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Wanted: POWs and Purple Hearts

These days, just about everyone knows a veteran -- a son or daughter, a grandfather, an uncle. Finding men and women who have served their country is not difficult.

But finding men and women who have served their country in combat, and who have been prisoners of war or been injured in combat and have received Purple Heart distinction may be just a little harder.

Still, it is a task planners of the annual Veteran's Day observance at Farmington Middle School West are willing to take on. This year, for the 10th annual service, organizers aim to honor POWs and Purple Heart recipients -- as long as they can find a few.

And that, said geography teacher Jim Hoey, means the school is looking for help through families and friends of those who were held as a prisoner of war, or who were injured in combat. Hoey would like veterans, family members or friends of these men and women to call the school so the area's POWs and Purple Heart recipients can be recognized this year.

Ideally, Hoey said, the POWs and Purple Heart recipients would have some connection to Farmington, be they a resident, relative of a resident or someone who works in town. Still, any POW or Purple Heart recipient is welcome.

Hoey has lined up Dick Carroll of Eagan, the Minnesota National Service Officer of the American Ex-Prisoners of War Organization as the guest speaker for this year's ceremony.

Anyone who knows of a Prisoner of War or Purple Heart recipient who could be honored during this year's ceremony should call Peggy Curtis at the West building, 651-460-1511, or Hoey, 651-460-1586.

The ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m., Friday, Nov. 7. Registration and coffee hour begin at 9 a.m. Veterans who participate are invited to have lunch afterward, and those who choose to do so will go into classrooms to share their experiences with the FMS West students. The event is open to all veterans.