National POW/MIA Recognition Events Begin Sept. 18 at Georgia Southwestern State University

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2013 marks the 40th anniversary of Vietnam War withdrawal and 60th of Korean War. Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall makes its stop for third straight year at Georgia Southwestern.

For third consecutive year, the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall will make a stop at Georgia Southwestern State University in honor of National Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Recognition Day. The GSW campus will serve as the Wall’s site from Thursday, Sept. 19 through Saturday, Sept. 21. National POW/MIA Recognition Day is Friday, Sept. 20.

The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall is a three-fifths scaled replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. and is nearly 300 feet in length.The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall is open for public viewing 24 hours a day Sept. 19-21.

The Traveling Wall is making its stop at GSW by way of the annual event, “The Ride Home.” “The Ride Home” features ceremonies to remember military service members still listed as Missing in Action and to honor former POWs.

This year, 2013, is a special year to these brave men and women and marks special anniversaries. In 1973, the United States withdrew forces from the Vietnam War, and in 1953, the Korean War ended. Former POWs from both campaigns will be present during the week’s events.

The featured events during the “The Ride Home” 2013 weekend are listed here:

  •     Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall escort to GSW – 8 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 19
  •     Female POW commemorative plaque dedication and Iraq POW artifact gifting to National POW Museum – Andersonville National Historic Site – 9:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 20
  •     MIA Service – “Keeping the Promise, We Will Not Forget,” GSW Storm Dome – 4:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20
  •     Candlelight Service – GSW Storm Dome – 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20
  •     Recognition Ceremony – GSW Storm Dome – 12:30 p.m., Saturday Sept. 21

Also, in recognition of National POW/MIA Recognition Day 2013, the Andersonville National Historic Site, the Friends of Andersonville, and Georgia Southwestern are hosting the 2013 National POW/MIA Convocation at 11 a.m. Sept. 18 in GSW’s Jackson Performance Hall. Former POW Bill Norwood is the featured Speaker. Held as a POW from 1951 to 1953, Norwood founded the Korean War Ex-POW Association in 1976.

Iraq War POW Shoshana N. Johnson will speak in a special community program at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Rylander Theater in Americus, Ga. A second-generation Army Veteran, Johnson joined the U.S. Army in Sept., 1998. She received orders in Feb., 2003 to deploy to Iraq as a Food Service Specialist with the 507th Maintenance Company, 5/52 Battalion 11th Brigade. After her convoy was ambushed on March 23, 2003, she was wounded and captured. She and six fellow POWs were successfully rescued on April 13 by U.S. Marines. Her military decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and the Prisoner of War Medals. For more information on this event, visit

For a complete schedule of events, go to

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Stephen Snyder
Georgia Southwestern State University
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