Lexington-based Rolling Thunder Chapter commemorates National POW / MIA Recognition Day

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – Cathy Stringer-Robinson’s father John, who was separated from his train in Vietnam on November 30, 1970, is one of approximately 1,300 Kentuckers who are still missing in previous conflicts.

“He led his platoon across a swollen river that was tethered on both sides, and he went first, lost his footing halfway and swept downstream,” said Stringer-Robinson, who lives in Richmond.

On Friday evening, Kentucky’s fifth chapter of Rolling Thunder hosted a National POW / MIA Recognition Day event. The group gathered to honor soldiers who were held captive and returned, as well as those who are missing.

“This ranges from World War II to Korea to Vietnam and modern wars,” said Kenny Isaacs, board member of the chapter.

The event also paid tribute to the thirteen soldiers killed in Kabul last month. Isaacs and the Rolling Thunder use these ceremonies to educate the public about prisoners of war and missing soldiers.

“Even if your loved one is gone, we have not forgotten – and we will never forget,” said Isaacs.

Captain John Stringer has been missing for more than 50 years.

“I’ve got a lot of peace in my heart with my father’s situation because of Rolling Thunder,” said Stringer-Robinson. “But there is always hope, I hope we all get home.”

As technology advances, missing Kentucky soldiers are found and returned.

“In this Kentucky chapter alone, we’ve brought home 16 in the past six years,” said Isaacs, adding that they were soldiers from both World War II and the Korean War. “We actually took six home with us this year alone.”

As members of Rolling Thunder shared stories of loved ones lost, Stringer-Robinson envisioned a future with her father on bluegrass.

“I think about what it would mean for my family to stand on an airport tarmac and welcome my daddy home,” said Stringer-Robinson.

Copyright 2021 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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