Team Osan honors POW/MIA

by Senior Airman Franklin R. Ramos
Osan Air Base

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- It’s National Prisoners of War Missing in Action Week at Osan Air Base. Several events were held throughout the week leading up to National POW/MIA Remembrance Day, Sept. 15, 2017, in honor of all POW/MIA members.

A memorial service was held for to kick-off the week.

“This was the only event that we paid homage to those POW/MIA members who have passed away. It’s the only one where we played Taps, so that’s why was a memorial service.,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Shannon Sutton, 694th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group executive functions superintendent. “The rest of the events are about remembrance.”

A brick laying ceremony was held simultaneously with a 24-hour vigil at the POW/MIA Memorial outside the base theater.

“The ceremony itself will focus on the [revealing of] 10 new bricks [for POW/MIA members] that we will have laid at the memorial after the event,” said Sutton. “Also, there will be a posting of the vigil guard at the beginning of the ceremony. At the end of the ceremony, there will be a changing of the vigil guard.”

On Sept. 14, at 3:51 p.m. local time, the vigil transitioned into a 24-hour remembrance run.

“The first runner will take the guidon from the vigil guard and begin running. The runners will continue to run for 24-hours while carrying the guidon,” said Sutton. “Once 24 hours have passed, the last of the runners will run up to wing headquarters.”

There will be a retreat ceremony at the wing headquarters on National POW/MIA Remembrance Day at 3:51 p.m. to close out the week.

“So, our goal with this is to provide a constant reminder to people of those who’ve come before us who were [or still are] POW/MIA,” said Sutton. “It is always important for us to remember our past and remember our heritage.

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