A 24-hour vigil to raise awareness for soldiers who are or have
been prisoners of war or persons that have gone missing in action
was held at the flagpole on the Lory Student Center Plaza Thursday
“It’s a way to remember these men and women that have gone to
fight and were captured,” said Jennifer Mueller, a cadet and senior
health and exercise science student.
The Arnold Air Society and the Silver Wings, groups that promote
leadership and civic involvement, presented the POW/MIA Remembrance
The ceremonies began with a flyover on Thursday afternoon,
followed by a speech by Staff Sgt. Joe Cucarola, an ex-POW of World
War II. Cucarola was the recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze
The subsequent 24 hours involved changing of the guard and
rotations of cadets in a symbolic cage every hour.
“This year, we added the cage. It’s based on authentic POW cage
design,” said Brandon Horii, a cadet first lieutenant and senior
civil engineering student.
Cassie McGarvey, a cadet who was in the cage on Friday morning,
said she was touched by the experience.
“It was overwhelming to realize what they went through,” said
McGarvey, a freshman family and consumer studies student.
Cadets were not allowed to speak while in the cage and were
forced to crouch with their knees bent for the entire hour.
“You see people coming out of the cage and they are humbled,”
said Brittany Garner, a cadet and sophomore history student who
went into the cage on Friday. “It’s important for me because I
could be put into that situation one day.”
Garner also commented that some POWs are in cages or camps for
“If they can sit in a cage for 12 years, I can study and go to
class,” Mueller said.
Cadets from CSU’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps detachment,
as well as members of the colorguard, the Arnold Air Society and
Silver Wings ran the booth during the vigil.
They sold merchandise including ribbons, T-shirts and bracelets
that were marked with the date a POW/MIA went missing and was
accompanied by a story. All money raised benefited families of POWs
“People came in the middle of the night to buy bracelets,” Horii
The closing ceremonies involved a 21-gun salute and bagpipers
playing “Amazing Grace.”
With a larger turnout than previous years, Horii attributed the
heightened interest by CSU students to the colorguard, the flyover
and the new cage.
“My husband is a cadet,” said Emily Campbell, president of the
Silver Wings at CSU and a senior history education student. “It
could be my husband missing in action. Hopefully, we can strive for
more peace without having to make the ultimate sacrifice.”
For more information on Detachment
AFROTC 090 at CSU, go to
and news about the Air Force can be found at