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Bike Draw Attention To POW and MIA Soldiers

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 17 May 2013 05:58pm | comments

Some 83-thousand Americans are still considered Missing in Action from World War 2 to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports hundreds of motorcycles will come roaring through Mississippi today to honor their sacrifice.

The riders are on a cross country journey that will culminate at the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

Bill Robinson spent nine years as a prisoner of war in a North Vietnamese prison camp.

"I had one time when I was lined up in front of a firing squad and I didn't think I was going to see 23. I didn't know at the time it was a mock execution. I was saying my prayers and saying them hard," Robinson said.

Its been 40 years since Robinson was released and now he takes part in the annual 'Run for the Wall' to help focus attention on Americans still captive or considered Missing in Action.

"The most important is to have the opportunity to thank them for the freedoms I enjoy today. Because without them filling our shoes than I wouldn't be free," Robinson said.

Biker Gaythal Hinton of Beaumont says the large convoy of motorcycles draws important attention to Americans still held prisoner or missing in action.

"We ignore our troops a lot of times. But we need to recognize them more regularly. They make a big sacrifice. We live our life everyday and don't realize what people have sacrificed for us to have our freedom," Hinton said.

There are still more than 83-thousand Americans considered Missing in action, including 16-hundred from Vietnam and 6 from the invasion of Iraq.

Erik Hearon, who helped organized the Mississippi portion of the ride, says it is easy to forget those soldiers.

"It is a remembrance of all the people who have served, died, and come back in some cases. Those who have been injured and our still being injured protecting our nation. And they are under appreciated, it seems, in many areas," Hearon said.

This is the 25th run for the wall and the 13th time the route has brought it through Mississippi.

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