On February 17, 1988,
one month and a half after taking command of UN Observer
Group Lebanon, Lieutenant Colonel Rich Higgins was
captured by Hezbollah terrorists. At some unknown later
date, his captors murdered him! During his time in
captivity, he was interrogated and tortured, and at one
point his captors announced to the world that they
intended to try Colonel Higgins for war crimes since he
had served in Vietnam.
18 months later, Colonel Higgins’ lifeless body was
broadcast on television screens around the world,
hanging by the neck. It wasn’t until December 1991,
that his remains were recovered – dumped on a street
Although captured and held by armed enemies of the
United States while on Military Assignment with U.N.
Forces, Colonel Higgins was never designated a Prisoner
Your Military Personnel desperately need your support
and your assistance in ensuring that this does not ever
happen again. Our men and women in uniform face a new
reality in armed conflict, namely fighting terrorism.
One stark reality of war is that troops can be captured
– they can be taken as a prisoner, such as what became
of Colonel Higgins.
Currently, Uniformed Service Personnel who are
kidnapped, abducted, or otherwise taken prisoner by
terrorist factions, are not considered prisoners of war
by our own Government; instead they are considered
hostages, captives, or detainees.
There is an effort currently under way to change this
law. It is called Operation Higgins in memory of Colonel
Rich Higgins, USMC, and is a non-partisan effort to
change the law to support our military personnel. We
propose that any member of our armed forces, who is
taken prisoner by these terrorist be provided all
protections under international law(s) and be granted PW
status – not hostage, captive, or detainee.
You can do your part by writing, calling, or visiting
your elected officials and inform them that you would
support a bill that would protect future American POWs.
Encourage your elected officials to support federal
legislation that will protect their own sons and
daughters who may be called upon to defend our nation.
Additionally, you can log onto our website at http://www.operationhiggins.org
and download a printable petition that you can sign and
The time to get involved and let your voice be heard is