Members of American Legion Post and Auxiliary Unit 626 performed a special POW/MIA remembrance ceremony at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo during Military Appreciation Day, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. The observance was part of a “Welcome Home!” banquet hosted by rodeo officials at the Round Up Inn in the Amon Carter Exhibits Bldg. of the Will Rogers complex to honor all Vietnam-era veterans.
The Legion Family effort was coordinated and directed by Auxiliary member Christine Willesen, who also narrated the ceremony. Other Legionnaires who took part included: Post 626 Cmdr. Arthur McAvoy, Vice Cmdr. Jeff Anderson, Finance Officer Wayne Oliver, Historian Bruce Zielsdorf and Post 626 member Clint Willesen.
Legion Auxiliary Unit 626 participants included Treasurer and Historian Harriet Wright, Executive Committee member Rita Anderson and Unit 626 member Donna Oliver.
The American Legion Post and Auxiliary Unit 626 Family was honored to have Air Force (ret.) Lt. Col. John Yuill place an empty chair at the POW/MIA table to conclude the ceremony. The chair – draped in a black POW/MIA banner – represented those servicemembers yet unaccounted for in all American conflicts.
For months, Yuill and his crew were prisoners of war in Hanoi after their B-52 bomber was shot down over North Vietnam during Linebacker II – a December 1972 bombing campaign.