Fifth Annual KIA Thunder Run, Military-Vehicle Show, and Swap Meet Will Take Place in Northern California on Saturday, September 5

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The free event in the north Monterey Bay Area will have an hour and a half ceremony at 1PM to honor our nation's killed in action and others who died while serving in the military and public service. The military-vehicle show and swap meet will begin at 9AM and end at 6PM on Saturday, September 5, 2009, the first Saturday in September. Keynote speaker for 2009's Fifth Annual KIA Thunder Run, Military-Vehicle Show, and Swap Meet will be Dolores Kesterson, Gold Star Mother of CWO Erik Kesterson, KIA on November 15, 2003.

The USA KIA/DOW Family Foundation (USAKIA), in conjunction with J&S Surplus & Outdoor Store, a division of Eagle Emblems, and America Remembers KIA, will hold its Fifth Annual KIA Thunder Run, Military-Vehicle Show, and Swap Meet on Saturday, September 5, 2009. The event in northern California's Monterey Bay Area will be next to J&S Surplus & Outdoor Store. Major participants include the Spirit of Freedom and the American Legion Family. Entrance will be free and open to the public.

The store and site are located at the intersection of N. Struve Road and Highway 1 in Moss Landing. The event will have food and merchandise sales, as well as live music and military vehicles on display. Jim Gilbertson, a J&S Surplus & Outdoor owner, says, "Just look for the flags" to find the landmark store.

USAKIA benefits families of those in the U.S. military who are killed in combat. Sponsors again want to honor U.S. killed in action (KIA), died of wounds (DOW), and any member of the U.S. military, civilians, or public safety who died in the line of duty or by a terrorist act.

The event will take place the first Saturday in September for the fifth year in a row, and the Military Vehicle Collectors of California (MVCC) will put on a military-vehicle show for the fourth straight year. Vendors will again have a swap meet, which will include BBQ food sales. Mostly live music will play all day, and the hour and a half ceremony will begin at noon with speakers, including the keynote speaker, Gold Star Mother Dolores Kesterson.

Mrs. Kesterson is the mother of Army CWO Erik C. Kesterson, KIA in Iraq on November 15, 2003. A Black Hawk pilot and former U.S. Marine who enlisted in the Army after 9/11, CWO Kesterson was also a member of the famous 101st Army Airborne. During his 8-year service for the Marine Corps, Erik also received the Navy and Marine Medal of Heroism for saving fellow crew in a training accident in Y2K. CWO Kesterson was 29-years old when his helicopter went down in an accident with another helicopter after coming under fire from the ground.

Speakers will finish before the Fifth Annual Raising of the Flags at 1 p.m. Ms. Gabby Cribland will again perform the National Anthem after the U.S. flag is raised. Big Rain will again provide live music throughout the event.

Several hundred people attend the ceremony portion every year. Motorcycle groups such as Rolling Thunder and the American Legion Riders have participated with a "ride in," complementing the memorial. Other speakers include Chaplain Joy Jeannette of Spirit of Freedom and USAKIA whose brother was KIA in Vietnam and Vincent Bartning of USAKIA whose grandfather and cousin were KIA in World War II and Korea respectively.

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. The nonprofit would also like to announce the resumption of its Free Flag Program. With help from sponsors such as Eagle Emblems, Inc., USAKIA will again offer free KIA flags, other items, and shipping to killed in action (KIA) and died of wounds (DOW) families. If you have KIA or DOW in the family, please make requests for the packages at its Website.

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 column in April of 2007 at http://usakia.newsvine.com.

USAKIA plans to provide services such as scholarships and already has projects in place such as its Free Flag Program, the KIA Family Art Project (KIAFAP) with art by Rick Kelly, and providing free tickets to children of combat dead to San Francisco and Monterey Bay Area attractions such as California's Great America (formerly Paramount's Great America). The small nonprofit begun by KIA families 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 for further information or to make a tax-deductible donation.

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