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Friday, September 19, 2008

POW-MIA • Is Not a New Chinese Restaurant

I just read in today's news that President Bush has honored all Americans who were Prisoners of War or are still Missing in Action by proclaiming today National POW/MIA Recognition Day, which in the future will be observed the third Friday of each September.

As a young man my dad enlisted and served in our nation's armed forces. During his service he was wounded, captured and was a Missing in Action (MIA) Prisoner of War (POW) for several years. During this time his family had no idea if he was alive or dead. At times I'm sure he wondered if he would survive as many in the prison camp did die from malnutrition, starvation, and disease.

Earlier this year my mom told me that my dad had on a baseball cap with both acronyms printed on the front. I'm guessing he got it at one of the POW reunions he's attended in the past. So there's my dad walking through a parking lot, a decorated war veteran, a survivor who proudly served his country, wearing a POW/MIA baseball cap when a woman approached him and after noticing his cap and exclaimed "Oh POW MIA.... Is that a new Chinese Restaurant? I haven't been there yet!"

While I'm certain the lady meant no harm or insult, all I could think when my mom told me was that she had to be kidding. Maybe all of you reading my blog already knew what these two acronyms stood for, but in case you didn't I just wanted to share them with you so that you would be spared from being in the same awkward situation someday.

So, since today is now officially recognized as a day to pay tribute to our past and current soldiers who are or have been missing or held prisoner. I wanted to honor my father the veteran by asking a favor. If you see someone wearing a hat like my dads? Take a moment to thank them and to think about the sacrifices our veterans have made for our country... Not feel hungry and think of Chinese food.

So to my dad, I hope you know how proud I am of you for serving our country the way you did and that I am also proud to be your daughter and how thankful I am for all of the valuable life lessons you've taught me over the years.

With love and sending you *Hugs* over the internet,



  1. You've got to be kidding me... She said that??? We are very fortunate that there are others who are brave enough to serve our country so we can continue our freedoms we hold dear to our hearts.

    Although we may not agree politically about what is right and wrong about war, as you say, it's our duty to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives and those who continue to fight to keep our freedom alive.

    Great article Stacie. I'm sure that what you went through as a child must have been very scary not knowing if your dad would come home. There are so many things that make you a great person and big part of that comes from the wonderful parents who raised you!

  2. Hi Diane,

    She really did say that. When I read the news story today I thought it was a good time to touch on the subject.

    I guess fortunately for me this all happened to my dad several years before he met my mom and before I was born. So I didn't have to worry when it happened the way his parents and family did.

    My mom also spent years behind barbed wire, as a child, in a Japanese American internment camp. Her entire family was imprisoned for almost 4 years.

    Their combined experiences have no doubt molded who I am. I can only ever hope to live my life in a way that appreciates their sacrifices and the life lessons they've taught me, some were obvious, others I didn't realize until years after I'd moved away from them. They are both remarkable people and I'm lucky to have them as my parents.


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