JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C., –
The Air Force Sergeants Association hosted an event in honor of prisoners of war and missing in action service members on Sept. 18, 2020 at Joint Base Charleston, S.C.
They began the day with the reading of the names of POW/MIA members, provided by their friends and family. They proceeded to have a run throughout the duty day carrying the POW/MIA flag and ended the day with a Retreat ceremony.
“We’re creating wristbands so the individuals who are running actually have a name for a person they are running for,” said Master Sgt. Jennifer Thomas, the NCO in charge of mission defense team assigned to the 628th Communications Squadron, and one of the coordinators for the events taking place on Friday.
Thomas was adamant about how important it is for us service members as well as the friends and family of others to never forget the sacrifice POW/MIA members have made.
“We, as military, kind of have our own club and we take care of each other,” said Thomas, reinstating the importance of respect and remembrance. “The POW/MIAs are a part of this club that we still need to remember and give thanks for them sacrificing their lives for us.”
Although the run is only scheduled during the duty day, Thomas explained they had a volunteer who agreed to carry the flag from midnight to midnight.
“We’re trying to remember those individuals who sacrificed their life for us, their families, letting them know that we are a team and we haven’t forgotten them,” Thomas explained.
Even for those who did not participate, they likely saw the black-and-white flag being flown around base as a reminder for the 24-hour period.
The duty day ended with Chief Master Sgt. Ronnie Phillips, the former 628th Air Base Wing command chief, telling a story about a personal experience with POW/MIA and laying the memorial wreath to honor these service members.