From the Vietnam War grew a movement among veterans groups and families to make sure no prisoners of war were forgotten.
That was a different time and a different type of conflict; POWs were not uncommon amid the jungle warfare and airstrikes.
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Today, only one soldier is classified by the Department of Defense as "missing/captured" in current international conflicts: Bowe Bergdahl, a 25-year-old Army sergeant from a small town in Idaho who has been in captivity in Afghanistan since June 30, 2009.
But the familiar refrain of "you are not forgotten" is as important as ever for members of a local veterans group, whose stated mission is to shed light on POW-MIA issues.
The 70 or so members of Rolling Thunder Chapter 1, who get together for monthly meetings at the VFW post in Warrenville, are trying to get the word out about Bergdahl's plight by putting up billboards and petitioning Congress.
They hope doing so will help secure Bergdahl's safe return home.
"We're requesting people call their senators and representatives and tell them that this country should do whatever necessary to bring him home," said Bill Atkinson, a Rolling Thunder member and Navy veteran from Carol Stream.
Last month, the group raised money to put up three billboards with Bergdahl's name and picture and a phone number for Congress. The billboards were located at the busy intersection of Lake Street and Barrington Road in Hanover Park and in Southwest suburban Justice and Stickney. They hope to raise the money to do so again.
Atkinson, who served in Vietnam from 1966 to 1969, said members of Rolling Thunder met with U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and other members of Congress in Washington, D.C., last year.
"They say everything's being done that can be done," Atkinson said. "We just want to make sure it stays in the limelight."
Bergdahl, 25, is assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, based at Fort Richardson, Alaska. He reportedly went missing in the Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan, an area infiltrated by the Haqqani network, which is connected to al-Qaida and the Taliban.
Since 2009, Bergdahl has appeared in five videos released online by the Taliban. During that time, the Army promoted Bergdahl in rank twice, from private first class to specialist to sergeant.
Cmdr. Bill Speaks, a Pentagon spokesman, wouldn't discuss specifics as to Bergdahl's capture but did say it "remains our highest priority to secure his safe return."
He also said the military has been providing periodic updates to Bergdahl's family in Hailey, Idaho.
Bergdahl's parents also have been receiving hundreds of letters, cards and emails of support from across the country, said Col. Tim Marsano of the Idaho National Guard, who serves as the family's media liaison.
"They're doing as well as anybody could expect under extraordinary circumstances," Marsano said. "They're coping with the help of their family, their friends and the community in which they live."
Before enlisting in the Army in 2008, Bergdahl worked as a barista at a coffee shop in Hailey, a town of about 7,000 in the central part of the state. He also participated in a sport fencing club and ballet.
Marsano said Bergdahl was "a very well-liked guy."
Locals host an annual remembrance event for their hometown son on June 30. Posters with Bergdahl's image are in the windows of businesses. Bumper stickers are also on cars throughout town.
"All throughout Hailey, I don't think you'll see a tree without a yellow ribbon on it," Marsano said. "People are definitely not forgetting, nor letting anyone else forget."
• Daily Herald news services contributed to this report.