Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 97: Establishing a Governor's Commission on Southeast Asia Prisoners of War, and defining its powers and duties

Date: 03/06/1973
Issuer: Francis W. Sargent
Amended by: Executive Order 98

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, many residents of Massachusetts have served in the Armed Forces of the United States since 1958 and have subsequently entered the Vietnam Conflict: and

WHEREAS, in service to their country and state many of these men had been captured by the enemy and had been forced to remain in prisoner of war camps for the duration of the Vietnam Conflict; and

WHEREAS, during that time. American prisoners have virtually lost all contact with their families and communities for as long as 7 years; and

WHEREAS, the termination of the Vietnam Conflict, designated as January 27, 1973 brings with it the return of our prisoners of war to social environments unfamiliar to them:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Francis W. Sargent, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, acting under the provisions of all authority conferred upon me by law, do hereby issue the following order to promote the general welfare of the Commonwealth.

Section 1. There will be a Governor's Commission on Southeast Asia Prisoners of War, which will function in full cooperation with all aspects of government, business and the community to help those returning prisoners of war assimilate into the society.

Section 2. The Commission shall consist of not more than fifteen members, appointed by the Governor and representing various segments of the community including, but not limited to, business, labor, POW wives, related government agencies, and other organizations. The chairperson and deputy chairperson of said committee shall be designated by the Governor.

Section 3. The Commission shall be charged with the responsibility for:

  • Reviewing the current range of benefits available to all veterans through the Commonwealth's agencies.
  • Insuring that returning prisoners of war receive all benefits to which they are entitled without delays.
  • Examining the unique set of circumstances surrounding the POW's return to his community.
  • Examining the difficulties the POW will encounter as he begins to re-adjust to the society.
  • Presenting specific recommendations to the Governor as to what further action can be taken by any segment of the community that will help ease the transition back to civilian life for the POW, taking into consideration his employment, educational, and psychological needs.

Section 4. The Commission shall present regular reports to the Governor the last of which shall be 12 months from this date.

Section 5. The Commission shall meet regularly and at intervals necessary to effectively carry out the mandate of this order.

Section 6. I hereby instruct that all agencies of the Commonwealth give full support to returning prisoners of war and to the efforts of the Commission on Prisoners of War.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this sixth day of March in the year of our Lord, one thousand nine hundred and seventy-three and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and ninety-seventh.



Commonwealth of Massachusetts


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