Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kathy Strong's bracelet

"I tried my best to get him to come to the Navy," chuckled retired Navy Seabee and older brother Robert D. Moreland, 75, of Lakeside, Calif. "But he liked to skydive

DRIERFIELD -- There's a spot marked in a small country graveyard near here for the long lost Green Beret.

Now, after 43 years of uncertainty, the grave in Ashby Cemetery can be filled.

Burial for James Leslie Moreland -- missing in action in Vietnam since Feb. 7, 1968 -- will be May 14 in this isolated cemetery off Bibb County 2, south of Montevallo. Moreland was born in Bessemer on Sept. 29, 1945, moved to California in high school and in 1965 went to Vietnam as a medic in the elite Army Special Forces.

The 22-year-old was presumed dead after a ferocious battle at Lang Vei in South Vietnam. But his body wasn't recovered or identified. Finding the body and securing an ID turned into a decades-long quest until last month, when DNA earlier submitted by five relatives matched remains found at Lang Vei.  Read The Rest


POW MIA Don't let them be forgotten
I haven't heard anyone even mention a MIA Bracelet in years, Kathy Strong never took hers off...  She wore it every second of every day from Christmas 1972 until May 14th 2011

If the video doesn't load properly watch it here

From Kathy Strong’s MIA bracelet By Theresa Harrington

I was in seventh grade when I put the bracelet on,” said Strong, a 47-year-old Walnut Creek resident who works in Richmond. “He was missing almost five years by the time I got the bracelet.”

She received the bracelet Christmas Day 1972 in her stocking. It was one of about 5 million bracelets made to remind Americans of the more than 2,500 military personnel who were missing or prisoners during the Vietnam War.

Moreland, who lived in Anaheim, is one of 1,788 troops still missing from that war. Of those, 179 are from California.

Dating back to World War II, there are about 88,000 troops unaccounted for, said Capt. Mary Olsen, spokeswoman for the Defense Department’s Prisoner of War-Missing in Action, or POW-MIA, office. Currently, four soldiers are missing in Iraq.

“I was very young when Vietnam was going on,” said Strong, who lived in Southern California when she received the bracelet. “I don’t really understand a lot of the politics behind it. But personally, I don’t believe we should go to any other war until we get our men back from the last war.”

As Strong grew into adulthood, she gradually learned more about the man who has been a presence in her life for decades.

Through research in books about Vietnam, Strong found that Moreland was seriously injured and presumed dead at age 22 in the battle at Lang Vei. When she marked the 40th anniversary earlier this month of the last time he was seen alive, , Strong decided to make her story public to remind people in Contra Costa County and the country that there are still hundreds of American military personnel missing and that she and others are keeping their memories alive.

“I’ve never been to Vietnam,” Strong said. “But I still feel a connection with my MIA as well as the others who were with him the night he died.”




  1. A bittersweet end to a long ordeal, but hopefully the family and ms Strong can now have some comfort and closure. A small cross on a black wall in DC will also now be changed to a diamond.

  2. Incredible story all around. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  3. A distant thunder can still be heard as the bugle sounds the last note. A warrior comes home to a mournful nation. Thank you for answering the call on our behest.

  4. I've read this 3 times and I still don't know what to say.

    I was living near Travis AFB when they started bringing the POW's home. I remember seeing Sen McCain get off the plane. It was such a joyful site to see them come home.

    My thoughts and prayers go to the Moreland family and Kathy. Closure is a good thing.

  5. Welcome Home Vets, and other Central Florida organizations, are doing what they can for returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan. The needs are great and the commitment is quiet and steadfast.

  6. Sandra... The needs are great, they always are..at least now there are people with a commitment to help... that wasn't always the case...

    Speaking of the Wall Marine, Memorial day is coming,,,, we haven't seen a blog from you in a while.. goes for you as well Madpole...

    It is incredible Yishai... I thought it was being under reported...Some halfassed politician can sneeze and every nes outlet in the world picks it up... As of the time I posted this, out of the big media only CBS was running the story...

    Fishy for you and Kathy and all the girls who've waited for someones return


  7. TY Grumpy. I'm more of a Tony Orlando and Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'round the old oak Tree.


  8. Grumpy - I will be doing one or two next week on Right Turn. Been busier than a cat in a sandbox. It is difficult to legally circumvent a very flawed HC Bill. Lately, I have been dealing with maximizing reimbursement. No hill for a climber. :)


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