24-hour run salutes POW/MIA personnel

24-hour run salutes POW/MIA personnel
(Source: KSLA News 12)
(Source: KSLA News 12)

BARKSDALE AFB, LA (KSLA) - A group of airmen will honor prisoners of war and those missing in action on Friday on National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

Barksdale Air Force Base is taking part in a  24 hour Honor the Fallen run for those service men and women.

"Definitely allows you to reflect," explains A1C Ari Johnson who ran during the first hour.

The event started at a retreat Thursday night and continued for 24 hours after.

"Hearing the names of those individuals, that you're now representing because you have now taken their place as future leaders in the Air Force you're realizing that that could be you potentially one day," said A1C Melissa Carlier.

With each stride, a new emotion.

"One word sacrifice," said Johnson, "Their families paid the ultimate price, and they're continuing to pay the price now, and there's no closure for a lot of people."

More than 82,000 service members remain missing. Those who stepped foot on the Barksdale track make a solemn vow never to forget.

"Even though you may think that they've been forgotten, they're really not, we still are looking for them and we still care for them," said Carlier.

For some, this run holds an extra special meaning, like Carlier who is honoring her grandfather.

"When he was in the Vietnam war he actually got shot down twice, and he was, I don't remember what rank, but I think he was a captain, but he was actually a POW for about two weeks and then he was actually able to be rescued. "

All of the funds raised from this run will go to the National League of POW/MIA Families, an organization that helps offset costs associated with the recovery, return of remains.

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