Since World War II, more than 82,000 American soldiers remain missing in action, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. In honor of these and all American soldiers missing in action and held in captivity as prisoners of war, Texas A&M University has created the POW/MIA Chair of Honor at Kyle Field.
The chair will sit empty at all games in recognition of American soldiers who never returned home and those who suffered in captivity during military service. The official unveiling is taking place at the Military Appreciation Game against the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Saturday, Nov. 15.
“Most everyone at Texas A&M has an affinity, an appreciation and a respect for the sacrifices made by those who have served, both from the Corps of Cadets and at large,” said Douglas Walker, senior associate athletics director at Texas A&M and former student of the class of ’88. “This chair is a natural fit for Kyle Field and another opportunity to show our support. The Corps is such a special part of the culture at A&M, and there has always been a tight bond between athletics and the Corps of Cadets.”
Affixed with a plaque, the Chair of Honor is located on the first level of Kyle Field’s west side. During pregame ceremonies at the Military Appreciation Day game, Texas A&M will recognize the chair on the video board with a public address explaining the significance of the POW/MIA tribute. Singing of the national anthem will follow.
“The dedication of this seat in Kyle Field to those who were prisoners of war and are still listed as missing in action makes a profound statement from our university,” said Brigadier General Joe Ramirez, commandant of the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M and former student of the class of ’79. “It will be a constant reminder to all of us that our fight for freedom did not come without sacrifice – freedom is truly not free. Texas A&M’s deep history with honoring and respecting our military men and women will now be evident to all who visit Kyle Field.”
Bobbie Meyer’s deceased husband, Lt. Col. Alton Meyer, former student of the Texas A&M class of ’60, was a prisoner of war for six years during the Vietnam War. After his airplane was shot down over North Vietnam, Lt. Col. Meyer was listed as missing in action before he was confirmed as a prisoner of war.
“My husband always enjoyed going to the Aggie games, and the Chair of Honor is such a wonderful tribute to all the military, especially the MIA and POW Aggies,” Bobbie Meyer said. “It also means so much for the families to know these veterans are not forgotten.”