The United States' National POW/MIA Recognition Day is observed across the nation on the third Friday of September each year. On September 21st approximately 150 POWs, their families and staff from the Lebanon VA Medical Center gathered to honor and remember those who were prisoners of war (POW) and those who are missing in action (MIA).
This year’s theme was appropriately entitled, “Until They Are Home”. General Randall R. Marchi, the Deputy Adjutant General – Army, Pennsylvania National Guard spoke poignantly to those gathered about times when brave military service members endure heartache and sometimes, tragedy. Members from 1st Air Cavalry Division Field Cross Detail performed the solemn POW/MIA Table Setting and the Field Cross Ceremony.
There are 1,741 American personnel listed by the Defense Department’s POW/MIA Office as missing and unaccounted from the Vietnam War, as of April 2009. The number of United States personnel accounted for since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 is 841. About 90% of the 1,741 people still missing were lost in Vietnam or areas of Laos and Cambodia under Vietnam’s wartime control.