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Sorry to resurrect this old thread, but I saw this article today.

 

Vincent Ugaro

 

Kathy Strong Wears MIA Bracelet For 38 Years

By Vincent Ugaro

 

04/ 2/11 12:49 PM ET

 

In 1972, a young girl received an MIA bracelet for Christmas. It was a simple metal band upon which was engraved the name of a soldier who was missing in action; it was popular at the time to don the bracelet until the soldier whose name was on it came back home. She put it on that day, beside the family Christmas tree, and never took it off because the man had never returned nor had he ever been found.

 

The missing soldier was a Green Beret named James Leslie Moreland, a medic in the Army Special Forces. He was 22 years old when he went missing on February 7, 1968. Mr. Moreland had been raised in Alabama until high school, when his family moved to California, where he became an all-county football player. He went on to attend a nearby junior college, but in 1965, at about 19 years of age, he joined the military.

 

The girl's name was Kathy Strong and, at the time, she was 12 years old; today, she is 50. She is not his sister, nor his niece, nor any relation through blood or marriage. When it was first issued to her in 1972, she was a stranger to the Moreland family. She wore the bracelet, without exception, for the ensuing 38 years. She still wears it today.

 

After my mother died, I began wearing a golden cherub pin which had been hers. I thought of it as a guardian angel and it comforted me to have something she had worn so close to me. After wearing it for about a week and a half, it fell off at school and I lost it. We have all had those meaningful trinkets; some of us fair better with them than others, but rarely can any of us demonstrate the conviction and resolve of Kathy Strong.

 

Long after most would have given up hope of a homecoming, discarding the bracelet or losing it like I did my memento -- or, at the very least, relegating it to the bottom of a jewelry box -- Ms. Strong persisted. Living in an increasingly throw-away society, where even family heirlooms remain unsafe, she made what had been a fad a permanent fixture of her life. It is, ultimately, the loyalty and hope of a child.

 

On the noteworthy days of their lives -- proms, first dates, job interviews, graduations, weddings -- most young women may not have wanted to wear a somber piece of metal around their wrist. It does not seem to have been a concern for Kathy Strong. In photo after photo, at both the major and minor events of her life, near and far from home, spanning the years from girlhood to adolescence to womanhood, Ms. Strong can be seen wearing the bracelet. When surgery became necessary on her wrist, she searched to find a doctor who would comply and perform the operation with the bracelet remaining on. Many people often do not seem to hold even their wedding rings in such high regard.

 

"My promise was to keep it until he came home and then give it back," she has said in an interview. As a young girl, she imagined greeting Mr. Moreland on his return to the States and relinquishing the band of metal. Later this spring, she will finally fulfill her promise.

 

James Moreland's remains were discovered at Lang Vei in South Vietnam and will be flown home for burial in May. Over the past few years, Ms. Strong and Mr. Moreland's remaining siblings have become acquainted and she has been invited to the funeral services in Alabama. Instead of meeting a plane and shaking his hand, she will attend his funeral and lay her hands upon his coffin. She will, however, be able to keep her word; she plans to bury the bracelet with James Moreland.

 

This story is about two lives, somehow linked by a flimsy piece of metal. One, ended violently and tragically short, and the other, carrying on hope for a memory, even if an imagined one, for a man she had never met and never would meet. For 38 years, Kathy Strong has kept a light burning in the window. How could she help but think of a man whose name has been worn on her arm since the age of 12? Catching the reflected sun while driving, hearing it clink against a bowl when preparing a meal and hitting the keyboard while typing emails, it was surely impossible to ignore. And impossible to forget.

 

Dressing in the morning, will she absentmindedly notice something missing, as everyone does when forgetting house keys or a watch or earrings? Will she suffer from phantom pains, like an appendage that is no longer attached? I am left with a lingering question: After having worn something on one's body for nearly four decades, a sort of semi-permanent attachment, how would this person feel without it? Only time will tell, and Kathy Strong is not afraid of the commitment.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vincent-ugar...-_b_843419.html

Wanted to buy:

 

128th Armored Ordnance Maintenance Battalion DUI "CONSTANTER AGITE" (RELENTLESSLY AHEAD)

845th Engineer Aviation Battalion DUI "AEDIFICAMUS NIDUM" (WE BUILD THE NEST)

420th Engineer Aviation Topographic Det. DUI

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 years later...

I just sent mine off to the family of the MIA on my bracelet that I had since the mid-1980s. I picked it at random out of a bin of bracelets that the Auburn University's Navy ROTC was selling. My bracelet was for 1stSgt (then SSgt) Richard C. Bram, who was snatched while walking in the area around Chu Lai in July 1965 along with GySgt Dingwall. Neither of them were ever seen again.

