VA Honors POWs and MIAs

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)- Former Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action were recognized at the Veteran Healthcare System of the Ozarks Wednesday (Sept. 17). It was held at the auditorium of Building 3.

The young generation of service men and women included members of the University of Arkansas Army and Air Force ROTC.

Kathleen L. Johnson, social work services advocate for former POWs, said most are from WWII and Vietnam.

It's an aging population, which means it's difficult to get them to these events, Johnson said.

"It's very moving to see them recognized because with the recognition comes recollection of their experiences that they had," Johnson said. "We had one ex-POW who told me some stories about what they were fed and he actually wrote a piece on that we were able to use that piece one year."

The keynote speaker was Cadet Colonel Robert McQuilkin.

"It's been really interesting to me rather than locating a more renowned speaker, to have an ROTC cadet involved because it gives them the opportunity to honor those that have goner before them," Johnson said.Medal

Each veteran received a coin that states, "All Gave Some, Some Gave All."
A recent local MIA vet found was Capt. Virgil Meroney III. His remains were returned to Fayetteville in 2012 after missing for more than four decades. He was killed in the Vietnam War.