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Honor them: Ellsworth hosts POW/MIA 24 hour run


Ellsworth Airmen and their families gathered at the Pride Hangar for the base’s second annual 24-hour Prisoner of War/Missing in Action run Dec. 6 to 7.

With the help of more than 280 volunteers from 12 different organizations across the base, 1st Lt. Amela Sanders, a deputy flight chief assigned to the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron, hopes this run will be a tradition that continues.

“This run is meant to honor any POW/MIA throughout history,” Sanders said. “POW/MIAs display character and inner strength unmatched by any other group. To be held in captivity and be able to keep your faith in being rescued by your fellow service members is an extraordinary thing.”

Participants ran in 30 minute shifts while carrying the POW/MIA flag, with each shift being dedicated to a specific person throughout history.

“This year, we chose 12 individuals for this run,” Sanders said. “The 12 individuals are officers and enlisted, they also represent all of our major conflicts over the last 75 years: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and one officer who was detained in Iran.”

Sanders also mentioned she believes it is important that people honor all of the brave men and women who came before, and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

“There’s a whole sense of pride and support in the military as a whole,” said Senior Airman Chase Escalante, an explosive ordinance disposal technician assigned to the 28th CES. “When it comes to this run, we’re honoring those who never made it back, and it’s good to take time to support them and reflect on all their sacrifices for us.”