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


TBS 6-67: Healing Through Humanitarian Efforts — Part I

Friday, October 8, 2010 @ 07:10 AM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis

Students at Mac Dinh Chi Elementary School in Vietnam are receiving dental care, courtesy of Team Alaska, an all-volunteer outreach group, with sponsorship assistance from TBS 6-67.

Looking for a loved one in Vietnam is not easy on the psyche, but the upside is that I have learned a lot from people who have found ways to overcome the cruelty of war. Since Jerry was a Marine, it has been a special honor to communicate with several in this tight-knit community, where the network is so powerful that it extends to peacetime Vietnam.

Case in hand, Lt Col Jack Wells, a retired career Marine, was in Vietnam this past September with a group, when he bumped into the JPAC excavation team at a Thai restaurant in Da Nang. The team, composed of guys from the joint services and civilian community, had just completed Jerry’s and Al’s first excavation. As you would have expected, there were a couple of Marines in the JPAC mix—Team Leader Capt Joe Hamer and Staff Sgt Matt Olsen. The Marine brotherhood was strong! Joe spoke of my recent visit to the team’s base camp, and the discussion prompted Jack to send me an email when he returned to the states.

Jack’s initial email explained that his former Basic School Class, TBS 6-67, had found a pathway to healing through humanitarian efforts in Vietnam, where the need is great and the capacity for collective healing even greater. Like many other Vietnam vets, Jack and his buddies believe that giving back offers a constructive way to remember classmates who made the ultimate sacrifice. While I cannot imagine being on the front lines, I can understand the need for healing; consequently, I was fascinated by TBS 6-67s journey that led them to a small village near the Que Son Mountains in Vietnam’s Central Highlands—not far from the village below Jerry’s and Al’s crash site.

The Basic School Class of 6-67 has worked hard to overcome the sad distinction of having lost more class members in Vietnam than any other Basic School Class since the Korean War. I suspect that the guys of TBS 6-67 knew that healing would not come from a quick fix, but rather a long-term commitment, which makes their story even more enduring. Thanks to their efforts and scores of families and friends, the children in that rural village, tucked in among the Que Son Mountains, now have a new, nine-room primary school, named Mac Dinh Chi, with a topnotch library; dental care for the first time in their lives from a unique outreach program; and exposure to one of America’s favorite couples—Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy. What amazing accomplishments! Continued in Part II….

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