News Search

Vigil Run honors Vietnam Vet, POW/MIAs

Vigil Run

Members of the Air Force Delayed Entry Program at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.. participate in a 24-hour vigil run Nov. 3, 2018, at the James Gym Track. Participants run or walked in 30 minute shifts carrying the Prisoner of War/Missing In Action and United States flags around the track for a total of 24 hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Hudson)

Vigil Run

Chief Master Sgt. Leon Calloway, 375th Air Mobility Wing command chief, gives the closing remarks for the 24-hour vigil run Nov. 3, 2018 at the James Gym Track, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. This year’s vigil run honored Vietnam veteran Roger “Red” Darden for his service during the Vietnam War. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Hudson)

Vigil Run

Roger “Red” Darden hugs Jack Poltras, both Vietnam War Veterans, during a vigil run opening ceremony at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., Nov. 2, 2018. During the war in 1968, Darden and his unit were on a 42-day search and destroy mission upon which they were approaching Can Tho Airfield in South Vietnam, which was under attack. Darden noticed a dredge pipe in which the Viet Cong were entering from. After making it to the end of the pipe he noticed two men lying in a ditch, one of those men was Poltras. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Cossaboom)

Vigil Run

Members of Team Scott carry the Prisoner Of War/Missing In Action and the United States flag during Scott AFB’s 9th annual Veterans Vigil Run hosted by the Air Force Sergeants Association, Nov. 2, 2018, at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. The vigil run was a 24 hour event that hosted 290 participants who completed 325 miles in total. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Cossaboom)

Vigil Run

Roger “Red” Darden, a Vietnam War Veteran, stands up during a vigil run opening ceremony at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., Nov. 2, 2018. Darden was the honoree for Scott AFB’s 9th annual Veterans Vigil Run hosted by the Air Force Sergeants Association. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Cossaboom)

Vigil Run

Members of Team Scott carry the Prisoner Of War/Missing In Action and the United States flag during Scott AFB’s 9th annual Veterans Vigil Run hosted by the Air Force Sergeants Association, Nov. 2, 2018, at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. The vigil run was a 24 hour event that honors a Veteran for their service. This years honoree was Roger “Red” Darden, a Vietnam War Veteran. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Cossaboom)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --

The Air Force Sergeant’s Association hosted their 9th Annual Veteran’s Vigil Run at the James Gym Track Nov. 2 -3, honoring Vietnam Veteran Roger "Red" Darden.

Darden was deployed in 1968 to Can Tho, South Vietnam with the 244th Delta Hawk Aviation Company. On Jan. 14, Darden and his unit had been on a 42-day search and destroy mission when they were approaching Can Tho Airfield, which was under attack.

His unit approached the gully and noticed a dredge pipe that the Viet Cong were entering through. When he and his unit made it to the end of the pipe, he noticed two men lying in a ditch. After hearing groans, Darden located a man who was severely injured and carried him to safety.

In addition to honoring Darden, the 24-hour run also signified the “never ending support” for those who were Prisoners of War or are those still Missing in Action.

 “It is important to honor these veterans because not every POW or MIA makes it home, and it reinforces our code of conduct,” said Staff Sgt. Darrel Johnson, 375th Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School instructor.

A lighting of the vigil candle signaled the commencement of the event wherein groups ran or walked in 30-minute increments around the base track.  A total of 290 runners completed 325 miles over the 24-hour span. Over 40 volunteers teamed to work shifts throughout the event to ensure the safety of the participants, while the USO provided food and beverages during the entire event.

“For these 24 hours, we kept the watch … and we paused to honor all veterans past and present and to those who bear the status of POW/MIA,” said Senior Airman Xavier McGruder, 436th Supply Chain Operations Squadron.

For 375th Air Mobility Wing Command Chief Leon Calloway, the event is all about service members and their families remembering what it means to be free.

“Being free takes dedication, commitment and sacrifice. We are here to thank them for their service and let them know we will never forget.  Thank you to all who came out to participate and who volunteered to make this a showcase event.”

 

 

showcase airman



Financial Operations Flight
375th Comptroller Squadron

Click here for details!