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Remembering our POW/MIA soldiers

On September 16th, I was honored to be able to observe National POW/MIA Recognition Day at the Chillicothe VA Hospital. This is always a very humbling occasion for me.

It is both awe-inspiring and impressive to hear the stories of these men who fought to preserve the freedoms that we and others across the world have.

Until 1979, no commemoration was held to honor America’s Prisoners of War/Missing in Action — those returned and those still missing in action.

A yearly resolution was passed by Congress until 1995, when it was decided that the president would sign a proclamation each year.

The National League of Military Families proposed that the date should be the third Friday of each September.

At this particular event, the Paint Valley Drill Team did an excellent job, in addition to the keynote speaker. This year, the speaker was Ronald Rosser, who is retired from the U.S. Army and a Medal of Honor recipient.   He shared some of his story with us and talked about how many times his life nearly came to an end. In fact, he was one of very few to survive from his unit.

Part of the ceremony always includes a setting at the table to symbolize that a soldier is missing.

Some of the POWs that I remember from when I first started attending this event are now gone also — the late Adam Wood, from Jackson, comes to mind.

Those veterans who are still with us were reminded to record their stories and share them with their families so that no one will forget the important sacrifice they have made.

I would encourage you to mark your calendar to attend this important event next September.

These men are heroes who deserve our utmost respect. Their sacrifice for this country cannot be forgotten.

Thank you to all of the men and women who have made a sacrifice — with some making the ultimate sacrifice — to serve our country.

John Carey serves in Ohio’s 87th District of the House of Representatives, which includes eastern Lawrence County. He can be reached at (614) 466-1366, by writing to: Ohio House of Representatives, 77 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215, or via e-mail at District87@ohr.state.oh.us.