Dawson

ASHLAND An Ashland native and veteran of the Vietnam War will be honored on Saturday at 2 p.m. during a memorial service at the Boyd County War Memorial in Armco Park.

The memorial service is hosted by Rolling Thunder Chapter 5. The ceremony is for Capt. James V. Dawson who was last seen on July 16, 1969. Dawson served in the United States Air Force. He is one of 14 soldiers in Kentucky who are “missing in action.” He was last seen above the South China Sea.

“This has been very overwhelming,” said Todd Matonich, spokesman for Rolling Thunder Chapter Five. “The unconditional love and respect they (the families) have showed us for remembering their loved ones. We are going to do it no matter what. They have been phenomenal to work with.”

Rolling Thunder started honoring missing soldiers last May. They got in contact with the families of the missing soldiers to let them know what they were doing.

“It hasn’t been an easy road for the families,” he said. “I don’t think we anticipated the way we have came together as one big family.”

The group made a three and half-day trip across Kentucky placing Prisoner of War/Missing in Action flags on the memorials and gravesites of the 14 missing soldiers.

“It’s our (plan) to honor to remember these service members 14 times a year,” said Matonich.

They plan to continue the tradition, hosting a memorial for each solider near their hometown as close to the day they were last seen.

“We haven’t forgotten their loved ones,” said Matonich. “Nor will we forget their loved ones.”

For more information you can visit their website rollingthunderky5.org