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

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The free event in the north Monterey Bay Area will have an hour and a half ceremony at midday to honor our nation's killed in action and others who died while serving. The military-vehicle show and swap meet will begin at 9AM and end at 6PM on Saturday, September 1, 2007, Labor Day Weekend.

Raising U.S. Flag - 2nd KIA Thunder Run, Military-Vehicle Show, and Swap Meet

Just look for the flags

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 Third Annual KIA Thunder Run, Military-Vehicle Show, and Swap Meet on Saturday, September 1. The Labor Day Weekend event in northern California's Monterey Bay Area will be next to J&S Surplus & Outdoor Store. Major participants include Rolling Thunder and the American Legion Family. The event 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 music. 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 die in the line of duty or by a terrorist act.

The event will take place this Saturday on Labor Day Weekend for the third straight year, and the California Military Vehicle Collectors Association (MVCC) will put on a military-vehicle show for the second straight year. Vendors will again have a swap meet, which will include 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 Nadia McCaffrey.

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

About 300 people attended the ceremony last year. The California National Guard will again provide a color guard for 2007. Motorcycle groups such as Rolling Thunder and the American Legion Riders will also participate with a "ride in," complementing the show. The California National Guard will raise the U.S. and KIA flags with the Gold Star Mother, and Rolling Thunder Raising the POW*MIA flag. California chapter president of Rolling Thunder, Chaplain Joy Jeannette, will also speak. Other American Legion Family representatives will include "dual member" Paul Rodriguez, past California detachment commander of the Sons of the American Legion. He is also the current chaplain for the detachment.

Gold Star Mother Nadia McCaffrey will be Keynote speaker for the Third Annual KIA Thunder Run. Her son, Sergeant Patrick Ryan McCaffrey, was KIA in Iraq in June of 2004. Patrick was a member of the California National Guard. Mrs. McCaffrey also founded the Sergeant Patrick Ryan McCaffrey Foundation in his honor to benefit fellow veterans. See their Veterans Village project at http://www.veteransvillage.org.

Other organizations and government agencies will also participate. The Marine Corp League plans to provide a table, and Congressman Farr's office has also been invited again. Organizers expect more event-goers this year.

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. It also plans to provide scholarships. 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 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 column in April at http://usakia.newsvine.com.

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Dennis Malloy

Jim Gilbertson
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