Lexington-based Rolling Thunder chapter commemorates National POW/MIA Recognition Day

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 11:44 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Separated from his platoon in Vietnam on November 30th, 1970, Cathy Stringer-Robinson’s father, John, is one of about 1,300 Kentuckians still missing from past conflicts.

“He was leading his platoon across a swollen river that had been secured on both sides with a rope and he went first, lost his grip about halfway across and swept downriver,” said Stringer-Robinson, who lives in Richmond.

On Friday night, Kentucky’s fifth chapter of the Rolling Thunder held an event for National POW/MIA Recognition Day. The group gathered to honor soldiers who had been held captive and returned, as well as those who remain missing.

“That’s from World War II through Korea through Vietnam through the modern-day wars,” said Kenny Isaacs, a board member of the chapter.

The event also paid tribute to the thirteen soldiers killed in Kabul last month. Isaacs and the Rolling Thunder use these ceremonies to educate the public about prisoners of war and missing soldiers.

“Even though your loved one may be gone, we have not forgotten - and we will never forget,” Isaacs said.

Captain John Stringer has been lost for more than 50 years.

“I’ve - because of Rolling Thunder - received a lot of peace in my heart with my dad’s situation,” Stringer-Robinson said. “But there’s always hope, I hope we all get them home.”

With advancements in technology, missing Kentucky soldiers are being found and brought back.

“This chapter alone in the state of Kentucky, over the last six years, we’ve brought 16 back home,” Isaacs said, adding that they were soldiers both from World War II and the Korean War. “This year alone, we’ve actually brought six home.”

As members of Rolling Thunder shared stories of lost loved ones, Stringer-Robinson imagined a future with her father back in the bluegrass.

“I think of what it would mean to my family, to be able to stand on the tarmac in an airport and be able to welcome my daddy home,” said Stringer-Robinson.

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