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Shreve American Legion post honors POWs/MIAs

The Daily Record - 9/24/2018

SHREVE — State Rep. Scott Wiggam, a U.S. Air Force veteran, stopped by Shreve American Legion Post 67 on Friday night as a storm blew through the area.

But the weather wasn’t going to stop Wiggam or members of the veterans group Rolling Thunder, Chapter 2, from their mission of honoring those service members still listed as POW (prisoner of war) or MIA (missing in action).

Friday was POW/?MIA Recognition Day. Wiggam was on hand to honor those members of the military whose families have been in limbo wondering of the whereabouts of their loved ones who never made it home from their service abroad.

“Jim Smith, president of Rolling Thunder (Chapter 2), approached me,” said Wiggam. “His organization has spearheaded a movement in Ohio to memorialize the servicemen and women who have valiantly served our nation in uniform and never made it home. That it why I sponsored House Bill 254.”

The bill, titled the POW/?MIA Remembrance Act, will take effect Nov. 2, 2018. It will require the POW/?MIA flag to be displayed at certain buildings operated by the State of Ohio on Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, National POW/?MIA Recognition Day and Veterans’ Day.

“This past Memorial Day I watched the POW/?MIA flag play a significant role in the ceremony,” Wiggam said. “However, instead of being on stage, the flag and the flag bearer stood at a distance to remind us of the separation that our POW/?MIA individuals would have felt when isolated from his fellow service members.”

Wiggam explained that the legislation is an act to recognize those individuals’ service to the nation and ensure that their memory and sacrifice is never forgotten.

Also attending the ceremony was retired U.S. Army Col. Mark Cappone, who serves as the assistant director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services.

“Our nation never stops seeking to find our missing (service members),” Cappone continued. “The evolution of technology and the ability to analyze remains and identify them and bring our fallen home is growing. We will never stop looking, we will never stop remembering, we will never stop honoring. It is a never-ending search and we won’t give up.”

After Wiggam and Cappone addressed a small crowd of veterans and their family members, those in attendance moved outdoors to hear members of Rolling Thunder, Chapter 2, conduct a POW/?MIA roll call ceremony of Ohio veterans that remain unaccounted for.

“Remember this,” said Smith during the ceremony. “There are 86,628 American service personnel from WWl to the present still missing from previous conflicts. Do not forget those that gave the ultimate sacrifice and do not give up on those left behind.”

Reporter Dan Starcher can be reached at 330-287-1626 or dstarcher@the-daily-record.com. He is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/?WoosterWriter.

CREDIT: DAN STARCHER

 
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