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117 ARW Holds POW/MIA Walk

  • Published
  • By Maj. Lisa Weaver
  • 117th Air Refueling Wing Executive Officer
Members of the 117th Air Refueling Wing walked 16 miles here at Veterans Park on Friday in honor of Prisoners of War and Missing in Action service members.

POW/MIA Recognition Day is a national holiday that honors former and current prisoners of war and service members still missing in action.

Tech Sgt. Matthew Crawford from the 99th Air Refueling Squadron organized the event. "I just want people to take a second and be thankful for what they have and think about the misery and the pain these people went through. And for those that are still missing, their families, their loved ones that don't have that closure, just think about them for a second, reflect on that," said Crawford.

Lt. Col. Michael Phillips, a pilot from the 117th Air Refueling Wing, participated in the walk. Phillips' father was an F-4 weapon systems operator in the Air Force and was shot down during the Vietnam War. His father was never found and was declared missing in action.

The Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office reports the latest figure for those still missing abroad as more than 83,000. This year the 117 ARW walked one foot for every missing person, which is roughly the equivalent of 16 miles.

Airmen from the 117 ARW carried the POW/MIA flag and kept it in motion the entire 16 miles. "This symbolizes our vigilance and also our commitment to these people and their loved ones," said Crawford.