An Iowa native’s on his way to Washington today, to take part in the Memorial Weekend “Rolling Thunder” event. Le Mars native Lieutenant Colonel Mark Brown studied journalism at Iowa State University and today works at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, with the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command.
Brown says Rolling Thunder is a motorcycle pilgrimage that has riders from all over the country on the road already, heading for the nation’s capital. The original “Rolling Thunder” was a battle in fought Vietnam, and a group associated with that event took on the name in their ongoing effort to be heard, on the subject of soldiers who are prisoners of war or missing in action. Brown will tell about the Joint POW-MIA Command when he talks on Sunday to the 150-thousand people expected to gather on the National Mall in Washington for the Rolling Thunder event.
Brown says they’re keeping a promise to everybody who ever served in the military, that they will not be left behind. He says the command works to bring closure to families by accounting for their family members who never came back from wars, from World War Two to the present war. His speech will be carried on the cable TV news channel C-Span on Sunday, starting about 12-30 Iowa time.
There are still 88-thousand Americans unaccounted for from wars. He says the accounting command has found soldiers who lost touch from as far ago as the Civil War, “and we’re identifying them to send them back to their families.” There’s going to be a “huge crowd at the reflecting pool” on Sunday, as Brown says C-Span will cover the day’s activities from the Pentagon along the riders’ trek to the Lincoln Memorial. The group’s mission is to remind the public that prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action were left behind after all past wars. A team from the Joint Command just returned May 20 after a month-long mission to Vietnam to search for traces of military personnel missing from the Vietnam War.
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