Seventeen honored at annual POW-MIa Day at SORCC

Men and one woman were honored at the SORCC POW-MIA day.
Men and one woman were honored at the SORCC POW-MIA day.

This year’s remembrance ceremony, part of a nation-wide tribute, took place in White City’s SORCC theatre building on Sept. 19. Following the flag salute, the audience viewed a video showing a unique version of our national anthem–four school-age girls harmonized it without benefit of musical accompaniment.
      
V. A. Voluntary Services Coordinator James Cunningham began the program by introducing Chaplain Steve Philo, who led the invocation. In his brief following remarks, the Chaplain mentioned a loved-one whose spouse had been declared missing in action for several years. He said he well-understood the anguish families endure at such harrowing times.


Before a backdrop of MIA/POW and Native American Veterans’ symbolic
flags, VA SORCC Associate Director Roy Horne addressed the audience.
The Eagle Point resident echoed notable words of General Douglas
McArthur: "…I shall return…"  
   
"Just as McArthur and
the American troops kept that promise to the people of the Philippines,
we can’t forget our pledge today," Horne continued. Former prisoners of
war (POWs) are more likely to suffer physical and emotional illnesses
after they’ve come back home. 
   
Although many hundreds of
our missing in action troops have been located, he stressed, hundreds
of thousands remain unaccounted for. "We’ll never rest until all of 
our MIAs and POWs return home," he concluded.   
   
The
roster of honorees included nine returnees from last year’s
commemoration, plus seven more. Teedie Woodcock, the lone woman in the
group photo shoot, recalled her three-year confinement in the
Philippines as a military family member before WWII ended. 
   
Cunningham
introduced Eagle Point HS Alumnus, Dr. Randall R. Nelson, now SORCC’s
Chief of Staff, who toasted the 17 honorees. Each received a token
souvenir of the event. Packaged with a lone rose, symbolic of  the
occasion, tapestries bearing the POW/MIA emblem went to the guests of
honor. These included Andrew Aquila, Neal Arnspiger, Ernest Brace,
Warren Dunlap, William Flury, Frank Hernandez, Cordino  Longiotti, Bill
Milburn, Del Massey, Robert Neill, Arthur Paxton, Richard Kuehl, John
Schick, Russell Thomas, Rod Witham, Teedie Woodcock, and Leo Zupan.    

   
As Dr. Nelson read the names, a staff member brought the gifts to the recipients seated at the tables.  
   
Following
the commemoration, Oregon Department of Disabled American Veterans’
supervisor of Hospital Services Coordinators, Ed Mazza, presented two
special gifts to the SORCC. He handed the keys to two new vans over to
Horne. Sorely needed to transport numerous disabled veterans to medical
appointments, these vehicles will be driven by grateful volunteers. The
Oregon DAV bought a total of six, Mazza said. Two went to Portland, two
to Roseburg, and these two to White City. Rogue River resident Mazza
supervises transportation for all three facilities. "We got a $1
million contribution from Harley Motorcycles," he said. "We have them
to thank for making these purchases possible."             
By F. C. Blake
Of the Independent

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