Joe Horvath’s job as a member of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Medical Company in Vietnam was search and rescue.
On Friday night, the 2017 Veteran of the Year’s face was masked in sadness as he unveiled a chair dedicated to those who were never saved, who disappeared into the fog of war, or who were imprisoned by enemy combatants.
The black POW/MIA chair is located in the front row of the home stands, right on the 50 yard line, at Mercy Health Stadium at Amherst Steele High School.
Since World War I, more than 82,000 service members remain accounted for. The POW/MIA chair, donated by Hussey Seating, will remain empty in honor of those men and women.
“They will never be forgotten,” Horvath said.
The unveiling came on Veterans and First Responders Night as the varsity Comets football team prepared to take on the Midview Middies.
A ceremony at the field included a 21-gun salute by the Amherst Veterans Military Honor Guard from American Legion Post 118.
Veterans and active service members were asked to stand and received thunderous applause.
Engines roaring and flags flying, the American Legion Riders drove motorcycles in two laps around the Richard S. Cooley Track, joined by Amherst fire engines with lights flashing.
When the Comets took the field, they were led by 25 seniors charging with the red, white, and blue held high.
Amherst went on to defeat Midview 55-13, remaining undefeated on the season.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.