In loving memory
P.O.W. NETWORK Hospitality Liaison
Avis Gutz

RIP 12/28/02
She flies with the Angels and watches over all of us.
She was there no matter the cost
without EVER looking for a return on her investment.

She will be deeply missed



The 6th Annual Military Gala & Banquet was held Nov 8, 2002 at the elegant Chateau on the Lake. During the evening, the first ever "Ambassador's Award" was presented to the P.O.W. Network's officers, Chuck and Mary Schantag. The inscription:

Presented with Heartfelt Thanks to 
Chuck and Mary Schantag
for their dedication to America's POW/MIA veterans
Presented by Mike Radford, 
Ambassador of Patriotism, 11/08/2002.

It was an overwhelming moment, and the Network gratefully accepted the award on behalf of those they said "have no voice" - our POW and MIAs. A letter of congratulations was read by Ambassador Radford from Congressman Roy Blunt, Missouri's 7th District representative.

Chuck and Mary Schantag, Ambassador Radford, LtCol Paul Backs, USMC (Ret), Col Jack Jackson, Boeing Harrier test pilot.

Network Chairman, Chuck Schantag; Network researcher Mary Schantag, Shari and Mike Radford after the award presentation.

Former Vietnam helicopter pilots congratulate Chuck Schantag on receiving
the Ambassador's Award. 
From left, Al Smith, Chuck Schantag, Mik Mikulin, Bill Medsker.

Additionally, the Missouri 40 & 8 Grand Chef de Gare, Norman Reichel and Missouri 40 & 8 Grand Directeur for POW/MIA, Gary Reno, presented Mayor Lou Shafer and the City of Branson with the 40 & 8's "Most Patriotic City in America" award. It was a real first for a city of Branson's size!

Also, an annual event, the True American Hero Award, was presented by MOZARK TROA President, Lt. Larry Steffan USN (Ret), to Vietnam Veteran Steve Weyher, Golden Corral manager and partner for the Branson Golden Corral Restaurant. Steve's extraordinary support of veterans and veterans activities included feeding 500 veterans a day (for 7 days)  at the 2002 Command Center. He had also provided the lunches in 2001.

The evening had a magnificent Color Guard provided by members of the Marine Corps Kansas City Recruiting Service. God Bless America  was sung by New York entertainer, Lina Koutrakos, a 50 state flag salute was presented with students from 3 area junior ROTC units. Accompaniment was provided with drum and fife, courtesy Kristen Posch and Joe Tierney from College of the Ozarks. A special candlelight salute recognizing our POW/MIAs was held. Representing ALL the missing was Medal of Honor recipient and POW Rocky Versace. Chaplain Jimmy Young, one of the Chaplains honored during the evening, participated in the POW/MIA service along with an active duty Special Forces soldier from Ft. Campbell, KY.

More than 800 dinner guests were present. After dinner entertainment included a spectacular fireworks display by A.M. Pyrotechnics, and several hours of dancing with the MOONLIGHTERS.

From WWII, through Korea and Vietnam, active duty soldiers joined
 our veterans for a night of fine dining and dancing.

Col and Mrs Claire Eike, U.S.A. (Ret), Korea, 
Chosin Reservoir

Cmdr Mik and Robin Mikulin, Vietnam Helicopter Pilot

Special Forces - Retired, Active  Duty

Special Forces - active duty

CW3 Jimmy Newman, XO, A554, 2nd Bn, 5th SFGA was killed in a car accident July 19, 2003. Memorial services were held at 5th SFGA and the funeral followed in TN. Jimmy was to put in his retirement papers July 23, 2003.  Our deepest condolences to his family, friends and fellow teammates.

Maj Gary Johnston and SgtMaj Richard Taylor

The Marine Corps Kansas City Recruiting Service and 
the GALA Color Guard.

Before 800+ guests

MOH Rocky Versace, escorted by SFC Chris A.

A POW/MIA candlelight tribute saluting 800+ unaccounted for. 
Rocky represented them all.

The salt, the lemon, the empty glass... they are not here, but our POW/MIAs ARE remembered.

Aaron Mayfield lit up the night sky in tribute to our veterans.

 POW Network Chairman Chuck Schantag 
and his wife Mary. All GALA attendees 
had a chance to have formal photos taken.


Calendar of Events
 Gala 2002 Gala 2001 Gala 2000 GALA
 ticket order form
Photos load slowly! Photos
GALA 2002
Command Center 2002
All Veterans Ball 2002
Radisson 2002

Home POW/MIA Name Index Bracelet History Remains Returned Yugoslavia Bios GALA
NETWORK History LOVELETTERS Index Return a Bracelet Statistics BOWE BERGDAHL Branson, MO
NETWORK Info Sources Heroes or Villains? What you can do  Russian Memoirs Pilots in Pajamas Links
Donations & Sponsorship Live Sighting Index Shopping Guide China & POWs N Vietnamese Interrogators Contacts
email us More than a Band of Metal.... POW  Remembrance Coin...  Order NOW

Hanoi Jane Fonda