NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY BAHRAIN — U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) paid tribute to American prisoners of war/missing in action during a ceremony aboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Sept. 19.
The event was organized by the NAVCENT Chief’s Mess as part of National POW/MIA Recognition Day.
“We cannot forget the 83,000 POW/MIAs from the United States who have paid the ultimate prize to defend our country,” said U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S 5th Fleet Force Command Master Chief James E. DeLozier. “This is significant because we cannot forget history; those who have served before us and with us.”
National POW/MIA Recognition Day observances are held across the country on military installations, ships at sea, state capitols, schools and veterans’ facilities. It is traditionally observed on the third Friday in September each year.
“Simply forgetting these 83,000 would be a tragedy,” said DeLozier. “It would be a tragedy for the nation and it would be a tragedy for the families who have sacrificed so much. It is important for our current Sailors to remember those who paid the ultimate price, but also for them to understand that this is something that we are going to be faced with as we continue forward.”
National POW/MIA Recognition Day is one of six days throughout the year Congress has mandated the flying of the National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag. The others are Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day.
In 2013, 48 U.S. military service members who were once missing were accounted for, and six of them were Sailors who served during the Vietnam War. A complete list of those who have been accounted for can be found at: http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/accounted_for/
NAVCENT is the navy’s service component to U.S. Central Command. It is responsible for approximately 2.5 million square miles of area including the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea. NAVCENT’s mission is to conduct maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts, and strengthen partner nations’ maritime capabilities in order to promote security and stability in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR.