2006 Benefits Some Gold Star Families in a Small Way

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A nonprofit for families of killed in action (KIA) and died of wounds (DOW) looks back on its 2006 accomplishments.

A nonprofit for families of killed in action (KIA) and died of wounds (DOW) looks back on its 2006 accomplishments.

The USA KIA/DOW Family Foundation (USAKIA) announced its 2006, second annual Labor Day Weekend event at J&S Surplus & Outdoor Store in Moss Landing went better than the first one in 2005. It also had its first Memorial Day Weekend event in 2006. Other work includes a "Free-Flag Program" where the nonprofit gives KIA flags to families of U.S. combat dead.

The USA KIA/DOW Family Foundation (USAKIA) held its second annual event in Moss Landing on September 2, 2006. The memorial paid tribute to all U.S. killed in action (KIA) and died of wounds (DOW), with many more participants this year than last year. This year, the event also honored U.S. citizens killed in acts of terror and public safety personnel, as well as military personnel who died in the line of duty.

Rolling Thunder participated again this year, and 2006's event also included a military-vehicle show put on by Military Vehicle Collectors of California (MVCC) and a swap meet. Congressman Farr's office and the California National Guard participated for the first time this year as well, and about 250 people were there for the midday ceremony, a higher number than in 2005.

The nonprofit held its first Memorial Day Weekend event at J&S Surplus & Outdoor Store in Moss Landing in 2006. It plans both events next year as well. The store kindly donates the land for the event, as well as many of the raffle prizes the nonprofit offers.

Other work the nonprofit currently does includes a "Free-Flag Program" where a KIA or DOW family can request a 3-by-5 foot KIA flag, and USAKIA ships it to them for free. So far, it has given away about 30 flags and other items to fellow KIA families to honor the fallen. USAKIA also sells the items in its eBay store. Currently, the nonprofit wants to evaluate a free tutoring program for children of combat dead in California.

USAKIA has attended funerals of KIA and DOW in northern California to provide support. It has also presented its flag to various groups, including local chapters of the Sons of the American Legion and the Sons of the American Revolution. The nonprofit has also shored up its board of directors in 2006, adding relatives of active-duty military and KIA or DOW in Iraq.

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 had planned a new California Medal of Honor Project (CAMOHP).

USAKIA also has products honoring U.S. KIA. America Remembers KIA allows USAKIA the use of its trademarked KIA flag and symbol. See the organization's Web site at http://usakia.org for further information.

USAKIA opened two blogs in March, _Your Shield_ on Blogger at http://usakia.blogspot.com and _USAKIA's Blog_ on Yahoo at http://blog.360.yahoo.com/usakiadowff. The not-for-profit corporation also just began an eBay blog in late November, _Fallen Heroes' Remembrance_, at http://blogs.ebay.com/usakia .

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Dennis Malloy
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