Organizers Anticipate Larger Turnout for Second Annual KIA Thunder Run in California’s North Monterey Bay

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The USA KIA/DOW Family Foundation (USAKIA), in conjunction with America Remembers KIA, J&S Surplus & Outdoor Store, a division of Eagle Emblems, and the American Legion Riders (ALR), will have its Second Annual KIA Thunder Run in Moss Landing, California on September 2, 2006.

The USA KIA/DOW Family Foundation (USAKIA), in conjunction with America Remembers KIA, J&S Surplus & Outdoor Store, a division of Eagle Emblems, and the American Legion Riders (ALR), plans a September 2, 2006, second annual Labor Day Weekend memorial event honoring all members of the U.S. armed forces killed in action (KIA) or died of wounds (DOW). The memorial and annual "KIA Thunder Run" is in Moss Landing on Highway 1, 2 minutes north of the Moss Landing Power Plant. Rolling Thunder also plans to participate again this year. J&S Surplus & Outdoor Store owner, Jim Gilbertson, says to find the store, about two minutes north of the power station, "Just look for the flags" outside his store on the intersection of N. Struve Road and Highway 1.

California chapter presidents for both the ALR and Rolling Thunder plan to participate again this year. Both spoke last year, along with keynote speaker, Amalia Gonzalez, mother of Victor Gonzalez, the first in the Moss Landing area to be KIA or DOW in the war in Iraq. This year the Gold Star Mother will be Mrs. Pat Wiscowiche, mother of Marine Lcpl. William "Willie" Wiscowiche, who lives in Victorville and also has ties to the Bay Area.

Willie was 20-years old when he was KIA April 30, 2004, in Iraq’s Al Anbar province. Other surviving family members include his baby daughter, widow Veronica, his father, Joe, three sisters, and two brothers. A sister, uncle, and cousins, Rachel, Sarah, and Mike will also attend, as well as friends and parents of friends who died while serving.

The all-day function will again include food and merchandise vendors, speakers, and a flag raising ceremony starting at 1PM. Organizers had a successful function last year, and this year they expect more participants. USAKIA and its fellow groups invite the public to the patriotic, free, meaningful, and flavorful event at J&S Surplus & Outdoor Store.

The nonprofit will also begin two raffles on July 15 to help raise funds, one ending Labor Day, the other Veterans Day. It also accepts tax-deductible donations, including, vehicles. See its Web site at The USA KIA/DOW Family Foundation’s mailing address is P.O. Box 720123, San Jose, CA 95172. For vehicle donations, call CARS toll free at 1-877-537-5277, and mention USAKIA.

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 plans a new California Medal of Honor Project (CAMOHP). It also has products honoring U.S. KIA and added a new director who lives in Tennessee at its June 2006 board meeting. America Remembers KIA allows USAKIA the use of its trademarked KIA flag and symbol. See the organization's Web site at for further information. USAKIA opened a pressroom at its Web site in December and two blogs in March 2006.


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Dennis Malloy
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