Vietnam Vet Mike Bowen Runs 58,282 Miles

Mike Bowen ended his run at The Wall on POW/MIA Recognition Day. (Photos by Jennifer E. Berry)
Mike Bowen ended his run at The Wall on POW/MIA Recognition Day. (Photos by Jennifer E. Berry)

Vietnam veteran Mike Bowen, 65, completed a 58,282-mile run on September 20 in Washington, D.C., making good on a 31-year-old pledge to run a mile for every soldier killed or missing in the war. The Flushing, Mich., native made his vow in 1982, after a visit to the newly erected Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and persevered even after cancer treatment and knee surgeries. Over the past 31 years, he has run in all kinds of weather, always carrying the POW/MIA flag. Bowen enlisted in 1966 after graduating from high school. Of nine friends who served in Vietnam, only he returned. He has vowed to repeat the commemorative run.

 

Bowen always carried the POW/MIA flag when he ran.
Bowen always carried the POW/MIA flag when he ran.

 

Bowen took one of the POW/MIA flags he had run with to The Wall, tattered and worn and signed by the people from his hometown in Flushing, Mich.
Bowen took one of the POW/MIA flags he had run with to The Wall, tattered and worn and signed by the people from his hometown in Flushing, Mich.

Tattered from its many miles on the run with Bowen, a POW flag, signed by people from Bowen's hometown, was left at The Wall, as a remembrance of their support when Bowen finished the run.
Tattered from its many miles on the run with Bowen, a POW flag, signed by people from Bowen's hometown, was left at The Wall, as a remembrance of their support when Bowen finished the run.

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