Thursday, March 08, 2007

So They Don't Get Abandoned Again

I ordered a Memorial Bracelet because the site offered me a chance to get a name I wanted. I have never wanted a specific name before. This is the fourth bracelet I have worn, but I was looking to replace the one I had, and not abandon this man again. Below is an email I sent to a friend who would understand...I sent it the day I ordered the new bracelet, and took off the old one. THIS IS WHAT I WROTE TO MY FRIEND..... I thought that you might appreciate this story of what happened to me today. I have, for the past 14 years worn a POW/MIA bracelet with the name of LTC William L. Deane. I am not wearing it any more. It has over time gotten pretty badly scratched up and I have at various times polished it and buffed it to remove the nicks and such. Well, it got to the point that even I could barely read it and I know what it says. So I went on line to see if I could get another bracelet with the same man's name. I then planned on sending the bracelet to the wall, or having someone who was going there, take it. I found a not for profit site that engraves these types of bracelets and gives part of the purchase price to several non-profit organizations that support the families and victims of terror, POWs, Disabled Vets's hard to get a bracelet with a specific name. So I went to the site and tried to look up the name of the vet on my bracelet. He was not listed. After some moments of frustration and checking the name and such, I looked under a tab for KIA. There was his name. His status has been changed from POW to KIA...and he had come home! I sat here at my desk, in my classroom and wept. His remains, along with those of four people killed with him, were returned in 1996 and he was identified in 1999. I clicked on the dates and found a story and report on the circumstances of his disappearance and why they thought that he was a prisoner for so long. (He may have been so for a while.) None the less, He had been returned and identified, and his wife, Ingrid Deane, had gone with him to Arlington where he, together with the other four, was buried with full military honors. This was the third bracelet that I had worn. The first, William D. Ward came home in the early 70's and was also buried by his family, the second came home alive, and returned to his family. This one was the third. That's why I am not wearing the bracelet anymore. I am sending it to the Pentagon, where they have an office that deals with the returning of these bracelets to the families. I am sending this on to his wife. If they can't find her then it will go to the wall. So, now I have ordered another bracelet. SSG John T. Gallagher from Hamden, CT lost in Laos on Jan 05, 1968. He is unaccounted for. I may be wearing this one for a long time. You see, when you put on the bracelet you are suppose to take a vow to wear it till he or she comes home. They don't need to be abandoned again! I have been pretty lucky with the men on my bracelets. I can only hope that, like the other three, he too comes home. Best Wishes, Mack USA 1970-1976

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