to consider the unthinkable. Did McKinley Nolan only crossover after being captured on a visit to his Vietnamese girlfriend? His crossover has been verified by a number of people and documents in his own hand. I am one of the people who verified his existence as late as 1973. His "desertion" as claimed by the US Government, is going to have to be proven to me. I no longer believe it. That's why he is Category 3.

The following individuals may also be in Category 3. Robert Greer and Fred Schrekengost. Both carried as captured, but crossing over later. Earl Clyde Weatherman is not in this Category. I reach this conclusion based on his escape from the Brig and his later "death." The reports and contacts since that supposed death, including the description in Frank Anton's recent book are, I believe, exactly what the Vietnamese and "E.C." wanted his fellow POWs to think. "He is dead." However, old "E.C." has been reported alive in the nineties. If Anton and the others wanted to identify "the spy in their midst," look no further than Weatherman.

My Sergeant did say one other thing. "That American is dead, now I am Vietnamese." Yes, so are Earl Clyde and McKinley Nolan. "Killed in an escape attempt?" "Thrown down a well?" Baloney! It always seemed strange that the Vietnamese only killed the guys who "crossed over." Now I know it to be a damned lie. They didn't and the reports of their "heroic escapes" and "battlefield exploits" are a myth. We put these people on The Wall and pay their death benefits to families. But, Garwood has none of these honors. HE WAS NOT CATEGORY 3!

But there will be no more Garwoods'. By ignoring the continued existence of these men, the Vietnamese and our own government have committed a War Crime. This outweighs anything these people have ever done.

Copyright 1998, by Mark A. Smith, Major, USA, Retired

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