NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and state Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder have declared this week as Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Recognition Week.
Commissioner Grinder is a military veteran herself, having served most recently in Afghanistan. She says she recently had opportunity to attend a luncheon meeting of Tennesseans who are former POWs.
“In our society we misuse and overuse the term ‘hero’ whether its an athlete or entertainer, but sitting in that room with those former POWs – those are real heroes.”
Grinder says that more than 83,000 Americans and more than 200 Tennesseans are still missing or unaccounted for since World War II.
Grinder says that offering recognition as a state is a powerful way to salute their bravery.