POW/MIA

 

POW/MIA SURVIVORS SCHOLARSHIP 

Daniel K. Tarbell National Directeur

Written by POW/MIA National Committee

I would like to take this opportunity to give a brief description of the POW/MIA program of La Societe and how it differs from the program of the American Legion.  There seems to be a lot of misconception that it is a parallel program working toward the same objectives.  The two programs are not in conflict with each other.  I believe they co-exist quite well and in fact enhance each other.  The program of the 40 & 8 is a "POW/MIA Survivors Scholarship Fund".  This Scholarship is named in memory of Lance Corporal John Dewey Killen III USMC.  Lance Corporal Killen was declared Missing In Action while serving with The Third Reconnaissance Battalion in South Vietnam.  The Scholarship is available to the Spouse, Children, Grand Children, Great Grand Children, Widow or Widower of known and verified POW's or MIA's who served in the U. S. Military after WWI Draft day of May 28, 1917.  The purpose of The Forty & Eight POW/MIA Committee is "... to assist former POW's and the families of MIA's and to formulate some ideas relative to their benefits...".  What better way to provide benefits than assisting with a scholarship?  Please do not think of this as only a program for the 40 & 8.  Remember our MIA's have not had the opportunity to decide which Veterans Organization they might want to join.  This scholarship is available to all of their survivors and is worthy of the support of all us who nave not forgotten them.  Awareness is the key to all programs so lets get the word out.  Anyone wanting additional information on this program please contact any member of the POW/MIA Committee and we will respond.

BACKGROUND

In 1995 at the 76th Promenade Nationale of La Societe des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux, held in Niagra Falls New York, the delegates voted to establish a POW/MIA Committee.

At the 77th Promenade Nationale in Omaha, Nebraska the POW/MIA Committee was taken out from under the umbrella of Americanism.  It became a free standing program with a National Directeur, Secretaire/Treasueur, and Sous Directeurs.  The POW/MIA Program of La Societe is a Survivors Scholarship Program and should not be confused with the POW/MIA programs of other veterans organizations.

At the 78th Promenade in Rochester, Minnesota our Scholarship was named in honor of Lance Corporal John Dewey Killen III USMC.  He was reported MIA June 30, 1967 while serving with the Third Reconnaissance Battalion in South Vietnam.

In Louisville the Committee wrapped up the last few details of our program with the naming of our annual awards.  Based upon contributions to the Scholarship Fund the privilege of naming the awards was earned by the Grande du California and the Grande du Georgia, and Voiture #365 of California and Voiture #280 of Georgia.

The official names are as follows:  -Large Grand; Adm. James B. Stockdale Award, -Small Grand; H. Okay Parker Award, -Large Locale; Michael J Salome Award, -Small Locale; Richard "Rick" Brewer Award.  The Voyageur Militaire of the year is awarded for outstanding contributions by an individual.

ELIGIBILITY

Those eligible to apply for scholarship funds shall be limited to the Veteran, Spouse, Sons, Daughters, Grandsons, Granddaughters, Great Grandsons and Great Granddaughters.  Further consideration for scholarship funding by the Committee will be based upon, but not limited to, the following eligibility requirements: 

*Verifiable documentation of relationship to the veteran through which the application is being made

*Certified transcripts of the previous academic achievements

*Financial need

*Written acceptance of enrollment by an accredited college or university.

*The continuance of scholarship funding shall be determined by a Committee review of the recipients semester grades which under no condition can be less than a "C" average.

*All scholarship funds will allow Directeur to decide on a case by case basis if Scholarship funds shall be paid directly to the applicant or the university.

A perpetual trust has been established to fund said scholarships, utilizing only the interest earned from the trust and any cash reserves not required for operational expenses and/or the reimbursement of National General Funds.

Apply Here:

To apply for a scholarship download, print, and follow the instructions attached to the application.  Right click on the application file below.  Then left click on "Save Target As" and save the application to your computer.  Print the application and follow the instructions.

APPLIC.doc  - this file is in Microsoft Word 97' or later format

FUNDRAISING

Our primary source of fundraising has been thru the sale of Pins and Decals each year.  POW/MIA has also generated additional income from Ball Caps which proved to be very popular.  The Committee is very pleased with the support we have received from the Dames of various American Legion Posts and the V.F.W.

THE FUTURE

This is where all voyageurs can help with the program.  This is a Survivors Scholarship, it is not just for members of La Societe.  Remember our MIAs have not had the opportunity to decide which Veterans organization they might want to join.  Many Ex-POWs have joined other groups or not joined any organization.  If we make individuals, the Legion, VFW, Churches and Fraternal Organizations aware of the POW/MIA Scholarship that is available; those who believe in the program will help it prosper and grow.

