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National POW/MIA Recognition Day: Local Veterans Share Survivor Stories

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFTA) -- President Donald Trump made September 21 National POW/MIA Recognition day, calling on the American people to salute all American prisoners of war and those still missing in action.

The third Friday in September is a time to reflect on the suffering and sacrifices of prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action.

Paul Stone served in WWII.

"The government sent this to my mother, that's how they found out," Stone said.

Captured several times, he spent nearly five months in prison camps.

"In 1944, he liberated me, General Patton, from a German prison camp. At that time I was 20 years old," Stone said.

On Friday morning the VA Medical Center in Fayetteville held an ex-prisoner of war and missing in action recognition ceremony.

In the middle of the room, a table set for one to symbolize all of the soldiers that never came home.

Isaac Caudle also served in world war two.

"Out of 500, there were 129 that could still walk. So finally we come to the commander, and all he could do, he said we got to quit. Which wasn't what we wanted to do at all,  but its what we had to do," Caudle said.

Caudle was captured in France in 1945 for 96 days.

"For an American soldier to give up, that was not heard of. You didn't do that. You were supposed to keep one bullet in your rifle, and that's to kill yourself before you give up," Caudle said.

Both men united by a struggle to survive in brutal conditions, honored Friday for their courage and determination

"I like to be with other guys because everybody ain't have this kind of experience," Caudle said.

And for those who never returned from the battlefield to their families, the message remains the same --you are not forgotten.

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