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.

Twitter

Vietnam Map

Partly Cloudy
High 84°/Low 77°

Da Nang, Vietnam Current Weather

NOTE:  BLOG POSTS ARE NOT UPDATED, SO INFORMATION MAY HAVE CHANGED OVER TIME.

MIA Repatriations: Where Do We Go From Here? (Part One)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 @ 12:06 PM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis

My article in the July 2010 issue of Leatherneck, which is posted in the blog, presented the facts about concerns for JPACs future efforts in Vietnam to recover, identify and repatriate MIA remains .

This blog will offer some personal opinions about the issues that I think need to be resolved so that JPAC and its Vietnamese counterpart can continue to do the job of returning our loved ones to their families in the United States of America.

The Vietnamese government monitors publications and other communications that deal with matters of concern to them, such as the MIA issue. In spite of the hurt that lingers for most American families with MIAs in Vietnam, I will continue to treat the Vietnamese with respect, as I always have, and hope that they will do likewise with all of us.

It’s Time for Vietnam to Deliver: Most Americans do not know that our government has asked the Vietnamese repeatedly to give us their archival records pertaining to Americans killed in Vietnam (documented “kills” and related data.) We’ve also asked them to give us any additional American remains in their possession that never were repatriated so that we can make proper identifications and send them home to America (“warehousing” of some remains is believed to have been done). These requests have been on the table for many years, and now the Vietnamese need to deliver.

A Win-Win Situation: In America we have a saying: “You have to spend money to make money.” The Vietnamese need to look at our plea for records and remains as a good faith investment in a lucrative future. In 2009, the United States was the single largest investor in Vietnam. America is generous to its partners, and I think Vietnam would be wise to foster that relationship.

Sending a Message to Vietnam: It has occurred to me that the DoD may be trying to send a message to Vietnam, saying times are tough in America, so we’re going where we can get more bang for our bucks. I am not privy to the total cost of investigations and/or excavations, but neither come cheaply in Vietnam. Both the Americans and Vietnamese need to get serious about compromise, site preservation and follow-through. Promises must be kept.

Leave a Reply