American Ex-Prisoners of War
A not-for-profit, Congressionally-chartered veterans’ service organization advocating for former prisoners of war and their families.

Established April 14, 1942

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for membership in AXPOW?
All former prisoners of war, military and civilian, are eligible along with their family members, e.g. spouse, children, parents, siblings and grandchildren over the age 18. The organization does not have an auxiliary and all members have voting rights.

How do I become a member of AXPOW and what are the dues?
To become a member of American Ex-Prisoners of War, you must fill out the application and send it to National Headquarters in Arlington, Texas. Click here for dues structure and document requirements . All memberships include a subscription to the EX-POW BULLETIN.

How can I locate a lost buddy?
If your buddy is a member of the organization, we can put you in touch with HIM. if not, we have an Information Column in our magazine, EX-POW BULLETIN, where we can print a request of our members. They might know your buddy or his location. This service is free. How can I verify an American Prisoner of War status and find out what POW camp they were held in? Contact National Headquarters at HQ,

Where can I get information on civilian former POWs (internees)?
American Ex-Prisoners of War has a Civilian Ex-POW Committee. Please contact Sally Morgan at for more information.

How can I order a camp description or MedSearch packet?
For order blanks for all the Medical Research information, click here.

Why aren't my camp descriptions listed on the MedSearch page?
All camp descriptions are official documents from the United States Archives. If your camp is not listed then a description was not obtained from the National Archives.

How can I contact someone to help me with my VA claim?
For a list of service officers, click here. These NSOs are trained to help you with the paperwork involved with filing a claim. They are listed by state so find the one nearest you.

Who is the National Director for my area?
For a list of all the National Directors and Officers, click here.

Is there a chapter in my area?
For a list of chapters and their key contact person, click here. They are listed by state to make your search easier.

Are my donations tax deductible?
The American Ex-Prisoners of War is a not-for-profit veterans service organization under the IRS designation 501(c)4. As such, donations from individuals are not tax deductible. However, our donors can rest assured that 100% of all donations are used by AXPOW to support our programs and allow us to live up to our slogan: “We exist to help those who cannot help themselves."

We employ no fundraisers or telemarketers.

Where do I send donations?
Donations to any of the AXPOW funds may be sent to National Headquarters in Arlington, Texas. The address is:
American Ex-Prisoners of War
3201 East Pioneer Parkway #40
Arlington, Texas 76010-5396

When and where is the next National Convention?
The 2010 convention will be in Albany GA, September 21, 2010-September 26, 2010. The Board of Directors' meeting is Wednesday and the banquet will be held on Saturday. For more information, please contact National Headquarters at or look in the EX-POW Bulletin.

I'm not eligible for membership in AXPOW. How can I subscribe to the EX-POW BULLETIN?
The EX-POW BULLETIN is published 9 times a year. The cost is $40 per calendar year. Send your subscription request to National Headquarters. Please note that if you are eligible for membership, your annual dues are equal to the subscription price.

How do I submit articles or find out advertising rates for the EX-POW BULLETIN?
Submit articles to the Editor of the EX-POW BULLETIN, by USPS mail, email or fax. The Editor's email is The fax number is 508-760-2008. The address is:
23 Cove View Drive
South Yarmouth MA 02664
Where do I send obituaries for TAPS?
Please send death notices to the Editor at the above address.

I'm moving. How do I change my mailing address?
Send a written notice to National Headquarters at least 30 days prior to your move. Your magazine address will be updated accordingly.

What is the National POW Museum and where is it?
The 1970 legislation responsible for establishing Andersonville National Historic Site instructed the site "to interpret the role of prisoners-of-war camps in history" and "to commemorate the sacrifice of Americans who lost their lives in such camps." To that end, the exhibits in the National Prisoner of War Museum serve as a memorial to all American prisoners of war. The museum opened in 1998 and is dedicated to the American men and women who have suffered as POWs.

