Rain delays ROTC ceremony Air Force ROTC vigil rescheduled

The Air Force ROTC vigil for prisoners of war was postponed until today because of hazardous weather conditions, Cadet Maj. Matt Stewart said.More than 100 cadets were in uniform and ready to guard the flag on Sadler Lawn for 24 hours Thursday afternoon, but then the rain came.

The flag guard vigil is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, National POW/MIA Awareness Day.

The cadets will take turns guarding the American and POW/MIA flags in 15 minute shifts, which remain at half-staff for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, said Arnold Air Society Vice Commander Jessica Murray.

They will also run for four hours around the main campus in 1.2 mile shifts, Murray said.

“Things happen,” said Air Force ROTC instructor Capt. David Montalvo. “I wish things could have gone as planned, but we’ll just have to move the ceremony to tomorrow.”

The purpose of the annual event is to honor imprisoned and missing veterans and give cadets a better understanding of what POWs go through, Murray said.

Thursday afternoon, ROTC students were shown a presentation on a day in the life of a POW, which included excerpts from the journals of former POWs, Montalvo said. They also learned how POWs communicated through prison walls with a series of knocks.

Ginger Williams, a cadet watching the presentations, said: “I learned a lot about the experiences POWs go through. I didn’t realize the conditions they stayed in were so bad.”

POWs and all veterans deserve to have younger generations understand their sacrifice, Williams said.

“Hearing the prisoners’ first- hand accounts really put things in perspective,” she said.