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POW/MIA Recognition Day observed at VA Medical Center

September 22, 2012
By NIKKI YOUNK - Staff Writer , The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - The Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain remembered all local former prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action during its annual POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremony on Friday.

According to Laura Branz of the VA Medical Center, there are currently 37 former POWs in the area. Five of those men were on hand for the Friday ceremony.

In the keynote address, Jean Hiatt of Iron Mountain spoke about life as a POW family member. Her late husband Ken spent seven months as a POW in Germany after he was captured during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

"When we saw the movie 'Saving Private Ryan' he couldn't speak," she said. "It was so realistic about what he had gone through."

Ken Hiatt passed away in February.

National POW/MIA Recognition Day is held annually on the third Friday of September.

Gov. Rick Snyder also issued a proclamation naming Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 as POW/MIA Recognition Day in Michigan.

"We encourage every citizen in Michigan to honor returned U.S. POWs, those captured and missing in Iraq and Afghanistan, and all Americans still captured, unaccounted for, and missing in action," the proclamation read.

Nikki Younk's e-mail address is



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