Roy Kidd Stadium added one new seat to its capacity this weekend, a seat that holds the memories of thousands, but which will remain forever unfilled.
A Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Honor Chair was unveiled at the stadium during a ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 14. near the statue of Kidd, on top of The Hill. The public unveiling came during halftime of the Colonels win over Tennessee Tech on Saturday, Nov. 16. EKU Director of Military and Veteran Affairs Barbara Kent and Rolling Thunder Kentucky Chapter 5 have been working for months to place the Honor Chair.
The Honor Chair is a permanet reminder of soldiers who never came home and who remain lost on the field of battle in overseas wars.
“I never spoke about it,” said Cindy Stonebreaker, the daughter of Lt. Colonel Kenneth Stonebreaker, who went missing in Vietnam in Oct. 28, 1968. Stonebreaker now sits on the Board of Directors for the National League of POW/MIA Families in Washington, D.C. “My focus is now on the 1,587 veterans who never returned from Vietnam.”
Fourteen Kentucky Vietnam veterans remain classified as missing in action. One was an EKU graduate.
“But for me, today, this chair has a very personal, important presence in my heart,” said Cathy Stringer Robinson, whose father, Capt. John Curtis Stringer II went missing in Vietnam in Nov. 1970. Stringer is a graduate of EKU like her father was. “I don’t think he missed many games while he was here at Eastern. He loved Eastern. He loved his ROTC program, and I feel that this is a very special chair.”
“I really want to thank EKU for this chair and this rememberance ceremony. This is beyond anything I could have imagined,” Robinson said. “Barbara (Kent) has been a workhorse for this chair. That’s what this mission is about, not forgetting him (my father).”