My first husband, Capt. Jerry Zimmer, was an F4B Phantom jet pilot, whose aircraft was shot down on August 29, 1969, approximately 20 miles South of Da Nang, Vietnam, after six months in country. Neither Jerry nor his navigator, 1st Lt. Al Graf, was able to eject, before the aircraft crashed into the Que Son Mountains. Initially Jerry and Al were classified as Killed in Action/No Body Recovered (KIA/NBR). Years later, both Marines were listed as MIA, along with other service members whose bodies were never recovered.
Jerry has been gone nearly a half century, and hope for recovering his remains had run out a long time ago. However, in recent years our family became involved with the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), now merged with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), and learned that Jerry’s and Al’s remains might, in fact, be recoverable, so we are doing everything possible to support their efforts to make this happen and bring our guys home where they belong.
NOTE: BLOG POSTS ARE NOT UPDATED, SO INFORMATION MAY HAVE CHANGED OVER TIME.
Posts Tagged ‘LTC Julian Tran’
46th Annual League Meeting in D.C. for Families of POW/MIAs from the Vietnam War, June 24 – 27, 2015
THE 46TH ANNUAL MEETING*
NATIONAL LEAGUE OF FAMILIES
OF AMERICAN PRISONERS AND MISSING
IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
JUNE 24 – 27, 2015
HILTON CRYSTAL CITY HOTEL**
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
The annual League meeting has been a must-attend event for more than four decades, and 2015 will be no exception. In fact, this year’s meeting is more important than ever for Vietnam War families with loved ones still unaccounted-for in Southeast Asia.
There is strength in numbers, and our attendance will not only demonstrate the League’s strength, but it will also send a message to the newly formed Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) that families support their efforts, and we are eager to hear DPAA tell us they are committed to ours.
IT TAKES A COMMUNITY
The meeting is expected to include some new faces and hopefully a number of returnees that have stood by us through the good and bad times. I continue to learn more from these annual meetings than I ever thought possible – in essence, they are the closest connection that families have, as a whole, to a transparent environment within the accounting community – largely because of League Chairman Ann Mills Griffiths, who has been the League’s guiding force for nearly four decades.
The League supports families in numerous ways, but neither Ann nor other members of the board and key advocates in veteran and political circles can do it all. Family members are the lifeblood of the mission to bring home our loved ones.
If you have created MIA business cards, bring a bunch — remember DPAA is newly formed. I recommend that cards include your loved one’s name, rank, branch of service, official date of death and, if desired, a thumbnail image of him — don’t forget to include your name and email address. For security reasons, I don’t encourage including home address or telephone numbers. If your cards are one-sided, you can use the blank side (if requested) to hand-write personal contact information. My cards are one-sided and very simple with Jerry’s name, rank, branch of service, my name and URL for this site.
Even if a family member has five minutes for a face-to-face with an official at some point during the meeting, he or she will appreciate receiving a business card from you and hopefully that person will reciprocate with a card, as well. (If you had a noteworthy conversation, jot down something on the back of their card, as a memory jogger).
*MEETING REGISTRATION MUST BE POSTMARKED BY FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 2015
**TO RECEIVE A SPECIAL RATE FROM HILTON CRYSTAL CITY HOTEL,
THE CUT OFF DATE IS MAY 22, 2015
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey — Victoria Cross Awarded To Brit for Valor During Joint Military Operation in Afghanistan
QUEEN ELIZABETH PRESENTS BRITISH PARATROOPER LANCE CORPORAL JOSHUA LEAKEY WITH THE VICTORIA CROSSThanks to Air Commodore Nick Laird CBE, RAF (See Laird at 236th Marine Corps Birthday Ball) , I learned that British Paratrooper Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey, 27, was recently awarded (Feb. 26, 2015) the Victoria Cross (VC), which is equivalent to our Medal of Honor (MOH). Laird was proud of Leakey’s accomplishment and shared the news with my husband, Ron, and others in the states.
As with our MOH, the VC is awarded to recipients who have gone far beyond the call of duty in combat, which accurately describes Leakey’s actions when a joint force of British soldiers, paratroopers and US Marines were attacked in 2013 by approximately 20 Taliban while on patrol in Afghanistan. And although Leakey received the VC, he reiterated that the prestige of such an honor extends to all those in his unit — 1st Battalion, the Parachute Regiment. From my research, this Para is the best of the best, and when one of their own is honored, the message is clear — they are all VC material.
The fact that the joint patrol involved U.S. Marines from Camp Leatherneck, along with UK Army Soldiers and paratroopers from Camp Bastion, both located at that time in Kandahar, Afghanistan, was another aspect of the story that caught my attention — I always appreciate good battlefield stories about our Marines. Wounded during the patrol, but now completely recovered, was Marine Capt. Brandon Bocian, a member of the command group, to whom Leakey rendered first aid during the heat of battle. Said Bocian of Leakey’s battlefield actions: “I hadn’t met Lance Corporal Leakey prior to that day but am grateful for his actions.” Commenting on Leakey’s VC award, Bocian said he was happy to hear that Leakey was formally recognized, adding that he deserved it.
In my opinion — our troops can never have enough friends in combat, and they don’t come much better than the Brits. Congratulations, Lance Corporal Leakey!