Second Annual Labor Day Weekend KIA Thunder Run in Moss Landing Will Also Have a Military-Vehicle Show and Swap Meet

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This year’s Second Annual KIA Thunder Run in Moss Landing, California, on Saturday, September 2, 2006, will honor military and also public-safety personnel, and there will be a military-vehicle show and swap meet.

The USA KIA/DOW Family Foundation (USAKIA), in conjunction with America Remembers KIA, J&S Surplus & Outdoor Store, a division of Eagle Emblems, the American Legion Riders (ALR), and Rolling Thunder, plans a Saturday, September 2, 2006, second annual Labor Day Weekend memorial event honoring all members of the U.S. armed forces killed in action (KIA) or died of wounds (DOW). This year sponsors also want to remember U.S. military, citizens, and public-safety personnel such as police, fire, and EMT’s, who died in the line of duty or from terrorist acts. The 2006 event will also have a military-vehicle show and swap meet, and the California National Guard will provide a color guard for the midday ceremony.

The free event, with its annual KIA Thunder Run and this year’s military-vehicle show and swap meet, is in Moss Landing on Highway 1. J&S Surplus & Outdoor Store owner, Jim Gilbertson, says to find the store about two minutes north of the power station, "Just look for the flags" outside his store on the intersection of N. Struve Road and Highway 1.

California chapter presidents for both the ALR and Rolling Thunder plan to participate again this year. Both spoke last year, along with keynote speaker, Amalia Gonzalez, mother of Victor Gonzalez, the first in the Moss Landing area to be KIA or DOW in the war in Iraq. This year, the Gold Star Mother will be Mrs. Pat Wiscowiche, mother of Marine Lcpl. William "Willie" Wiscowiche, who lives in Victorville and also has ties to the Bay Area.

Willie was 20 years old when he was KIA April 30, 2004, in Iraq’s Al Anbar province. Other surviving family members include his baby daughter, widow Veronica, his father, Joe, three sisters, and two brothers. A sister, uncle, and cousins, Rachel, Sarah, and Mike will also attend, as well as friends and parents of friends who died while serving.

The all-day function will again include food and merchandise vendors and music. Speakers will start around noon, with the flag raising ceremony at 1 p.m. Organizers had a successful function last year, and this year they have more participants lined up. USAKIA and its fellow groups invite the public to the patriotic, free, meaningful and flavorful event at J&S Surplus & Outdoor Store.

The nonprofit also began two raffles on July 15 to help raise funds, one ending Labor Day, the other Veterans Day. It also accepts tax-deductible donations, including vehicles. See its Web site at http://www.usakia.org. The USA KIA/DOW Family Foundation’s mailing address is P.O. Box 720123, San Jose, CA 95172. For vehicle donations, call CARS toll free at 1-877-537-5277, and mention USAKIA.

About the USA KIA/DOW Family Foundation:

The USA KIA/DOW Family Foundation (USAKIA), based in San Jose, California, is an IRS-approved, tax-deductible and tax-exempt nonprofit. KIA families incorporated the 501(c)(3) organization in the fall of 2003 to benefit families of those killed in action and died of wounds while in the U.S. armed forces. Current services include memorials, membership, and it plans a new California Medal of Honor Project (CAMOHP). It also has products honoring U.S. KIA and announced adding a new director who lives in Tennessee in its July 13, 2006, press release. USAKIA also added another director during its August board meeting, Joe Wiscowiche, a combat veteran himself and father of Marine Lance Corporal Willie Wiscowiche, KIA in Iraq in 2004.

America Remembers KIA allows USAKIA the use of its trademarked KIA flag and symbol. See the organization's Web site at http://www.usakia.org for further information. USAKIA opened a pressroom at its Web site in December and two blogs in March 2006.

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Dennis Malloy
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