Contact: Miles Migliara
National Communications Manager
AMVETS (American Veterans)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rolling Thunder®, Inc. National and AMVETS National Headquarters sent a joint letter to all members of Congress, calling for proper display and visibility of the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) flag outside the entrances to their Capitol Hill offices immediately.
“United States Capitol Police Officers recently pointed out to me that many members of the U.S. House of Representatives are no longer displaying the POW/MIA flag,” said AMVETS National Commander Rege Riley. “Long a fixture in the halls of Congress, we now count about 40 percent of the elected lawmakers opting to display other flags or no flags where the POW-MIA flag stood. That’s an unacceptable slap in the face.”
As two of the leading veterans organizations fighting for American veterans, Rolling Thunder® and AMVETS share a common focus in advocating for the 82,000 U.S. service members who are still missing in action or imprisoned by enemy forces.
“Displaying that flag in the halls of Congress is a simple but powerful way to ensure every one of our elected representatives keeps in mind there are still missing and possibly imprisoned service members,” said Sgt. Artie Muller, Rolling Thunder® National Executive Director. “It is the very least they can do. We aren’t going to accept anything less.”
“Until we as a nation can account for every American who went missing or was captured while serving the United States, we cannot allow the general public to forget,” Rolling Thunder® National President Joe Bean said. “We owe it to them to keep looking and remember that so many still aren’t home.”
“Not long ago the iconic black and white flag that means so much to so many was a fixture up and down every hallway on Capitol Hill. That’s not the case now, but it must go back up at every official entrance,” said Joe Chenelly, AMVETS National Executive Director. “We are giving these lawmakers the benefit of the doubt, that maybe they didn’t realize how meaningful and purposeful it is to display that flag. Now they will know, and we will be back on Capitol Hill soon.”
The Rolling Thunder® XXXII “Ride for Freedom” will take place in Washington D.C. May 26. Thousands of motorcycle-riding supporters from around the nation are expected to converge on the nation’s capital for the demonstration and to honor our fallen service members on Memorial Day.
“If our riders decide to visit the congressional office buildings, you better believe they will expect to see that flag outside every Representative and Senator’s office,” Muller said. “Every office. We will not forget, and we’re not going to allow them to forget.”
More than 82,000 Americans remain missing from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and the Gulf Wars and other conflicts, according to the Pentagon’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
Rolling Thunder, Inc.® was incorporated in 1995 with more than 90 chapters throughout the United States and members abroad. While many members of Rolling Thunder®, Inc. are veterans and many ride motorcycles, neither qualification is a prerequisite. Rolling Thunder®, Inc. members are old and young, men and women, veterans and non-veterans. All are united in the cause to bring full accountability for the Prisoners Of War-Missing In Action (POW/MIA) of all wars, reminding the government, the media and the public by our watchwords: “We Will Not Forget.” www.rollingthunder1.com
AMVETS (American Veterans) is the nation’s most inclusive Congressionally-charted veterans service organization.. Celebrating its 75th year of service to all military veterans and family members, AMVETS represents the interests of more than 20 million American veterans living in the United States today. AMVETS is open to all who have served or are serving, including in wartime, non-wartime, the Reserve and Guard. www.amvets.org