TABLE CEREMONY

An optional ceremony, which is very appropriate for banquent settings, is listed below.  Careful attention should be given to the proper layout of the table.

Before we begin our festivities this evening, I would like to recognize our POW/MIAs calling your attention to this small table which occupies a place of honor near the head table.

IT IS SET FOR ONE symbolizes the fact that members of our armed forces are missing from our ranks.  They are referred to as POW/MIAs;  we call them Brothers.

They are unable to be with their loved ones and families tonight so we join with them in this humble tribute.

This table, set for one, is small - symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his oppressors.

The table cloth is white, symbolizing the purity of their intentions to respond to their country's call to arms.

 The single rose displayed in the vase reminds us of the families and friends of our missing brothers who keep faith while awaiting their return.

The red ribbon tied prominently on the vase reminds us of the red ribbons worn on the lapels and brothers who are not among us tonight.

A slice of lemon on the plate reminds us of their bitter fate.

Salt sprinkled on the plate reminds us of the countless fallen tears of families as they wait.

The glass is inverted - they cannot toast with us this night.

The chair is empty - they are not here.

The candle is reminiscent of the light of hope which lives in our hearts to light the way home;  away from their captors to the open arms of a grateful nation.

Let us pray to the Supreme Commandant that all our brothers will soon again be among our ranks.

REMEMBER

La Societe POW/MIA Place Setting Ceremony

MC1:    "Tonight we have some honored guests who can not be with us, so we remember them in this way." (Three raps of the gavel)" All rise."  "Voyageurs, please uncover." (If not already uncovered.)  "Please direct your attention to the place setting in front of the podium. This suggested ceremony calls for designating a POW/MIA place setting at all luncheons, banquets and memorial services conducted by La Societe, as a physical symbol of the thousands of American POW/MIAs still unaccounted for from all foreign conflicts. Accordingly at this time the Conducteur will advance to light the candle."

The Counducteur slowly advances toward the table setting where he will pause and wait for the que, "As the Conducteur lights the candle" given by the MC.

MC1:    "A reminder for us all to spare no effort to secure the release of any American prisoners from captivity, the repatriation of the remains of those who died bravely in defense of liberty, and a full accounting of those missing in action. As the Conducteur lights the candle I will explain the symbolism of the POW/MIA Place Setting."

The Conducteur slowly executes the lighting of the candle, comes to attention, turns to face the POW/MIA chair and executes slow salute. (NOTE: Slow salute will be timed to end as the MC says "The chair". )

MC2:    "The table."

MC1:    "The table is small, symbolizing the helplessness of one person, alone against his oppressors."

MC2:    "The cloth."

MC1:    "The table cloth is white for the purity of their intentions in responding to their Country's call to arms.

MC2:    "The bread plate."

MC1:    "A slice of lemon is on the bread plate to remind us of their bitter fate, and there is salt, symbolic of the tears shed by those who wait."

MC2:    "The rose."

MC1:    "The single red rose in a vase reminds us of the families and loved ones who have kept faith, awaiting the return of our POW/MIAs."

MC2:    "The ribbon."

MC1:    "The red ribbon, tied so prominently around the vase, represents the red ribbon worn upon the lapels and breasts of thousands who bear witness to our Nations' unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting of our POW/MIAs."

MC2:    "The candle."

MC1:    "The candle is the light of hope which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, out of the hands of their oppressors an into the arms of a grateful Nation."

MC2:    "The glass."

MC1:    "The glass is inverted, for they can not toast with us tonight."

MC2:    "The chair."

MC1:    "The chair is empty, for they are not here."

 

The Conducteur turns to face the candle.

MC1:    "Remember, we all called them comrades, brothers, sisters, and friends.  Do not let them be forgotten, for surely they have not forgotten us.  We will now pause for a moment of silence in honor of our Prisoners of War and Missing in Action."

Conducteur observes moment of silence, execute about face and returns to his station

(NOTE: MC1 and MC2 may be combined for one speaker or expanded up to include MC9 to facilitate wider participation by the membership. The POW/MIA chair cover, or flag, must be in place prior to beginning Place Setting ceremony.)

 

                LIST OF ITEMS FOR CEREMONY

    White metal folding chair                        Small table

    White table cloth                                    Bud vase

    White candle                                          Candle holder

    Red rose (fresh if possible)                     Red ribbon

    POW/MIA chair cover (or flag)              Wine glass

    Dinner plate                                            Cup and saucer

    Bread/salad plate                                    Flatware

    Lemon wedge                                        Salt