POW/MIA Week at Travis AFB

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alexander Merchak
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing

In honor of POW/MIA Remembrance Week, Team Travis dedicated a week to commemorate POW/MIA service members and their families, Sept. 11 – 15, 2023.

The Air Force Sergeants Association Chapter 1320 planned five events throughout the installation which were intended to inspire and understand the sacrifices of former POWs. The local community came together to recognize the legacy and sacrifices of past and present service members.

“It is important to teach the younger generations the significance of the heritage events for our POW/MIA service members and the sacrifices they’ve made,” said Master Sgt. Joshua Wells, 60th Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School commandant. “Studying the past is an important lesson in how we learn about their stories of resilience and overcoming adversity.”

Each event throughout the week allowed a chance for Team Travis to listen to stories from POW/MIA service members and their families.

“While these stories are uniquely tied to war, the stories from POW/MIAs are not war stories,” Wells said. “These are family stories of human endeavor from being lost, captivity and separation—it is a ripple effect and those emotions and memories for those impacted last a lifetime. It is important for us to honor our promise to never forget.”

According to a May 22 report by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), more than 81,000 Americans are still missing from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War and the Gulf Wars, as well as other conflicts.

Beginning the week with an opening ceremony at the Travis Aviation Museum, Team Travis came together for a vigil honoring those lost. On Tuesday, service members from across the installation participated in a ruck march. Then, a film screening on Wednesday introduced by Janine Sijan-Rozina honoring her brother U.S. Air Force Captain Lance P. Sijan, followed by a 24-hour remembrance run on Thursday. Friday, the closing ceremony was hosted at the Vacaville Vietnam Memorial where service members, veterans, local community leaders and members came together to remember our POW/MIA.

For more information about the DPAA mission and their search for POW/MIA service members, visit here