Bring Our Heroes Home Act Introduced by Reps. Pappas, Fulcher

January 16, 2020
Press Release

Bipartisan, bicameral legislation would provide for an expedited and coordinated process of collecting, declassifying, and making public records of Prisoners of War (POW) and Missing in Action (MIA) service members.

The bill is a companion to S. 2794, the Bring Our Heroes Home Act, introduced by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) in November

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) and Congressman Russ Fulcher (ID-01) introduced the Bring Our Heroes Home Act, bipartisan, bicameral legislation that would expedite and coordinate the process of collecting, declassifying, and making public records of Prisoners of War (POW) and Missing in Action (MIA) service members.

The Bring Our Heroes Home Act would provide for the creation of the Missing Armed Forces Personnel Records Collection within the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and require the expeditious transmission and public disclosure of Missing Armed Forces Personnel records to this newly created office.

“I can’t imagine the feeling of families who have waited years and in many cases decades to learn any information at all about their loved ones who are missing in action or unaccounted for,” said Congressman Pappas. “For far too long, the federal government has not had an expedited process in place to declassify and make public the necessary information that could bring peace to these families. This tangible step towards identification and repatriation reaffirms the commitment to our nation’s service members and their families with a clear message: you are not forgotten.”

“Idaho families should not have to deal with bureaucratic red tape just to learn about the brave history of their loved-ones. I am proud to introduce this bicameral, bipartisan legislation to ensure families have access to the stories of sacrifice by their family members,” said Congressman Russ Fulcher (ID-01).

“The Bring Our Heroes Home Act will mandate comprehensive declassification of information that can provide answers for families who have waited decades to learn what happened to their missing loved ones. The Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs fully supports this legislation and looks forward to its swift passage,” said Richard Downes, President, and Donna Knox, Legislative Liaison, for the Portsmouth, NH-based Coalition. 

A great number of records relating to Missing Armed Forces Personnel have not been identified, located, or transferred to the National Archives following review and declassification, and there has been insufficient priority placed on identifying, locating, reviewing, or declassifying records relating to Missing Armed Forces Personnel.

This legislation addresses that backlog and streamlines the process to allow for records to be made public in a timely manner, collected in a centralized location, and make it possible to finally bring our service members home once and for all.

Congressman Pappas introduced the POW/MIA Flag Act in the House in March 2019 with Rep. Jack Bergman (MI-01), which would require the POW/MIA Flag to be displayed whenever the American flag is displayed on prominent federal properties. That legislation passed the House and Senate and was signed into law by President Trump in November.

Congressman Pappas’s District is home to America’s longest consecutively-held POW/MIA vigil in the United States in Meredith, New Hampshire, which has been held every Thursday night for more than 30 years.

The bill is a companion bill to S. 2794, the Bring Our Heroes Home Act (BOHHA), introduced by U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire) and has received endorsements from three major Veterans Service Organizations, including Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Veterans (AMVETS) and the Coalition of Families of Korean and Cold War POW/MIAs.