SWEET, ROBERT JAMES
Name: Robert James Sweet
Rank/Branch: Lieutenant/US Air Force
Unit:
Age: 24
Home City: Wood County WV
Date of Loss: mid-February 1991
Country of Loss:
Loss Coordinates:
Status: Prisoner of War
Status in 2002: Released 03/05/91
Acft/Vehicle/Ground:
Other Personnel in Incident: (unknown)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project  09 March 1991 from one
or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,
published sources, interviews. Updated by the POW NETWORK 2002.
REMARKS: OPERATION DESERT STORM
SYNOPSIS: During the early weeks of the Middle East war, each time a
Coalition serviceman was shot down or captured, extensive media coverage
followed. The public and POW/MIA families alike had the information they
wanted at the touch of a dial.
When Coalition POWs began being showed on Iraqi television, the world
suffered with their familes as they haltingly gave coerced "peace"
statements. This propaganda effort on the part of the Iraqis actually had a
positive effect in the United States. Families at least knew their missing
loved one was alive, and could assess their mental and physical condition
from propaganda interviews.
Then the "information gap" began. The Pentagon announced that it would no
longer release any information other than name, rank, age and branch of
service of missing or captured personnel. This step was taken, they said, to
protect the well-being of prisoners and to avoid jepeordizing search and
rescue efforts for the missing.
Pentagon briefings and television reports listed the loss of aircraft and
statistics, and the human element of the war was gone. Even long after
search and rescue efforts would cease, no information was released on
missing personnel. Intelligence reports indicating "missing" people were
captured were largely ignored. In the 6 weeks following the televised
propaganda interviews by Coalition POWs, only one Coalition serviceman was
declared POW - and even then, no information was released about him.
The name of Air Force Lt. Robert James Sweet, age 24, appeared on Pentagon
missing lists in mid-February 1991. There has been no other information
released by media or government sources about Lt. Robert J. Sweet.
Then on March 6, 1991, Robert J. Sweet was released in a group of 15
American POWs. The group had apparently been held near an intelligence
complex at Basra.
Robert J. Sweet lives near Parkersburg, West Virginia and his family is
there.