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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IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF HEROES

Thursday, April 10, 2014 @ 12:04 AM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis

2011 Dec Tiger Mtn one armed man

Dec: 2011 – Above is retired Marine Capt. Ed Garr, a combat veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and a long-time tour director for Military Historical Tours.  Garr has led more than 100 tours to Vietnam and often meets locals, such as the man above, who live in remote villages where we still have unaccounted-for MIAs. 

This is a story about veterans who have returned to the battlefield — some to find long-lost buddies and others to find themselves. 

  PLEASE CLICK FOR CONTINUATION:  +IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF HEROES FINAL (1)

15 Responses to “IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF HEROES”

  1. Nancy Davis says:

    Elaine, thinking of you and Ron today. Nancy Davis

  2. So nice to hear from you, Nancy. Memorial Day is a special day for all of us, and we appreciate support from people like you. Thanks. Elaine

  3. Steve houze says:

    Elaine- I am so often caught by surprise that you and Jerry are on my mind. I had the privilege of taking my father and mother to the 40th commemoration of D-Day in 1994. He, too, was a war hero. A young man, 25, Jerry’s age, who was a C-47 pilot that did the night drop over St. Maire Eglise…one of the lucky ones who survived. He never discussed his war experiences, but did share some insights on the trip. Above all, he, like Jerry, believed in honor and duty. The rest is luck. Jerry was a major influence in my young life at Brown. His sense of purpose and clear-eyed vision of what was the right thing to do was a guiding star for me. Seems silly as a 68 year old man to say this, but he was a true hero to me. I admired him very much and am only sorry to have not known you better. Please tell your son what an impression he made on me. Best wishes to you and your family. Steve Houze

  4. Steve — thank you for the beautiful note and insight into your dad’s WWII heroic feat — what a great legacy of service to our nation! In a different way, but no less important to people in need, I am certain your clients see you as a hero, too. Although we did not have a chance to get to know each other better, you also have been on my mind for several years. Jerry saw admirable qualities in people, and you were among those he felt would succeed in life, and he was right. Craig will be so happy to read your remarks. I hope you will check in occasionally, as we try to complete our mission to repatriate Jerry’s remains. Warm regards, Elaine

  5. Steve houze says:

    Elaine- Thank you for your kind reply. You honor Jerry every day with your steadfast devotion to his memory, sacrifice, and efforts toward his return. I have often marveled at the fact that only a handful of people have made such an enormous impact on me. You and Jerry are two. It was his intention to make a difference in this world, while retaining his sense of humility, that made him a natural leader. As a 19 year-old undergraduate, his presence was profound. In the many years that have passed, I often think of him and feel a deep sense of loss. That sense of loss is, however, overcome by my gratitude for having known such an amazing guy. May you find peace. Steve houze

  6. Steve houze says:

    Hello Elaine- As a new year approaches, I can only hope that this year will bring Jerry home. You are in my thoughts. Steve Houze

  7. Steve, It appears that Jerry’s case is in the final stages, and we may need a miracle to kick in at this point — I’m not giving up yet, but no remains have been found, and that’s not a good sign. Please stay connected, and I will post an update in the near future. Thanks, Steve….

  8. Steve houze says:

    Elaine- I think about you and Jerry all the time. Justice and mercy demand his return. Steve

  9. Mike Hutter says:

    Elaine – I share Steve’s comments.

    MIke

  10. Mike — so good to hear from you. I think of you and Kathy so often and will keep you & Steve in the loop as things develop. My best, Elaine

  11. Steve — Mike Hutter & I agree with your sentiments about Jerry’s remains, especially at this time of year — holidays are always difficult. Nice to see the Delts together again. My best, Elaine

  12. Steve houze says:

    Hi Elaine- Any news? Best wishes. Steve

  13. Steve — nothing conclusive at this point, but I will be heading to the annual League meeting in D.C. in June and hopefully will get an update then, if not before. Thank you for checking in. My best, Elaine

  14. Hello Elaine-It has been awhile since we last connected. Any news? Best. Steve Houze

  15. Steve — I missed seeing your message until today — so nice to hear from you. Nothing new on Jerry’s case, but I will be writing an update soon. The wheels turn slowly at this point, since weather conditions and holidays tend to put missions in areas like the Que Sons on the backburner for a while. Thanks for hanging in, Steve. Have a great Thanksgiving. Elaine


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