CRANE, Ind. -- Crane Army Ammunition Activity joined with Naval Support Activity Crane, and Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, in hosting its annual Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Recognition Day Ceremony here Sept. 19.
Six former POWs and one spouse of a deceased former POW were honored during the ceremony. During the ceremony, Crane honored the guests at a luncheon where many of the veterans provided testimonials of their experiences as POWs.
The annual event has allowed former prisoners of war to get to know each other better while being honored. Many of them expressed their gratitude for the event and appreciated that the people at Crane remembered those who were POWs. Some told the crowd about the conditions they endured during their time of captivity.
The commanding officers of CAAA, NSWC and NSA gave remarks to the group during the meal, sharing their own perspective on the importance of the day. During his speech, Crane Army Commander Col. Robert Dixon spoke about America's commitment to finding those who are missing in action or a prisoner of war and returning them home.
"It is a tragic reality of war that every Soldier, Sailor, Airman and Marine accepts. The reality that they might be captured or that they might go missing. We do not dwell on it, because in order to survive in combat you must put those distractions out of your mind, but everyone who wears a uniform knows it could happen and trains for it," Dixon said. "But we gain solace in knowing that our nation's concern for our welfare is unrelenting, and that if we are missing or captured, the nation will not rest until every last one is found."
"No other country has devoted so much energy and so many resources to account for our fallen. We do this because we believe that every life is precious, and because those who put their lives on the line for this country need to know that we will spare no effort to bring them home," Dixon said.
Indiana University ROTC provided the color guard for the ceremony. A seven man firing party from the Crane and Odon Veterans of Foreign Wars posts fired three volleys and Taps played to honor those who are missing and who died in action. The Bloomfield High School choir group, Center Stage, performed during the ceremony.
Established Oct. 1977, Crane Army Ammunition Activity maintains ordnance professionals and infrastructure in order to receive, store, ship, produce, renovate and demilitarize conventional ammunition, missiles and related components. CAAA also provides command oversight of Iowa Army Ammunition Plant, Letterkenny Munitions Center, Pa., and Milan Army Ammunition Center, Tenn.