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Travis AFB remembers POW/MIA service members during 24-hour run

People in fitness attire run with the U.S. and POW/MIA flags on a sunny day

A cadre of Airmen from the First Sergeant Council at Travis Air Force Base, California, participate in a 24-hour remembrance run in honor of prisoners of war and service members missing in action September 16, 2021, at the base’s fitness center. It’s tradition that the run’s first one-hour increment is headed by the base’s first sergeants, a group of Airmen responsible for the welfare of base personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christian Conrad)

People in fitness attire run while carrying the U.S. and POW/MIA flag on a sunny day

U.S. Airmen honor the legacy of Prisoners of War and Missing in Action service members from various conflicts during the annual 24-hour POW/MIA Remembrance Run Sept. 16, 2021, at the fitness center track, Travis Air Force Base, California. Service members, civilians and family members kept the flags in constant motion for a 24-hour period. According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, more than 82,000 Americans remain missing from WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Cold War, Gulf Wars and other conflicts. The names of unaccounted service members were recited during the run. (U.S. Air Force photo by Nicholas Pilch)

People in fitness attire run with the POW/MIA and U.S. flag on a  sunny day

A cadre of Airmen from the First Sergeant Council at Travis Air Force Base, California, participate in a 24-hour remembrance run in honor of prisoners of war and service members missing in action September 16, 2021, at the base’s fitness center. The run allows unit representatives from across the base to participate in the run in one-hour increments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christian Conrad)

A man in a black shirt carries the POW/MIA flag while running on a sunny day

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Peichi Liu, 60th Maintenance Group first sergeant, honors the legacy of Prisoners of War and Missing in Action service members from various conflicts by carrying a flag during the annual 24-hour POW/MIA Remembrance Run Sept. 16, 2021, at the fitness center track, Travis Air Force Base, California. Service members, civilians and family members kept the flags in constant motion for a 24-hour period. According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, more than 82,000 Americans remain missing from WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Cold War, Gulf Wars and other conflicts. The names of unaccounted service members were recited during the run. (U.S. Air Force photo by Nicholas Pilch)

A uniformed Airman looks up at a flag pole bearing the U.S. and POW/MIA flags

An Airman assigned to the 60th Air Mobility Wing attends the closing ceremony of the annual 24-hour remembrance run in honor of prisoners of war and missing in action service members Sept. 17, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base, California. The run encouraged volunteers to run in one-hour increments during which they kept the U.S. and POW/MIA flags in constant motion, representing the nation’s continued efforts to bring missing service members home. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christian Conrad)

A stage is at the center of a congregation of attendees with a flag pole featured prominently on a sunny day

U.S. Air Force Col. Ryan Garlow, 60th Air Mobility Wing vice commander, speaks during the closing ceremony of a 24-hour remembrance run in honor of prisoners of war and missing in action service members Sept. 17, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base, California. Garlow used his speech to reiterate the U.S.’ commitment and obligation to the families of POW/MIA service members to bring their loved ones home. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christian Conrad)

Representatives from VFW posts look to a stage on a sunny day

Representatives from local posts of Veterans of Foreign Wars attend the closing ceremony of the annual 24-hour remembrance run in honor of prisoners of war and missing in action service members Sept. 17, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base, California. According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, 75% of missing service members are located in the Indo-Pacific area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christian Conrad)

A uniformed Airman speaks into a microphone in front of the U.S. and POW/MIA flags

U.S. Air Force Col. Ryan Garlow, 60th Air Mobility Wing vice commander, speaks during the closing ceremony of a 24-hour remembrance run in honor of prisoners of war and missing in action service members Sept. 17, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base, California. Garlow used his speech to reiterate the U.S.’ commitment and obligation to the families of POW/MIA service members to bring their loved ones home. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christian Conrad)

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Service members and civilians from across Travis Air Force Base, California, showed up in force for a 24-hour remembrance run to honor the legacy and sacrifices of prisoners of war and missing in action service members Sept. 16 – 17, 2021, at the base’s fitness center track.

The run, held annually at the base in September, recruits volunteers to run in one-hour increments and carry the U.S. and POW/MIA flags as a sign of the base’s commitment to bringing missing service members home.

According to a Sept. 10 report by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, more than 81,600 Americans remain missing from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Gulf Wars and other conflicts, with their names being read aloud throughout the run’s 24 hours.

During the run’s closing ceremony at the base’s headquarters building, Col. Ryan Garlow, 60th Air Mobility Wing vice commander, reaffirmed the promise the nation made to the families of the missing.

“We have an obligation to take action to remember those who are still missing,” Garlow said. “The United States is the most dedicated nation in recovering our missing warriors.”

Garlow went on to underscore the importance of events like the run, not only in respect to the heritage and commitment of the Air Force, but also to the broader mission of keeping the memory of those missing service members at the forefront of one’s thoughts.

“They say you die twice,” Garlow said. “Once when you stop breathing and again when someone says your name for the last time. As long as we continue to say their names, we reassert that although they’re missing, they will never be forgotten.”

For more information about the DPAA mission and their continued search for POW/MIA service members, visit www.dpaa.mil.

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