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POW/MIA Remembrance 2011

National POW / MIA Recognition Day - The Cost of Freedom

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POW / MIA Recognition Day was September 16

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Legionaries from American Legion Post 249 along with the Auxiliary from Unit 249 held a ceremony on Friday in honor of POW / MIA Recognition Day. American Legion District Commander Carl Porter led the POW / MIA Table Remembrance Service at Bartlett Veterans Park. The names of MIA soldiers, dating back to World War II, whose remains were recovered this year and brought back to the United States names were read aloud.

At every formal military dining in or out there is a small table set up to honor our POWs and MIAs. Below is part of the very touching ceremony that was read Friday morning by Tenth District Commander, Carl Porter over the small, yet very powerful, table the ceremony was centered around. 

The table was set for one, indicating the missing from our ranks. The table is small, representing the frailty of one prisoner against his or her suppressor. The table cloth is white, symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their country's call to arms. The single rose in the vase symbolizes the blood they may have shed in the sacrifice to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States of America - This rose also reminds us as the families and friends of comrades to keep faith until they return. The red ribbon on the vase symbolizes the red ribbons worn by thousands who demand with unyeilding determination a proper account of our comrades who are not among us. The slice of lemon on the plate reminds us of their bitter faith. The salt sprinkled on the plate reminds us of the countless volunteers and families as they wait. The glass in inverted, they cannot toast with us at this time. The chair is empty, they are not here. The candle is reminescent of a light of hope which lives in our heart to illuminate their way home away from the captors to the open arms of a grateful nation. The American flag reminds us that many of them may never return and have paid the supreme sacrifice for our freedom. May God forever watch over them and protect them and their families.

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Commander Porter explains National POW / MIA Recognition Day

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Commander Sims and Glenda Vilseck read the names of the recovered this year dating back to the 40s

These are the servicemen who have been recovered so far this year that were listed as POW/MIA until they could be positively identified and their remains reverently returned to their families:

