Myrtle Beach City Council considers permanent chair of honor for POW/MIA at Warbird Park

Bill DeVaughn has worked with Rolling Thunder for years to educate people about the military men and women who are missing in action or prisoners of war.

Rolling Thunder is the group responsible for the chair of honor display that often is seen in parades around the country.

On Tuesday the Myrtle Beach City Council will consider a motion that would allow the group to install a permanent chair of honor at Warbird Park on the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. It would be the sixth permanent chair in the Myrtle Beach area, DeVaughn said.

“There are over 83,000 still unaccounted for since World War II,” he said. “People don’t know that. They’re out of sight, out of mind. But we won’t stand for that.”

The chair would be added to the other military monuments at Warbird Park, including a Purple Heart memorial, Wall of Service and Air Force Base history panels, city spokesman Mark Kruea said.

Chairs also have been installed at St. James, Socastee, Green Sea Floyds and Aynor high schools with a chair to be installed at Carolina Forest High School this week.

DeVaughn, who served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, said he hopes to be able to hold a dedication for the new chair on Sept. 19, which is National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

“Warbird Park is a beautiful place,” DeVaughn said. “It will attract attention because it doesn’t look like anything else there. And then hopefully people will go home and research and become more aware.”

Kruea said the Rolling Thunder group has always done a nice missing man presentation.

“This way POW/MIA can be recognized year round,” Kruea said.

Reach MAYA T. PRABHU on Twitter @TSN_MPrabhu.