 

What prompted it was I saw that a family posted a remembrance profile for him on a USMC-oriented forum that I frequent. I figure the family deserves it more than I do.

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Semper Fi,
Scott

(formerly known as "NS13Jarhead")
USMC (Ret) 1980-2007

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I also have the one I was given as a child. It is named Capt. Peter Matthes 11-24-69. Capt. Matthes was a co-pilot on a C-130A that was shot down over Laos. He was initially listed as a MIA, and there were some interesting sightings related to Capt. Matthes. The USAF listed him as KIA in 1995, the family still has doubts. Here is a short bio on Captain Matthes.

 

I will never part with my bracelet, it means so much to me.

 

http://www.pownetwork.org/bios/m/m008.htm

 

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Got a few myself. One KIA, one still MIA, one that returned, and the most recent sounds like TBMflyer's guy that the NVA "lost track of" and found his remains later after they had probably killed him. These are something I can't have too much of. I wear them pretty frequently.

Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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i have a couple of these ! i really must get them posted on here !!

 

LCDR RODERICK MEYER 10 17 65

 

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WANTED : RAF 1940 PATT FLYING BOOTS

WANTED : DINGHY TYPE K ,TYPE A

" ALWAYS WANTING USAAF ITEMS IN THEIR ORIGINAL PACKAGING "

"WOULD ALSO LIKE 487th FS AND 515TH BS RELATED ITEMS "

"Illegitmi non carborundum"

 



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My second one MAJ HERBERT WILLIAM MOORE JR 9-3-67 F105D PILOT QUANG BINH CHUTE FOUND BEEPER HEARD

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WANTED : RAF 1940 PATT FLYING BOOTS

WANTED : DINGHY TYPE K ,TYPE A

" ALWAYS WANTING USAAF ITEMS IN THEIR ORIGINAL PACKAGING "

"WOULD ALSO LIKE 487th FS AND 515TH BS RELATED ITEMS "

"Illegitmi non carborundum"

 



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  • 7 months later...

Thanks to all for continuing to support this topic !

 

To keep it short and simple, here are the last names of the VIVA period bracelets I have. If there are specific interests, let me know. I've saved these for many years for family or people with a close personal interest. I had more, but have found appropriate homes for them, as I hope you will do with these.

 

Do me a favor. Think about what's right here, and don't feed me a line of bull to get something just for resale or a collection. There are plenty available on the internet.

 

But to those with a heartfelt connection in a specific individual serviceman, I will do my best to make it available to help someone know they have not been forgotten.

 

Please send me a PM stating your cause, and I will do my best to help.

 

If you've read this far, then you get where I'm coming from . . . ! :

 

THESE ARE NOT LISTED FOR SALE. Because they are not. They are AVAILABLE. There's a big difference in this case.

 

Last names:

 

Palmgren

 

Danielson

 

Waltman

 

Flynn

 

Hanson

 

Byrns

 

Skinner

 

Panek Sr.

 

Christiano

 

Tatum

 

Carroll Jr.

 

Best regards to all,

Paul

 

Sgt. Boghots

Klamath Falls, Or.

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  • 7 months later...

Got these from a friend who ask me if I could research the names. That was pretty easy, but I'm a little confused about the stickers and what they meant? Living here in Dallas, I first thought that it had something to do with the Dallas Cowboys, but obviously not. Thanks, Al.

 

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I believe the stickers were to identify whether the subject was a POW or an MIA. One sticker was blue, one was white. I have the one I got in 1972 or so and it has a white sticker.

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I believe the stickers were to identify whether the subject was a POW or an MIA. One sticker was blue, one was white. I have the one I got in 1972 or so and it has a white sticker.

 

 

 

Bracelet Symbols

When the bracelets were first sold there were stick-on symbols that indicated whether the name on the bracelet was known as either a Prisoner of War (POW) or Missing in Action (MIA).

There was the White Star within the Blue Circle that indicated the name on the bracelet was a POW. (note see any of the bracelets displayed below for an example)

There was the Blue star within the White Circle that indicated the name on the bracelet was a MIA.

There were also bracelets that had nothing because there was no information.

 

I finally found a bracelet with a white circle and a blue star and I was very fortunate it just happened to be for my MIA, James Herrick. (donated back to Roger Herrick, for his family, from a very generous person Dave, in May 2009).

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ASMIC #1098

 





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  • 3 months later...

I just found this thread today and I think it's the best one I have read so far. For me finding the true story behind the Militaria you buy or trade is the ultimate collection. I will definitely try to find some of those POW/MIA Bracelet and do the research. Many thanks for enlarging my knowledge on this great piece of History.

 

Cheers

Pierre

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