Tyndall honors POW/MIA with annual vigil run

  • Published
  • By Airman Anabel Del Valle
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Tyndall Airmen paid special tribute to honor prisoners of war and those missing in action with a vigil run at Flag Park Sept. 24 - 25.

“This is an important event because it is a day for us to remember the sacrifices of those that have served before us,” said Lt. Col. Steven Wyatt, 81st Air Control Squadron commander. “It is also a day for us to reaffirm our commitment to supporting each other and the Code of Conduct.”

The event began in 1988 with five Airmen running around Tyndall’s flight line for 24 hours. Every year since then the Airmen of the 81st ACS have coordinated a vigil run with the help of other organizations around base.

“This could not have been done without the support of the fighter wing staff providing advocacy,” said Wyatt. “Additionally, major collaborators were the 325th Operations Group staff and 43rd Fighter Squadron to coordinate and lead the Team Tyndall flyover that consisted of F-22s, a T-38, and a QF-16. Other collaborators were the 325th Medical Group, who provided safety equipment support and the 325th Civil Engineer Squadron who made the running path safe with adequate lighting.”

Not only is the POW/MIA vigil run honoring those who served before, it is also creating leadership roles to empower Airmen who began serving their country recently.

“It was my pleasure to uphold the annual run even through the obstacles this year has brought,” said Airman 1st Class PhoebeDeen Paquette, 81st ACS live technician. “The Airmen of the squadron carry on the tradition year after year, and I was ecstatic to carry on the legacy.”

Wyatt says this is another example of the success that can be achieved if you empower Airmen at all levels.

“This event is also a leadership experience for our young Airmen,” said Wyatt. “It was led solely by two airmen first class. They did it; all the planning, briefings, and managed the execution.”

“The event is traditionally for base-wide remembrance for those missing in action and prisoners of war,” said Paquette. “Remembering their lives with this event is the least we can do in honor of those individuals.”