McConnell wraps up POW/MIA Week

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  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

McConnell hosted multiple events across the base in honor of POW/MIA Week Sept. 11-14.

These events were organized by McConnell’s local chapter of the Air Force Sergeant’s Association to remember and honor the nation’s prisoners of war and those still missing in action to keep faith with the promise as a nation to bring all heroes home.

The week kicked off with a 24-hour Vigil flag event that ran from 7 a.m. Sept. 11 to 7 a.m. Sept. 12 with small groups of Airmen volunteering to run and carry the POW/MIA flag.

Next, the base held a Wreath-Laying Ceremony Sept. 13 in which Col. Jacob Thornburg, 22nd Air Refueling Wing deputy commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Laura Hoover, 22nd ARW command chief, laid the wreath.

The week ended with a Closing Ceremony on Sept. 14 at the Bleckley Lounge to pay final respects to those past and present imprisoned or missing in action in the defense of their nation.

The Department of Defense is committed to recovering and identifying the 81,000 Americans missing from prior conflicts, but that number is shrinking thanks to recent technological advances such as mitochondrial DNA analysis, as well as the continuing efforts by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

One of the 112 missing servicemembers identified this year to date by DPAA is U.S. Army Air Corps Staff. Sgt. Wesley L. Jones of Wichita. Jones lost his life Aug. 1, 1943, during a bombing mission over Romania in World War II. His remains were not positively identified until earlier this year using dental and anthropological analysis, chest radiograph comparison and mitochondrial DNA analysis.

He will be buried in Wichita on a date to be determined.