Maryland Inmates Remember National POW-MIA Recognition Day
09/20/2013
WAMU 88.5

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Today is National Prisoner Of War-Missing In Action Recognition Day. One ceremony marking the day in Maryland was quite unlike any other in the United States.

There are plenty of incarcerated veterans that have formed groups in prisons throughout the U.S., but those at the Roxbury Correctional Institution  — a medium-security prison with 1,700 inmates - are able to do something completely unique: hold a ceremony at a brick memorial they themselves constructed in the prison's courtyard to mark National Prisoner of War/Missing In Action Recognition Day. The memorial was here long before Henry McCurry arrived last year. The Army veteran of Desert Storm, Somalia, and Kosovo was convicted of first-degree assault.

"I unfortunately got addicted to drugs and ended up in here. One of things I found out now is that I have post-traumatic stress disorder," McCurry said.

Being around other veterans and some professional counselors helping him gives McCurry hope that when he is paroled next year that he can put his life back together. Until then McCurry has a lot of time to reflect on his military service.

"I gave up a lot for my country," McCurry said. "An it's something that will never leave me. I'm proud of what I did. As far as that goes"

The veterans at RCI also hold walk-a-thon fundraisers, while inmates at one of the state prisons right next to this one will graduate their first class of service dogs they trained for veterans next month.