NEVADA'S 1ST ANNUAL POW/MIA
The AVVA Nevada State Council held its first annual POW/MIA Balloon Launch this year, on POW/MIA Recognition Day. We decided to go all the way and we asked one of our local casinos to help us. The Santa Fe Station Hotel and Casino is known locally for its support of veterans and our military, so we took a chance on them simply giving us a place to hold our launch. We were very pleased, and even slightly surprised, at their response!
This hotel not only gave us a place to hold our launch, which was at the top of the large parking garage, but they gave us the use of sound equipment, a large table to set up a "Missing Man Table", chairs covered in black (their idea!) for guests, posters made by them, and even a small tent with soft drinks for whoever came. They also helped us find interesting speakers, such as a former Thunderbird Pilot, and a Veteran who is in management at their facility. They helped with press releases as well. Without them it would never have been, at all.
Consequently, our first endeavor was much more successful than we had originally hoped for. We lauched balloons for the POW/MIAs from Nevada, those whose bracelets many of us wear, and included one balloon for each war in addition to Vietnam. We added a white balloon, launched alone, seconds behind the others, which we informed our guests was to represent hope. Hope for our success in finding all of our lost, as well as hope that we never face this issue in future conflicts.
All in all, it was a tremendous first effort. People who came told us that they were impressed with this event, and many had no idea the problem was as large as it is! We will be planning this event every year, and will try to make it bigger and better each time until they are all home, and we no longer have to. Please pray that there will never be another.
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Our event for 2003,
sadly, had to be cancelled. It was NOT
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