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POW/MIA: Not home but not forgotten

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By The Staff

SHEPHERDSVILLE - Friday was a day for the nation to remember military personnel who have not yet returned home.

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Some may be prisoners of war or some may be missing in action.

But there are over 88,000 Americans who have not returned home.

On Thursday evening, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5710 and its Ladies Auxiliary hosted a special service to observe national POW/MIA day.

As part of the ceremony was the raising of the POW/MIA flag donated by the American Legion Post 157 in Shepherdsville.

“The passing of time does not heel their wounds,” VFW commander Danny Morrison said of the families awaiting the return of their loved ones.

He told a crowd of about 100 people that he couldn’t imagine having a family member who went to war and not know their status.

“All they want to know is what happened to their loved ones,” said Morrison.

He said the government must continue to push for answers on where the lost solders are located.

Each year, the VFW officials go to Southeast Asia trying to find out more information. Trips have also been made to places like Moscow.

For the VFW, Morrison said it is important to account for every person who is missing in action.

Joe Milliner knows the pain of having a son who is missing in action.

He knows his son, as well as Col. Charles Shelton from Owensboro, are alive.

“He is not dead,” Milliner said of his son.

Finding inside contacts, Milliner had been able to get information. Just two years ago, he heard from a doctor who operated on his son’s arm.

Milliner, one of the most vocal and active in the area keeping alive the POW/MIA awareness, read several poems. The former POW said that the people can’t give up and the government must do more to find the men and women who have not returned home.

A table sat in front of the podium. It is similar to those found in VFW Posts throughout the country.

Ladies Auxiliary president Kathleen Coffey described the various items on the table.

County judge Melanie Roberts said we need to remember those who are still missing, as well as those who are still fighting for the freedoms we enjoy.

“These folks have given their lives to keep us free,” said Roberts.

Shepherdsville mayor Sherman Tinnell thanked the VFW and American Legion for keeping the attention on the POW/MIA issue.

He hoped more efforts could be made in Washington to find out information to send to the families awaiting any word on their loved ones.

Because of the work of the veterans over the years, Tinnell said you can rest more comfortably at night.

Previously, POW/MIA ceremonies had been held at the VFW Post on Highway 44 West. For the first time, it was held on Thursday next to the new Veterans Monument in Shepherdsville City Park.