Veterans and family members honored prisoners of war or those missing in action to mark the 30th anniversary of the Philadelphia’s Vietnam Memorial at Penn’s Landing.
Of the 648 names on the Memorial Wall, 10 still haven’t come home. Their brief biographies were read Friday evening after the “missing man” ceremony, a table setting with one candle to signify the hope families have for the return of their loved ones.
One of the 10 missing is Carlos Ashlock, a Marine who was lost in a combat mission a week before his 22nd birthday in 1967. His brother Major Ashlock was just 10 years old when Carlos, the oldest of seven kids who graduated from Bok Technical High School in South Philly, was reported missing.
“Two officers appeared at the house,” said Ashlock. “Quite naturally, we were devastated, we didn’t know what to think. My dad consoled my mom. Obviously, she took it very hard.
“Both parents are deceased, but we still carry that hope, that torch, that some day he will come home.”
Ashlock still checks in with the League of POW/MIA families, looking for information on his brother.
“I read these reports constantly, actually. We’re still hoping, you know?” he said. “That some day, somehow, we’ll have some kind of closure.”