POW/MIA chair dedication ceremony at Biloxi VA Medical Center

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The table has been set and the chair is waiting, along with family and friends of our military servicemen and women who are prisoners of war or still missing in action.

News 25’s Toni Miles take us to a POW/MIA chair dedication held at the Biloxi VA Medical Center where more than a hundred veterans and the VA undersecretary for memorial affairs rallied to honor the memory and lives of our POWs and those still missing in action.

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The National Anthem is a song we all know that celebrates our freedom, but only those who have served our country know firsthand the sacrifices that have been made for our liberty. “This unoccupied seat is dedicated to the memory of those brave men and women who are not yet accounted for and the sacrifice each made for their country. The plaque that accompanies this chair reads “You are gone, but not forgotten.”

As evidenced by more than one hundred people who banded alongside the VA undersecretary of memorial affairs at the Biloxi VA Medical Center on Tuesday for the unveiling and dedication of a chair at the VA Medical Center.  American Legion Posts 42 Commander Tom Adams said, “It’s a constant reminder that there are those missing from our ranks.”

The table is set in memory of the more than 80,000 military men and women who have not yet made it home and our nation’s leaders say they will not rest until everyone is accounted for.  VA Undersecretary for Memorial Affairs Randy C. Reeves said,“ For each and every one of them for each of those unaccounted for, there is a family somewhere waiting, hoping some day they will return. That is who we have to remember and honor and that’s who we have to embrace as a country until we make sure there is a full accounting.”

“That’s what we’re hoping for, they’re gone but not forgotten.”

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Toni started at WXXV News 25 in December of 2013, just three months after the news was launched. She has served as Assignment Editor, anchored for nearly two years, worked as a reporter for several years and hosted Coastal Connections for more than four years. Toni graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi where she was editor of the Student Printz. She then did an internship on Capitol Hill, working for a U.S. Senator, then returned to Mississippi as a reporter at WDAM in Hattiesburg. After that, she moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, working as a reporter for FOX 25 in Biloxi, then crossing city lines to work at WLOX-TV news in Biloxi, starting out as a producer, then working as a photographer, reporter, weekend assignment editor and weekend anchor. She was among the station team that won the Edward Murrow and Peabody awards for coverage during Hurricane Katrina. Toni moved to the Lone Star State where she worked as the morning and noon anchor, investigative reporter and live shot reporter for KZTV Action 10 News, then KRIS TV News in Corpus Christi, Texas. Toni moved back to the Magnolia State to be with and take care of her family, working as a multi-media journalist and fill-in anchor at WDBD Fox 40 news in Jackson. After almost completing a second degree in filmmaking at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Toni transitioned back to news at News 25. Toni is blessed to have a wonderful support network of close family, friends and mentors, and she hopes to pay it forward. She has a three-legged chiweenie named Rocky Balboa because of his fighting spirit. She loves writing and has completed a novel that has been adapted into a screenplay, and has just finished another screenplay called "Delta Rose." She's currently working on a new legal thriller called "Fall From Grace." Stay tuned.... If you’d like to book a live in studio interview on News 25 Today, just email: tmiles@wxxv25.com. These interviews can have up to two guests, last about two minutes and showcase community events, non-profit organizations and things of interest to people in our area…and they’re FREE! Just send information about your event, including date, time, location, contact number and/or website for viewers wanting more information, along with the proper name and titles of the person or two people who will be interviewed, and Toni or producer Porsha Williams (pwilliams@wxxv25.com) will get back with you via email in a timely manner to book a date. Typical interview times are daily at: 5:45, 6:45, 7:45 or 8:45 am. Guests are asked to arrive about 30 minutes beforehand. You can also ask about booking a live shot on location for news events for our 6 and 7 am newscasts. We look forwarding to having you!

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