Thinking of POW/MIA Week and POW/MIA Day recognition brought to my mind some of my past veterans activities as chaplain to military veterans.
I recall a veterans recognition activity I attend in Colorado Springs CO. where we lived in the later 1990's. I would have attended normally but upon arrival I was recognized as the chaplain serving at the state level for the Disabled American Veterans and was invited to set in the front row.
As I recall I was seated next to an ordinary gentleman in jeans and open collar shirt, he politely introduced himself as “Newt” and ask about me, my chaplains vest and the DAV cap. He seemed appreciative of my activities for veterans.
The program began with a prayer, post the colors, flag salute & recognition of dignitary's then introduction of speakers. When they introduced the man that designed the MIA/POW Flag Mr. Newton Foust "Newt" Heisley ! The nice gentleman next to me stood and walked to the podium, he spoke mildly of the inspiration of the images on the flag and a meeting he had with a wife of a MIA/POW and her struggles with the US Military (Air Force) and her husbands status, 1st she was told he was Missing in Action, then “oh, he is being held prisoner” then the DOD clerk that said “who?” She said it appeared the military had forgotten their pilot, “her husband” was missing!
That lead to the words on the flag “YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN”
He spoke humbly pointing to the greater efforts of others that were behind the images that were almost just scribbled on a plain piece of paper that he handed to the spokes person for the National League of Families and became the National League of Families POW/MIA flag.
Gee, I was just setting next to Him!