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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.

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Archive for August, 2010

POW/MIA Families Meet in D.C. — Change is Coming

Sunday, August 1, 2010 @ 05:08 PM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis

L-R: Sara Frances Shay; Ann Mills Griffiths, Exec. Director of the League; and Mary Louisa Shay Rutledge, at the League (more photos in the gallery).

I’m confident that many of the 300-plus families, veterans and others attending last month’s 41st annual meeting of the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia (aka “the League”) returned home from Washington, D.C., with a feeling of “been there, done that.” However, it was a learning experience for me, since I was a newcomer. And although I am well versed on Jerry’s case, it was apparent that the recovery of America’s POWs and MIAs from the Vietnam War continues to be a complex issue, of which I have a lot to learn. Unfortunately, my late debut into this subculture has come at a seemingly difficult time because of economics and changing priorities.

A number of government agencies were represented by members of their leadership who delivered well prepared presentations, sat on panels or answered questions in a casual format. Represented were the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (Deputy Assistant Secretary Bob Newberry); Joint Prisoner of War/ Mia Accounting Command (Maj Gen Stephen Tom, USAR, JPAC Commander); JPACs Central Identification Laboratory (Dr. Tom Holland, Scientific Director, and Dr. Bob Mann, Director, Forensic Science Academy); Defense Intelligence Agency (BG Robert Carr, USA, Director of Operations); US-Russia Joint Commission (Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss, Ga.), and many more at the field and diplomatic levels. Several attendees weighed in on issues, ranging from the somber reality of dealing with a dwindling DoD budget, while still “keeping the promise,” to the much more upbeat picture given by JPACs Central Identification Lab of strides made in all aspects of its operations. Read more