MEDIA RELEASE: 2018 POW-MIA Recognition Event - Friday September 21 at 10am

For Immediate Release
Date: September 14, 2018
Contact: Rich Angeli, State VFW POW/MIA Chairman
Phone: 360-591-9798

Olympia– A public ceremony will be held in observance of National POW/MIA Recognition Day on Friday, Sept. 21, at the POW/MIA Memorial on the Capitol Campus in Olympia, beginning at 10:00 am.
This event will feature Special Guest Speaker: Special Guest Speaker: Special Guest Speaker: Special Guest Speaker: Special Guest Speaker: Special Guest Speaker: Special Guest Speaker: Silver Star Recipient and POW Veteran COL William Reeder Jr., Author of ‘Through the Valley: My Captivity in Vietnam’.

His Silver Star Citation reads: For gallantry during action against North Vietnamese Army forces on 14 April 1972, while serving as a helicopter pilot supporting the combat actions of friendly Vietnamese forces in Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam. The outnumbered ground forces were under heavy artillery fire, surrounded by anti-aircraft weapons and under attack by enemy forces. Captain Reeder took out a number of lethal guns, all while under intense fire from multiple anti-aircraft positions and small caliber weapons.

After rearming and refueling, Captain Reeder's team voluntarily returned to once again engage the enemy. In extraordinarily poor conditions of low clouds, haze, smoke and deepening darkness, his team prevented the friendly force from being overrun. Captain Reeder's actions contributed to the escape of dozens of friendly forces and one American soldier. His extraordinary heroism and selfless sacrifice reflect great credit upon himself, the 361st Aviation Company and the United States Army.

The event is held to honor the commitment and the sacrifices made by this nation's Prisoners of War and those who are still Missing in Action, as well as their
families. To download and print the National POW/MIA Recognition Day poster visit

In addition, the POW/MIA Living Memorial and Bracelet Repository at the Washington Memorial Cemetery in SeaTac will observe the day with a public ceremony at 3:00 pm, at which time the Repository will be opened to place POW/MIA bracelets of someone accounted for or bracelets that are broken. The Repository will then be sealed again until next year. The POW/MIA bracelets originated in 1969 as a way to bring attention to the American military prisoners and those listed as missing in Vietnam. For a history on the origin of the POW/MIA bracelet visit

National POW/MIA Recognition Day – the third Friday in September – is one of six days specified by Congress requiring the display of the National League of Families POW/MIA flag at locations required in Title 36 of the US Code, Section 902.

Washington State passed legislation in 2002 requiring all state agencies, institutions of higher education and every county, city and town to display the National League of Families POW/MIA flag, along with the state and national flags, on the same specified days. POW/MIA flag protocol is posted on the WDVA website at

For additional information concerning either of the ceremonies, contact Rich Angeli at 360-591-9798.
10:00 am, Friday, September 21
POW/MIA Memorial
Capitol Campus
Olympia, WA


3:00 pm, Friday, September 21
Washington Memorial Cemetery POW/MIA Living Memorial and
Bracelet Repository
16445 International Blvd.
SeaTac, WA