Rolling Thunder won’t forget POW/MIAs
When you see POW/MIA flags flying in Brevard County, chances are the flags were provided by Rolling Thunder, Chapter 1 of Florida, a local group of strong advocates for those troops still unaccounted for from wars.
Rolling Thunder members are men and women who advocate for full accountability of Prisoners of War and Missing in Action by reminding the government, the news media and the public that “We Will Not Forget.”
I have long known some of these patriots who are fierce in their support of POW/MIAs. They will do whatever it takes to get the word out.
But not only are they advocates for those who still might be held or otherwise unaccounted for, they also do a lot to help other veterans in the community.
James “JJ” Justice, president of Chapter 1 of Florida, said that 99 percent of money spent by the group to help veterans is spent in Brevard County.
“If someone needs us and we find out about it, you can count on us being there,” he said. “We have a great chapter here in Brevard County.”
While the roar of their motorcycles might sound somewhat like rolling thunder, it is not a biker group. Many members are veterans and non-veterans who ride motorcycles.
“Rolling Thunder started out as an advocate for POW/MIAs back in the 1980s,” said Justice, a retired Army sergeant first class. “You don’t have to be a veteran. All you have to do is support our cause of full accountability of our veterans.”
It also is not necessary to be a motorcycle rider to be a member of Rolling Thunder.
Perhaps only family could be stronger advocates for those who have not come home from wars.
“We leave no man behind,” Justice said. “We believe that there are some that are still alive in Southeast Asia.”
Justice can recite the number of those still missing — 78,243 from World War II, 7,703 from the Korean War and 1,609 from the Vietnam War, and so on.
About 82,000 still are missing from all wars. Everyone must be reminded.
Chapters from around the country converge in Washington, D.C. on their motorcycles each year in a demonstration to get their voices heard before government officials.
Rolling Thunder meetings are open to the public. The Chapter 1 of Florida meets at 2 p.m. the fourth Sunday of every month at the Brevard Veterans Memorial Center at 4000 Sykes Creek Pkwy. on Merritt Island.