Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder announced September 19 to 25 as POW/MIA Recognition Week. Since 2011, the remains of seven Tennessee service members who previously listed as Missing In Action (MIA) were recovered and returned to their country.
Specialist Marvin Phillips went missing on September 26, 1966 while serving with the United States Army in Vietnam. The Palmer native was laid to rest at Palmer Cemetery in Grundy County on September 26, 2011.
Private First Class Frank Jennings went missing on April 25, 1951 while serving with the United States Army in Korea. The Decaturville native was laid to rest at Jeanette Cemetery in Decatur County on April 14, 2012.
Private First Class Glenn Schoenmann went missing on November 28, 1950 while serving with the United States Army in Korea. The Palmer native was laid to rest at the Brown’s Chapel Cemetery in Grundy County on January 12, 2013.
Private First Class James Maxwell went missing on May 15, 1975 while serving with the United States Army in Vietnam. After the recovery of the remains of the Memphis native, services were held in Center Ridge, Arkansas on August 30, 2012 and at Arlington National Cemetery on May 15, 2013.
Major Howard V. Andre, Jr. went missing on July 8, 1969 while serving with the United States Air Force in Vietnam. The Memphis native was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on September 23, 2013.
Staff Sergeant Lawrence Woods went missing on October 24, 1964 while serving with the United States Army in Vietnam. The Clarksville resident was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on March 21, 2014.
Private First Class Cecil Harris went missing on January 2, 1945 while serving with the United States Army in World War II. The Shelbyville native will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on October 22, 2014.
“It is encouraging when our Tennessee heroes are recovered and returned to American soil and to their families who have waited decades for closure,” Grinder said. “However, until all of those Americans still Missing In Action have been recovered, the work must continue and we must remember those families still hoping for resolution.”
More than 83,000 Americans and more than 200 Tennesseans are still missing or unaccounted for since World War II. The United States Department of Defense Prisoner of War and Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) maintain information on returning remains of American heroes. To view more information visit the DPMO website. In 1990, the 101st Congress passed legislation to recognize the National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag. Since 2011, the week beginning the third Friday of September and extending through the following Thursday of each year shall be designated as “Tennessee POW-MIA Recognition Week” to remember and pay tribute to service members captured by the enemy and those still missing in action.
As a tribute to Prisoners of War and those still Missing in Action, the well-known POW-MIA Flag flew over the Tennessee State Capitol on September 19.
Assistant Commissioner Don Smith presented the Governor’s proclamation during a POW/MIA ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park in Erwin on Saturday, September 13 and presented a proclamation during a Remembrance Ceremony at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5156 in Sweetwater.
For more information, visit the department’s web site at www.tn.gov/veteran, facebook/myTDVA or twitter @TNDVA.