The National League of POW/MIA Families 52nd Annual Meeting and the Vietnam War Annual Government Briefings scheduled to be held in-person June 22-25th have been cancelled due to additional complications that arose today, June 6th.
The League Office was notified this morning that State Department is holding a Chiefs of Mission Conference (COM) for all US Ambassadors to Asian countries on Thursday, June 23rd, the very day of our Opening Session. The COM goes into the evening when our Annual Meeting Dinner & Candlelight Ceremony was scheduled to be held. The senior officials scheduled to address the League would have set the policy parameters for the entire 3-day meeting.
Secondly, the CDC rating for Arlington County, VA, is MEDIUM, and the infection rate is fluctuating. The CDC could raise the infection rate to HIGH on June 9th or June 16th, the next two reporting dates. If that occurs, cancellation by DoD would be mandatory. At the MEDIUM level, several protective steps are required. 1) Proof of full vaccination; 2) Completion of a DoD form attesting to having received full vaccination; or 3) A negative COVID test within 72 hours of the event, i.e. Registration at 5:00 PM on June 22nd.
The League had hoped to be able to offer COVID tests on site for those without proof of vaccination, but also learned today that DoD regulations stipulate a special COVID test (PCR) that requires analysis by a qualified lab and 2-3 days to report the results. That simply won't work. Nor could the dates and times be shifted to accommodate the dinner within COVID guidelines due to conflicts within the Hilton Crystal City Hotel.
As a result, the Board of Directors voted to cancel the 52nd Annual Meeting, and it will be re-scheduled for June, 2023, hopefully again at the Hilton Crystal City Hotel where most League annual meetings have been held for decades.
Hopefully, cancellation now will enable those not on COIN Assist to cancel flights and receive credit for future use. Those on COIN Assist will have no problem. In fact, the US Army had yet to notify the League that COIN Assist had been authorized for two members of each Army missing man to travel at no cost to attend this year.
If you have registered for the League 52nd Annual Meeting and the Dinner, you are entitled to reimbursement. If willing and can afford to donate the cost paid for registration, etc., the League would welcome and deeply appreciate your generosity during this difficult pandemic-related time in our country. Please notify the League of your intentions, if possible, by email to email@example.com, or call 703-465-7432.
With hope for the future of our nation and determination to press forward in our efforts to achieve the fullest possible accounting for our POW/MIA and KIA/BNR (Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered), America’s unreturned Vietnam War Veterans.
As ever onward…….Ann Mills-Griffiths, Chairman of the Board & CEO