The Veterans Moving Wall is coming to Diamond Park in Meadville on Wednesday, Sept. 19. There will be an escort ride to bring the Moving Wall to town. Anyone wanting to ride can meet Post 52 & CVMA at Perkins restaurant parking lot in Meadville. The ride begins at 8:30 a.m. Staging will be at 11 a.m. at Victory Family Church, US Rt 19, in Cranberry Twp. The Wall arrives at noon. The escort ride departs at 1 p.m. The escort will take Route 19 North (passing threw Mercer around 1:56 p.m.) to Meadville, then right on to Route 322 into Diamond Park. Note: Diamond Park is the end of the escort. Riders will disperse once they arrive in the park. The Wall will be set up at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 20. It will be up until the closing ceremony at 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24.
POW/MIA Recognition Day is Friday, Sept. 21
The National League of Families POW/MIA flag, also known as the POW/MIA flag, consists of a silhouette of a prisoner of war (POW) before a guard tower and barbed wire in white on a black field. POW/MIA appears above the silhouette and the words “You Are Not Forgotten” appears below in white on the black field. On Aug. 10, 1990, the 101st Congress passed U.S. Public Law 101-355, recognizing the National League of Families POW/MIA Flag and designating it as a symbol of our nation’s concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoners, missing in action, and unaccounted for.
Erie VA POW/MIA Remembrance Ceremony is Friday, Sept 21
The Erie VA will hold their POW/MIA Ceremony from 1-2 p.m. in the second floor conference rooms. The Remembrance Ceremony is to honor our nations most revered heroes, those who served under the worst conditions, sacrificing their freedoms so that our country may know true liberty. Erie VA invites former prisoners of war their families, friends, and members of the community to attend the ceremony.
VA Receives Full Year Appropriations
Last week, Congress completed the first appropriations package of the year. The $147.5 billion package includes full year appropriations for VA to implement the VFW-supported VA MISSION Act of 2018; streamline the process for appealing decisions on benefit claims; reduce the rate of suicide among veterans; fight the opioid epidemic, and modernize its electronic health care record. The VFW remains concerned that the current dysfunctional budget process may impact VA’s ability to receive the resources it needs in 2020 and 2021 for IT improvements required by the Forever GI Bill and to properly implement the VA MISSION Act of 2018.
North Korean MIA Recovery Talks Continue
Negotiators are moving forward with efforts to bring home the remains of more American troops killed in the 1950-53 Korean War, according to a Stars and Stripes article published last Sunday. U.S. and North Korean generals met last week in the truce village of Panmunjom to discuss the next step after 55 cases of remains believed to be missing Americans were repatriated in late July. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency currently lists 7,683 Americans missing from the Korean War, with an estimated 5,300 of them in North Korea. Also missing in the vicinity of the Korean Peninsula are 111 Cold War MIAs. American-led recovery teams operated in North Korea from 1996 to 2005, returning some 229 remains, but that mission was suspended due to team safety and security reasons. “The return of our missing is a humanitarian mission that transcends politics,” said VFW National Commander B.J. Lawrence, whose organization urged President Trump to include the return of American remains as a discussion point when he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12. “The VFW is grateful to the president for acting on our recommendation and to the North Korean leader for following through on his part of the summit agreement,” he said. “The VFW will continue working toward the fullest possible accounting of missing Americans on the Korean Peninsula and elsewhere because we leave no one behind. We owe it to their families and we owe it to their battle buddies.”
Army Master Sgt. Leonard K. Chinn, 34, a Korean War veteran of Idaho Falls, Idaho, whose remains were previously identified, will be buried Sept. 19, 2018, in Silver Creek, Neb. Chinn was a member of Company D, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit was fighting off persistent Chinese attacks in North Korea.
Navy Chief Machinist’s Mate Dean S. Sanders, 38, a WWII veteran of Lima, Ohio, whose remains were previously identified, will be buried Sept. 19 in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. Sanders was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 7, 1941.
Army Sgt. Eugene G. McBride, a WWII veteran, was a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 311th Infantry Regiment, 78th Infantry Division. Interment services are pending.
Army Tech. Sgt. Robert J. Fitzgerrell, a WWII veteran, was a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 311th Infantry Regiment, 78th Infantry Division. Interment services are pending.
Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Leonard A. Tyma, a WWII veteran, was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, which landed against stiff Japanese resistance on the small island of Betio. Interment services are pending.
Army Pfc. Fred W. Ashley, a WWII veteran, was a member of Troop C, 2nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Group, on a reconnaissance in the town of Paseka, Czechoslovakia. Interment services are pending.
Navy Fireman 3rd Class Robert J. Bennett, a WWII veteran, was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 7, 1941, when the ship sustained multiple torpedo hits and quickly capsized, resulting in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Bennett. Interment services are pending.
Navy Water Tender 2nd Class Clarence M. Lockwood, a WWII veteran, was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.
Navy Seaman 1st Class James W. Holzhauer, a WWII veteran, was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.
Navy Radioman 3rd Class Bruce H. Ellison, a WWII veteran, was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.
Till next week, praying for all service members.
– Charles Castelluccio