A Letter From The Publisher, Feb. 19, 1973

FIRST there were years of anxiety and uncertainty for the families of American war prisoners. Then, for the lucky ones whose men had survived, the final long days of anticipation. In gathering material for this week's cover story on the returning P.O.W.s, TIME correspondents waited out the difficult hours with a number of the families, while staffers on the other side of the world watched the preparations to care for the first freed servicemen.

In some cases, we had become acquainted with the wives and children months ago. Boston Correspondent Philip Taubman began visiting Carol North and her four daughters in November....

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