Families with Combat Deaths Plan Memorial Day 2007 Display in Northern California

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A nonprofit for families of U.S. combat dead plans a display to honor killed in action on Memorial Day for the second straight year at Moss Landing in California's Northern Monterey Bay, Monday, May 28.

The USA KIA/DOW Family Foundation (USAKIA) plans to celebrate Memorial Day with an event like last year at Moss Landing on May 28. It holds a larger Labor Day Weekend event the Saturday before Labor Day. The nonprofit also has two programs, one for free flags for killed in action (KIA) and died of wounds (DOW) families, the other for free tickets to Paramount's Great America. Families with KIA and DOW began the nonprofit and remain involved. It also held elections this month during its annual meeting.

The Memorial Day event on Monday, May 28, will be the second year in a row the nonprofit sets up at the site near J&S Surplus & Outdoor Store in California's Northern Monterey Bay. The store and site are located at the intersection of N. Struve Road and Highway 1 in Moss Landing. This year, the group plans food and merchandise sales, as well as music. The food will be from a barbecue, a symbol in itself for Memorial Day Weekend. They will also again play taps at 3PM, local time, for the National Moment of Remembrance in honor of American war dead.

The Labor Day Weekend event this year will take place on Saturday, September 1, and will have much more participation. It will be the third year in a row for the ceremony. Last year included a military-vehicle show and swap meet, and about 300 people participated in the event, including families and motorcycle groups such as Rolling Thunder and the American Legion Riders. Congressman Farr's office sent a representative, and the California National Guard also participated. Organizers expect even more turnout this year. The nonprofit also plans to hold raffles at both events.

USAKIA also has an auction featured on eBay again this year, the third year in a row. It also has a store there as well. Proceeds from sales on eBay benefit families of U.S. combat dead.

Programs include the events, and the nonprofit has kept its free flag program going, sending packages with meaningful items to families of those who get killed by hostile action while serving in the U.S. military. Items include things such as a 3 foot by 5 foot KIA flag, one it also sells on eBay. The packages include other items besides and get sent by Priority Mail with personalized labels.

The nonprofit has now begun another program with a donation from the PGA. The PGA provides free tickets to Paramount's Great America to 501(c)(3) organizations that benefit children. USAKIA plans to use the two tickets it has so far and add to them, providing a day at the Santa Clara County amusement park for up to 2 local children or grandchildren of those killed in combat and an adult parent/guardian for each.

The organization also has an annual meeting with elections in May. Its Bylaws require a certain percentage of those related to combat dead on its board of directors. Directors elected one new member to USAKIA's board, Dennis Malloy, a supporter and Coast Guard veteran from the Vietnam era. Dennis also handles the nonprofit's community relations. Current directors include relatives of those with combat deaths from at least World War II to the present-day conflict 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 memorial events, membership, and a free-flag program for KIA and DOW families.

The public-benefit corporation has had a group approach it for a California Medal of Honor Project (CAMOHP) and another one for a free tutoring program for K-12. New programs will include: 1) an active-duty U.S. Marine helping kids write thank-you letters to families of KIA, and 2) providing free tickets to children of combat dead to San Francisco and Monterey Bay Area attractions such as Paramount's Great America.

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 or to make a tax-deductible donation.

USAKIA opened two blogs in early 2006, 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 began an eBay blog in late 2006, Fallen Heroes' Remembrance, at http://blogs.ebay.com/usakia, and a Newsvine page in April at http://usakia.newsvine.com.

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