Our Mission:

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.


Vietnam Map


Saluting Our Military on Memorial Day

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 @ 04:06 AM  posted by Elaine

The Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial in La Jolla, CA, is the site of many special events, such as a Memorial Day Program that attracts larger crowds each year.

I know many of you attended Memorial Day celebrations across the country this past weekend. Although mine was quiet on the East Coast, Ron attended one at Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial in La Jolla, CA, which is a beautiful place to visit, any time of the year. The memorial sits 822 feet high above San Diego County, with a 360-degree, awe-inspiring view.

Our friend, John Anderson, a former Marine, was the Master of Ceremonies, and I’m told the program was excellent. The keynote speaker was Maj. Gen. Thomas L. Conant, the commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force. I’m sure even the General felt a little emotional when the T-34 formation team did a missing man flyover. I remember when Jerry flew T-34s during the training command in Pensacola, Fl – although it was a thrill, every student prayed that his flight career wouldn’t end there. Last, but far from least, the program honored Col. Robert L. Howard, Medal of Honor Recipient. Col Howard served five tours in Vietnam and is the only soldier in our nation’s history to be nominated for the Medal of Honor three times for three separate actions. Talk about heroes!

Ron said the event was attended by several hundred people. It feels good to know that our young men and women serving in the Armed Forces today are respected, supported and missed. For years, Memorial Day was a tough one for me, but it has become easier with the change of attitude among the American public. I hope we never lose our way again as a country. I truly believe that our military is the best of the best, and I am constantly amazed at what they do for us, sometimes paying the ultimate price. Consequently, I’m one of those people that think we should give our military what they need to get the job – be it guns, ships, planes or education.

Although ROTC scholarship programs do not seem like a “must,” for getting the job done on the battlefield, it is important to remember that many recipients become our future career military leaders. Competition for these scholarships is extremely intense, and many students try to use them to attend our nation’s most competitive schools. Today, I received an email from Jim Gardner, who graduated from Brown University with Jerry and later served in the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corp assigned to MACVSOG. Jim said that he had attended a meeting at Brown, where efforts are being made to bring ROTC back to the campus. Although it’s a little premature to claim victory, it does sound like a move in the right direction, and I hope it works out. Jerry never would have been able to attend Brown without a military scholarship. He was proud of Brown and felt that his education made him a better Marine. I will keep you posted if the situation changes.

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