A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-1 Sailors Commemorate POW/MIA Day - Story Number: NNS080923-13 - Release Date: 9/23/2008 12:47:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tucker M. Yates, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Det. Northwest. (Mentioned: VP-1 and VP-17)..." WebSite: United States Navy http://www.navy.mil/ [29SEP2008]
OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) -- VP-1 hosted a ceremony to commemorate Prisoners of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Recognition Day with former members of VP-17 in Hangar 6 on NAS Whidbey Island, Washington Sept. 19.
National POW/MIA Recognition Day honors the courage of those who were held as prisoners of war in foreign conflicts and to ensure those who remain missing in action are never forgotten.
"Today our nation pauses to commemorate our comrades who cannot be with us for they are prisoners of war or are declared missing in action," said Command Master Chief (AW/SW) James Reynolds, VP-1 "Screaming Eagles." "So, on this third Friday in September, let us remember well the sacrifices our brothers and sisters have made."
Eight former members of the VP-17 "White Lightnings," which was disestablished in 1995, attended the event as part of their base tour.
"It's a great opportunity to honor those who have gone before us in similar situations back in the 60s; it's fantastic, I appreciate you being here," said Cmdr. Chris Corgnati, VP-1 commanding officer.
"It's important to take the time out of the day to remember those that have gone before us who paid that price and it's a great opportunity to reflect on those in all past conflicts as well as what's going on right now. Everybody in this room knows somebody who's out on the front lines today, so keep them in your thoughts and prayers."
After the ceremony, the White Lightnings received a static display tour of a P-3C Orion. Some of the members have not been to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington in nearly 40 years.
"This is something more than I ever expected," said Jim Whitmus, a VP-17 Sailor in 1970. "It's great being here seeing the old base again. The last time I was here was in 1975 for Naval Reserve schooling. I haven't seen it all yet, but it looks like there's been a lot of changes; it's really neat."
"I've never been treated this great, I think all of us to the person would say this has really been an experience," added Sherman Tifft, a VP-17 Sailor in 1968.
"VP-17 History Summary Page"