CWU News

POWs/MIAs to be remembered during CWU Air Force ROTC vigil

POW MIA bannerMore than 82,000 members of America’s military are unaccounted for from past conflicts, dating back to World War II. That is the figure listed by the United States Defense Department’s Prisoner of War Missing Personnel Office.

CWU's award-winning Air Force ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) detachment will honor prisoners of war (POW) and others missing in action (MIA) during its 24-hour Veterans Day vigil. It takes place beginning Friday, November 10, at midnight and continues through midnight on Veterans Day.

During the vigil, the detachment’s 12 senior cadets will live in spartan conditions in a tent near McConnell Hall, on the Ellensburg campus. The event, being held for the 28th consecutive year, provides member of the Cascade Cowboys with, “an ability to be part of something bigger than just this detachment, and bigger than just the Air Force as a whole,” said detachment Plans and Programs Officer Michael Reid, a junior from Portland, Oregon.

“It’s our ability to give back and provide awareness of prisoners of war and missing in action personnel,” added Reid, who is organizing the vigil.

Throughout it, participating cadets will stand at attention, during rotating 20-minute silent shifts. They will stand guard over a memorial set up to honor those who are “not forgotten.”

“We’re not doing this for ourselves,” Reid stated. “We doing this to bring awareness and support for the POW/MIA mission.” 

Other cadets, not “on duty,” will staff the table, featuring memorabilia of significance to POW/MIA families, and provide additional information. CWU and all Kittitas County community members are encouraged to view the displays during the vigil, visit with cadets, or honk their vehicle horns as they drive by to indicate support for the participants.

Along with the vigil, cadets from both the Air Force and Army ROTC detachments will represent CWU as they participate in the Ellensburg Veterans Day Parade Saturday, starting at 11:00 a.m. 

Media contact: Robert Lowery, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,