Team Kirtland honors POW/MIAs
By Senior Airman Enrique Barcelo, 377 ABW PA
/ Published September 25, 2019
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
Team Kirtland Airmen participated in a POW/MIA Remembrance Day event at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, Sept. 19-20 in honor of all prisoners of war and those missing in action.
The event kicked off with a 24-hour run or walk that had team members constantly carrying the POW/MIA flag around Hardin Field and finishing at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial Park.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Victoria Lathon, Air Force Sergeants Association Chapter 1201 member, said that the POW/MIA flag is in motion for 24-hours to show continuous effort.
“I think it’s important just so we can show our gratitude and for those that have been prisoners of wars or missing in action,” said Lathon. “And to let them know we have not forgotten about them and that we still value their sacrifice.”
Each year, the First Sergeants take time out of their schedule to be the first group out of more than 150 volunteers throughout the day.
“Honestly, it feels like the least that I can do,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Lucas Groom, 58th Operational Support Squadron First Sergeant. “It’s a very simple thing to go run around a track; it’s a very difficult thing to be a family member or an individual who’s missing in one of our wars. So it’s just a small token of appreciation.”
At the conclusion of the run, members of the 351st Special Warfare Training Squadron carried the flag to its post at the memorial site where members of the community and Team Kirtland honored former POW/MIAs.
“As Team Kirtland, sometimes we get stuck in our daily grind and don’t look at the big picture and any time we can come together as a team and get that perspective it’s beneficial,” said Groom.