We couldn’t let it go by without honoring two very special people, Irwin Stovroff, WWII, Ex-Pow, Founder and President of Vets Helping Heroes, and LT COL Melvin Pollack, US Air Force (ret.), Ex-POW and member of the Board of Directors. It is truly an honor to have you lead the VHH organization and thank you for your sacrifice and service.
On this day many Americans pause to remember our nations service men and women who were prisoners of war (POW), as well as those who are missing in action (MIA), and their families. All military installations fly the National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag, which symbolizes the nation’s remembrance of those who were imprisoned while serving in conflicts and those who remain missing.
Currently there are more than 83,000 Prisoners of War (POW) or Missing In Action (MIA) who are either unaccounted for or still missing. 1,741 American personnel are listed by the Defense Department’s POW/MIA Office as missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. About 90 percent of the 1,741 people still missing were lost in Vietnam or areas of Laos and Cambodia under Vietnam’s wartime control, according to the National League of Families website (cited in the United States Army website).
The POW/MIA flag was designed by Newt Heisley and features a silhouette of a young man who was medically discharged from the military. As Mr. Heisley looked at his returning son’s gaunt features, he imagined what life was for those behind barbed wire fences on foreign shores. The emblem features a white disk bearing in black silhouette the bust of a man (Jeffery Heisley), watch tower with a guard on patrol, and a strand of barbed wire; above the disk are the white letters POW and MIA framing a white 5-pointed star; below the disk is a black and white wreath above the white motto: “You are not Forgotten.” The National POW/MIA Day is recognized on the 3rd Friday of September.
The National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag symbolizes the United States’ resolve to never forget POWs or those who served their country in conflicts and are still missing. We will never forget you!
Article written by: Kathy Genovese, Board of Directors, Vets Helping Heroes