  • Maj. Thomas E. Clark, U.S. Air Force, 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 37th Tactical Fighter Wing, was lost on Feb. 8, 1969, when the F-100D aircraft he was aboard was struck by enemy fire and crashed in Savannakhet Province, Laos. His remains were identified on June 3, 2011.
  • Sgt. Lee D. Henry, Jr., U.S. Army, I Company, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Division, was lost on Aug. 7, 1950, near the Naktong River in South Korea. His remains were identified on June 3, 2011.
  • Pfc. Henry L. Gustafson, U.S. Army, B Battery, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, was lost on Dec. 31, 1950, near Hagaru-ri, North Korea. His remains were identified on June 3, 2011.
  • Pfc. John G. Lavelle, Jr., U.S. Army, B Company, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, was lost on Dec. 1, 1950, near Kunu-ri, North Korea. His remains were identified on June 2, 2011.
  • Lt. Col. Edward D. Silver and Maj. Bruce E. Lawrence, U.S. Air Force, 557th Tactical Fighter Squadron, were lost on July 5, 1968, when the F-4C aircraft they were aboard failed to return from a night armed-reconnaissance of enemy targets in Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam. Their remains were identified on May 31, 2011.
  • Col. Gilbert S. Palmer, Jr., U.S. Air Force, 14th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, was lost on Feb. 27, 1968, over Laos. His remains were identified on May 19, 2011.
  • Pfc. Aaron Pearce, U.S. Army, Medical Company, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, was lost on April 21, 1951, near the Han’tan River in South Korea. His remains were identified on May 16, 2011.
  • Cpl. Freeman Lindsey, U.S. Army, Battery A, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, was lost on Feb. 28, 1951, near Hagaru-ri, North Korea. His remains were identified on May 5, 2011.
  • Cpl. Edward M. Pedregon, U.S. Army, 31st Regimental Combat Team, was lost on Nov. 30, 1950, during a battle against the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. His remains were identified on May 4, 2011.
  • Maj. Thomas E. Reitmann, U.S. Air Force, 344th Tactical Fighter Squadron, was lost on Dec. 1, 1965, when the F-105D Thunderchief he was aboard crashed in Vietnam. His remains were identified on May 2, 2011.
  • Pvt. Herman F. Sturmer, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps, 2nd Marine Division, 8thMarine Regiment, 2nd Battalion, was lost on Nov. 20, 1943, when his unit encountered an enemy attack while landing on Tarawa Island, Republic of Kiribath. His remains were identified on April 8, 2011.
  • Col. Leo S. Boston, U.S. Air Force, 14th Air Commando Wing, 602nd Fighter Squadron, was lost on April 29, 1966, while aboard an A-1E aircraft on a search and rescue mission over North Vietnam. His remains were identified on April 4, 2011.
  • Spc. 4 Robert B. Bayne, U.S. Army, B Company, 141st Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division, was lost on March 28, 1945, while on a reconnaissance patrol near Schwegenheim, Germany. His remains were identified on March 14, 2011.
  • Sgt. Ralph W. Carlson, U.S. Army, 25th Reconnaissance Company, 25th Infantry Division, died on April 30, 1951, while captive at Suan Prisoner of War camp, North Korea. His remains were identified on Feb. 18, 2011.
  • Lt. Cmdr. William Patrick Egan, U.S. Navy, Attack Squadron 215 aboard the USS Hancock, was lost on April 29, 1966, while on a strike mission in an A-1H Skyraider aircraft over Laos. His remains were identified on Feb. 11, 2011.
  • Capt. Arnold E. Holm, Jr., and Spc. 4 Robin R. Yeakley, U.S. Army, 8th Cavalry, 11th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade, were lost on June 11, 1972, when the helicopter they were aboard crashed in Vietnam. Their remains were identified on Feb. 7, 2011.
  • Pfc. Wayne Bibbs, U.S. Army, Troop F, 8th Cavalry, 11th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade, was lost on June 11, 1972, when the OH-6A Cayuse helicopter he was aboard crashed after departing from Camp Eagle, South Vietnam. His remains were identified on Feb. 7, 2011.
  • Pfc. Peter Kubic, U.S. Army, K Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, was lost on Feb. 12, 1951, after enemy forces overran American positions near Chowon-ni, Republic of Korea. His remains were identified on Feb. 1, 2011.
  • Cpl. James S. Murray, U.S. Army, 2nd Infantry Division, was lost on Feb. 13, 1951, near Wonju, South Korea. His remains were identified on Jan. 31, 2011.
  • Capt. Melvin R. Stai, U.S. Army, 2nd Infantry Division, was lost on Jan. 29, 1951, near Wonju, South Korea. His remains were identified on Jan. 31, 2011.
  • Pfc. Floyd T. Coker, U.S. Army, K Company, 3rd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, was lost on April 15, 1951, while captive at Suan Prisoner of War camp, North Korea. His remains were identified on Jan. 31, 2011.
  • Cpl. James N. Sund, U.S. Army, 2nd Infantry Division, was lost on Feb. 12, 1951, near Chowon-ri, South Korea. His remains were identified on Jan. 31, 2011.
  • Pfc. Samuel K. Watkins, U.S. Army, 2nd Reconnaissance Company, L Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, Infantry Division, was lost on Feb. 14, 1951, when his unit was attacked near Chuam-ni, South Korea. His remains were identified on Jan. 18, 2011.
  • Spc. 4 Randall D. Dalton, U.S. Army, 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 12th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade, was lost on July 24, 1971, when the aircraft he was aboard went down in Cambodia. His remains were identified on Jan. 18, 2011.
  • Sgt. Wyatt H. Belton, U.S. Army, C Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment was lost on Nov. 28, 1950, while engaged in combat operations near Unsan, North Korea. His remains were identified on Jan. 13, 2011.
  • Sgt. Gerald F. Day, U.S. Army, 31st Regimental Combat Team, was lost on Dec. 2, 1950, near Hagaru-ri, North Korea. His remains were identified on Jan. 6, 2011.
  • Sgt. 1st Class William T. Brown and Sgt. 1st Class Donald M. Shue, U.S. Army, 5th Special Forces Group, was lost on Nov. 3, 1969, when they were attacked by enemy forces near the Laos-Vietnam border. His remains were identified on Jan. 6, 2011.
  • Capt. Darrell J. Spinler, U.S. Air Force, 1st Air Commando Squadron, was lost on June 21, 1967, after conducting an air strike mission in Lao. His remains were identified on Jan. 5, 2011.
  • Capt. James H. Graff, U.S. Air Force, 776th Troop Carrier Squadron, was lost on Oct. 3, 1966, when the C-130E he was aboard crashed in South Vietnam. His remains were identified on Jan. 5, 2011.


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