It is located in Andersonville, Georgia on the site of the Civil War prison camp. The museum tells the story of prisoners of war. Its displays include artifacts from the Revolutionary War to the present. There are videos of former POWs telling of their experiences. For more information and hours of operation, please visit Andersonville's website at:

I have a POW/MIA bracelet from the Vietnam War. Where can I find out more information about it?
Contact National Headquarters and they can give you information on the status of the person on your bracelet. Also visit the National League of Families at:

How can I get a black POW/MIA flag?
See the Quartermaster’s Store. Click here.

Where can I get replacement medals and military patches?
The government will replace your medals free of charge, visit this site for information and instructions.

How can I find out if someone was a prisoner of war?
National Headquarters has a database of former prisoners of war who returned to US control. You can also go online to to access the National Archives databases.

How do I arrange for a burial in a VA national cemetery?
Veterans with discharges other than dishonorable, their spouses and dependent children may be eligible for burial in a VA national cemetery.
  • Gravesites in Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries cannot be reserved in advance. However, families are encouraged to prepare in advance by discussing cemetery options, by collecting the veteran's military information, and by calling the cemetery where burial is desired prior to the time of need.
  • VA will provide a gravesite, grave liner, headstone or marker, Presidential Memorial Certificate, US flag, perpetual care of the gravesite, and will open and close the grave at no cost to the veteran's family. Services provided by funeral directors and other related costs, usually including transportation, must be paid for by the veteran's family.
  • VA's Veterans Benefits Administration pays a burial and plot allowance to those veterans eligible by law. For information, please call the nearest VA regional office at 1-800-827-1000.
  • The veteran's full name; rank; branch of service; date of entry and discharge; serial, social security and VA claim numbers; date and place of birth; and, date of death should be provided, if possible, to establish eligibility for burial in a VA national cemetery.
  • A copy of the veteran's official military discharge document with the character of discharge is also required. If this document is not available, a copy may be obtained from the National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Record's Office, 9700 Page Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63132-5100. This should be done prior to the time of need.
  • Your funeral director should be making the arrangements with the national cemetery for the veteran's family.
Am I eligible for a Purple Heart? How do I apply?
POW Purple Heart Eligibility: Former American POWs as well as those POWs who were killed or died in prison camp may be eligible to receive the Purple Heart medal. President Kennedy started the procedure by signing Executive Order 11-1016 on April 25, 1962. Until that time, service members could receive the Purple Heart only during a formally declared state of war. Kennedy's order made it possible to award the medal even without a formal declaration of war. The 1962 order didn't specifically mention POWs or their eligibility because of wounds and injuries suffered in captivity. An Army policy change dated Sept. 27, 1962, allowed Purple Heart awards henceforth to members who might become prisoners of war and be wounded or injured by their captors. Neither Kennedy's executive order nor the Army change was retroactive. No former prisoners of war of any service, living and dead, who were wounded or injured during captivity before April 25, 1962, were eligible until Congress passed legislation as part of the 1996 National Defense Authorization Act. Prior to the 1996 legislation none of the 140,000 U.S. service members who surrendered to the Japanese in the Philippines in May 1942 could qualify for a Purple Heart nor were the thousands of former POWs who came later in World War II and in the Korean War.

In legislation signed in 2008, Former American POWs who were killed or died in prison camps are also eligible to receive the Purple Heart medal.

To receive the award supporting documentation is required and may include copies of repatriation medical exams, or a witness statement from a cell mate, for example, stating their buddy was abused at hands of captors. Captors must have deliberately inflicted the injuries or wounds. To apply complete a Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records, available through the RAO/RSO offices, the Office of Veterans Affairs, or on-line at The supporting documentation must be included. Applications should be mailed to the appropriate address indicated on the back of the SF 180. For more on the Purple Heart's history, eligibility and information on the Military Order of the Purple Heart, visit the organization's Web site at http//

American Ex-Prisoners of War National Headquarters PO Box 3444 Arlington,TX 76007-3444
817-649-2979 Fax 817-649-0109