Vancouver Veterans Affairs campus to host POW-MIA Day event

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A national veterans’ leader and a Vancouver soldier captured during World War II will be part of National POW/MIA Recognition Day on Wednesday on the Veterans Affairs campus, 1601 E. Fourth Plain Blvd.

The observance will be from 1 to 3 p.m. on the west side of the Vancouver VA campus, near the “Lady Bell” Huey helicopter — visible from Interstate 5 — that is part of the Vietnam War Memorial Garden.

Guest speakers will include Hank Kwiatkowski, chef de fer (national president) of the 40 & 8 veterans group, which is holding its national convention in Vancouver this week.

Other scheduled speakers include former prisoner of war Dale Bowlin, who was captured in France on Feb. 21, 1945.

Visitors also will be able to check out the Veterans’ Museum adjacent to the ceremony site. The museum’s grand opening is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, but guided tours will be available Wednesday for those attending the POW/MIA event.

The observance is sponsored by the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center — which includes the Vancouver VA campus — and the Community Military Appreciation Committee, a nonprofit that preserves and celebrates Vancouver’s military heritage.