Iowa State Air Force ROTC members run over 30 miles for POW/MIA day


Members of the Iowa State Air Force ROTC finish their run for POW/MIA Day. Members ran from Des Moines to Ames starting at 9 a.m. Friday in September 2018. 

Jordyn Dubois

Members of Iowa State’s Air Force ROTC program participated in the annual POW/MIA run on Friday afternoon, running in shifts a total of 31 miles.

The POW/MIA run is an event to bring awareness to present and past prisoners of war (POW) and members of the military who are missing in action (MIA).

“It’s such a huge deal because we’re honoring them. You don’t want them to be forgotten,” said Alexander Stephens, an Air Force ROTC cadet captain.

The ROTC members left from the State Capitol in Des Moines at 9 a.m. and they ran in in two shifts, switching off in the afternoon around the half-way mark. The second shift continued until the run finished at the Gold Star Hall in the Memorial Union around 3 p.m.

For 31 miles, the ROTC members carried the American flag alongside the POW/MIA flag.

“It’s a lot easier to motivate yourself when you realize what you’re doing it for,” said Savannah Hartman, Air Force ROTC Force supports squadron commander.

Police officers led the ROTC members on the run and had water and snacks available for the students. Another police car followed the runners behind the group.

Hartman said because she knows there will be hard times ahead in the Air Force, she is proud of those who showed up to run in the event.

Connor Mccann, a fifth-year member of the Air Force ROTC program, ended the afternoon by saying that “At the end of the day I’ll go home and take a shower and eat food and my legs will be sore, but come Monday I’ll be fine. But there’s people out there that don’t come home, so that’s what it’s for you just have to keep that in mind.”