Potential prize hostage

Chilling.  President Eisenhower's son was the last son of a sitting president to serve in the front lines of a conflict (emphasis mine):
As the time for my deployment approached, I discussed my intentions with my father. We met at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago, just after the Republican convention, and I explained my position. My father, as a professional officer himself, understood and accepted it. However, he had a firm condition: under no circumstances must I ever be captured. He would accept the risk of my being killed or wounded, but if the Chinese Communists or North Koreans ever took me prisoner, and threatened blackmail, he could be forced to resign the presidency. I agreed to that condition wholeheartedly. I would take my life before being captured.
I can not even contemplate myself in Ike's shoes ... to be able to ask for that assurance.

I'd never thought about it this way, but as the author points out:
A prize hostage also endangers those around him. The British soldiers serving in Afghanistan alongside Prince Harry were in exceptional danger until he was withdrawn.

He goes on to suggest:
My inescapable conclusion, therefore, is that the assignment to Iraq or Afghanistan of a service member who is the son or daughter of a president or vice president does not make sense. No matter what the young person's desires or career needs are, they are of little importance compared with ensuring that our leaders are able to stay focused on the important business of the nation — and not worrying about the fate of a child a world away. Personally, I would like to see someone of stature like Secretary of Defense Robert Gates arbitrarily reassign them. Too much is at stake.

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