31st Fighter Wing holds POW/MIA relay at Aviano
By JASON DUHR | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 3, 2013
AVIANO, Italy — Members of the 31st Fighter Wing ran a 21-hour relay ending Thursday as part of a series of events dedicated to the memory of Prisoners of War and Missing in Action.
In all, 84 airmen took turns running around a one-mile course, carrying the POW/MIA flag. In some cases, family members and fellow airmen accompanied the flag bearer, while others ran solo.
“We remember the folks that go out and come back as heroes,” Air Force Master Sgt. Jenny Green said. “This week is for the ones that didn’t come back, but we still consider heroes.”
The week’s events included airmen in their dress uniforms, at the entrance to the base exchange Tuesday, reading the names of servicemembers missing in action and ringing a brass bell for each one.
At the end of the relay, the flag was handed off to a group of about 40 airmen from the Logistics Readiness and Civil Engineer Squadrons, who marched six miles around the inner perimeter of Aviano Air Base, to the wing’s headquarters as the culmination of the events.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Meegan Haynes hands off the POW/MIA flag to Tech Sgt. Lashawn Reed on Thursday, October 3, 2013, after 30 minutes of running during an event Aviano Air Base, Italy. Members of the 31st Fighter Wing filled 84, fifteen-minute running slots over a 21 hour time span to kick off POW/ MIA events this week.
JASON DUHR/STARS AND STRIPES