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Team Shaw honors POW/MIA

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Alexander Winn, 20th Operations Support Squadron commander, speaks at a prisoner of war/missing in action (POW/MIA) rememberance at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Sept. 19, 2019.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Alexander Winn, 20th Operations Support Squadron commander, speaks at a prisoner of war/missing in action (POW/MIA) rememberance at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Sept. 19, 2019. Team Shaw hosted four events throughout to honor POW/MIA the week of 16 Sept. 2019.

The 20th Force Support Squadron honor guard preforms a 21-gun salute during a prisoner of war/missing in action (POW/MIA) remembrance at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Sept. 26, 2019.

The 20th Force Support Squadron honor guard preforms a 21-gun salute during a prisoner of war/missing in action (POW/MIA) remembrance at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Sept. 26, 2019. Team Shaw hosted four events throughout to honor POW/MIA the week of 16 Sept. 2019.

U.S. Air Force Airmen stand in an Airman Leadership School formation during a Reveille ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Sept. 16, 2019.

U.S. Air Force Airmen stand in an Airman Leadership School formation during a Reveille ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Sept. 16, 2019. Team Shaw hosted four events throughout to honor prisoners of war/missing in action (POW/MIA) the week of 16 Sept. 2019.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Daniel Caraglio, prisoner of war/missing in action (POW/MIA) project officer, salutes the American flag during a retreat ceremony, at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Sept. 17, 2019.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Daniel Caraglio, prisoner of war/missing in action (POW/MIA) project officer, salutes the American flag during a Retreat ceremony, at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Sept. 17, 2019. Team Shaw hosted four events throughout to honor POW/MIA the week of 16 Sept. 2019.

U.S. Air Force Airman runs with a prisoner of war/missing in action (POW/MIA) flag during a 24-hour run at Memorial Lake at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Sept. 18, 2019.

U.S. Air Force Airman runs with a prisoner of war/missing in action (POW/MIA) flag during a 24-hour run at Memorial Lake at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Sept. 18, 2019. Airmen volunteered to run in shifts to ensure the flag never stopped in the 24-hour period.

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, honored POW/MIAs during a remembrance week Sept. 16 - 20.

“We coordinated four separate events,” said Senior Airman Daniel Caraglio, POW/MIA project lead and a member of the 20th Medical Group. “To honor these heroes, we held a Reveille Ceremony, a Retreat Ceremony, a 24-hour Vigil Run and a ceremony that included a wreath laying and missing-man formation.”

Starting on Monday, Sept. 16, Senior Master Sgt. David B. Reid Airman Leadership School Airmen kicked off the week with a Reveille Ceremony.

The following day, other Shaw members performed a Retreat Ceremony.

During both ceremonies, the Airmen stood at attention and saluted the flag as it waved overhead.

The next day, teams of two completed a 24-hour Vigil Run. Airmen carried the flag and ran in silence to honor those who served.

In the closing ceremonies, Lt. Col. Alexander Winn, 20th Operations Support Squadron commander, spoke to those in attendance about his grandfather who was a prisoner of war and the importance of honoring POWs and those still MIA.

“It was my grandfather who taught me the values of strong character and dedication to family,” said Winn.

Winn continued to say, the day he was deployed to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, his grandfather called and told him two things, never forget how lucky he is to be an officer and a fighter pilot in the greatest Air Force and never miss an opportunity to fly upside-down and look at world from a different perspective.

Winn’s grandfather passed five days after that phone call, but his legacy continues on.

“POW/MIAs are all heroes,” said Winn. “They are all worthy of our commitment to them.”

While commitment goes beyond ceremonies, these days serve as a reminder of the unwavering promise to stand behind those who served and the dedication to return home those who are still missing in action.

Observed nationally since 1979, POW/MIA Recognition Day is a time for Americans across the country to pause in remembrance of the sacrifices and service of all POW/MIA and their families.

“As we raised the POW/MIA flag this week, we continued our pledge to return our members home to their family, ‘You are not forgotten,’” said Caraglio.