The nation’s POW (Prisoner of War)/MIA (Missing in Action) Recognition Day is observed on Friday, September 16 this year. This day honors those who were prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action. It is an important remembrance of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in our country’s defense and remain unaccounted for.
This day holds a special place in my heart. I was honored to be part of a Navy Construction Battalion—better known as the Seabees—that supported an MIA Recovery Team in Vietnam in 2002 by providing camp resources such as electricity, tents, and water. During their 45-day journey, the MIA Recovery Team successfully found remains at three different crash sites. After the mission, the team confided that they felt like they were a part of something extremely rewarding, even more so than their daily service duties. They, much like myself, were deeply impacted and proud of their contributions towards accounting for the POWs and MIAs.
On behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of California, we want to encourage everyone to recognize and honor these soldiers and their families. You can do so by holding ceremonies marking this day of remembrance and reminding your communities how important it is to think of these individuals on the 16th and every day. While it may be easy to overlook the role that veterans play each day in America, it is impossible to forget the ones who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of California