On Friday, Bay Pines VA Healthcare System announced plans to host an in-person POW/MIA Day observance on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center.

This event will be held in the J.C. Cobb Conference room, inside Building 100, and begins at 9 a.m.

“We’re proud to honor those service members who were Prisoners of War, in addition to remembering those who have not returned home and are listed as still Missing in Action,” said Bay Pines VA Healthcare System Director/CEO Paul M. Russo. “This observance will provide an opportunity to come together and reflect our immense appreciation and support for those Veterans and their families.”

2023 marks the 44th commemoration of POW/MIA Day, which was first signed by former President Jimmy Carter in 1979.

The POW/MIA Accounting Office claims that more than 81,000 Veterans, dating back to WWII, are still missing, and approximately 30% of American POWs are still living.

Included as part of the observance will be the Fallen Comrade Table Ceremony, led by USMC Vietnam Veteran Dave Miller and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #522 President Steve Jones.

“Our desire is to provide an observance that reflects the time-honored tradition of camaraderie between Veterans and families,” added Russo. “For these heroes who were POW and those still listed as MIA, we want them to know, as well as their families, friends, and comrades in arms that You are not forgotten.”

Bay Pines VA also plans to stream the observance and Fallen Comrade Table live on social media, beginning at 9 a.m. Individuals who are unable to attend can watch virtually on Facebook @VABayPines.

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