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

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COMMITTED TO OUR VIETNAM WAR MIAs

Friday, January 8, 2016 @ 02:01 PM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis
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(L-R)  Front:  Matt & Nick Zimmer; Middle:  Alie Zimmer, granddaughter Breeze Davis, Elaine & Ron Davis; Back:  Brett Davis, Craig & Bea Zimmer.

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Newlyweds Jessica & Brett Davis with Brett’s daughter, Breeze, who makes us laugh and love her even more.

Please join our family as we pledge to help make 2016 a year of consensus among those involved in the pursuit of accounting for our MIAs from the Vietnam War.  We still have hope that Jerry’s and Al’s remains will be found one day soon.  Like so many other families, we are grateful to have the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) and others involved in the mission during these very difficult times.  We are honored by the many MIA supporters following our journey — knowing that our loved ones are not forgotten means a lot.

My New Year’s Resolution is to post more stories in 2016!   I have a good Vietnam-era war story planned for the near future,  but as always, I am humbled by the task and hope I can do it justice.

DPAA is committed to continuing efforts on behalf of our Vietnam War MIAs with no reduction in field operations planned this year.  A little more than six months since it went operational,  the agency under DPAA Director Michael Linnington’s leadership is full speed ahead.  Maj Gen Kelly McKeague, who served as DPAA’s Interim Deputy Director during the transition period, was succeeded on Sept. 22, 2015, by Brig Gen Mark Spindler, USA.

BRIG GEN Mark Splindler, USA

DPAA Deputy Director Mark Spindler, USA

Welcome Aboard

We welcome DPAA Deputy Director Spindler and look forward to supporting his efforts, of which include global analysis and investigations, search and recoveries and laboratory operations to identify unaccounted-for Americans from past conflicts.  Prior to joining DPAAs leadership team, Spindler served as the 47th Commandant of the United States Army Military Police School and Chief of the Military Police Regiment at Fort Leonard Wood, MO.   A “mo boy” who hails from St. Louis, MO, Splindler completed his undergraduate work at University of Missouri-Columbia and over time earned three advanced degrees elsewhere.

Spindler’s career also includes four overseas tours in the European Area of Operation and multiple tours of duty in the Pentagon and Military District of Washington.  His operational assignments include peace enforcement in Bosnia – Herzegovina; stability Ops in Kosovo and combat ops in Baghdad, Iraq.  Spindler has received numerous awards and  undoubtedly has the right stuff for the job. He is following in the footsteps of a man who weathered an MIA storm and never gave up on us.  Many thanks, Maj Gen McKeague, for your dedication, respect and belief in the families and the mission.

DPAA Interim Deputy Director Kelly McKeague's 34-year career with USAF ended on a high not. Maj Gen McKeague was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal by DPAA Director Mike Linnington. for "exceptionally distinguished service." Congratulations -- what an honor.

DPAA Interim Deputy Director Kelly McKeague, ended his 34-year career with the USAF on a high note. Maj Gen McKeague was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal by DPAA Director Mike Linnington for “exceptionally distinguished service.” Congratulations!

Please remember that  neither DPAA nor any other agency can fulfill the commitment of bringing home our loved ones without support from MIA families, veterans, military resources and humanitarian organizations — thank you.   (I will be attending  a regional  family update later this month and will follow-up with a post.)

2015 LEAGUE MEETING WITH FAMILIES OF VIETNAM WAR MIAs

Sunday, August 23, 2015 @ 04:08 PM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis

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 League Chairman Anne Mills Griffiths and DPAA Director Michael Linnington kicked off the 2015 National League Meeting of POW/MIA Families. The meeting attracted one of the largest groups in recent years, and the atmosphere was upbeat throughout the three-day event.

 DEFENSE POW/MIA ACCOUNTING AGENCY IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Families with MIAs still unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War met in D.C., June 24-27, 2015, for the 46th annual League meeting. With the recent reorganization nearly complete, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) got down to business and, by all accounts, did an excellent job. In no small way, credit goes to League Chairman Ann Mills Griffiths and DPAA Director Michael Linnington, both of whom were front and center daily, from early morning to evening.  Preview of the 2016 League & DPAA Meeting

Mills-Griffiths, the heart and soul of the League, chaired the meeting that drew approximately 300-plus family members and officials.  The annual dinner attracted several special guests of families, along with many from military, government and diplomatic circles.

The crux of the meeting each year is informational with DPAA subject-matter experts delivering presentations, serving on informational panels and participating in Q&A sessions. Questions are not submitted in advance, and the only no-no is that they are not about individual cases. Otherwise, family members direct their questions to specific participants.

Ron Ward, Casualty Resolution Specialist, Det. 2, Hanoi, responds to questions about field operations in Vietnam. Ward, fluent in Vietnamese, is also involved in investigations & interfaces with Vietnamese partners.

Ron Ward, Casualty Resolution Specialist, Det. 2, Hanoi, responds to questions about field operations in Vietnam. Ward, fluent in Vietnamese, is also involved in investigations & interfaces with Vietnamese partners.

DPAA Archaeologist Brad Sturm participates in field operations on a global level. Seated is Deputy Director of External Communications Johnie Webb. Both men have been instrumental in recovery efforts for decades.

DPAA Archaeologist Brad Sturm participates in field operations on a global level. Seated is Deputy Director of External Communications Johnie Webb. Both men have been instrumental in recovery efforts for decades.

In the line of fire, leadership and staff delivered thought-provoking responses that frequently generated input from multiple experts. The Q&A session is my favorite. It is truly an opportunity to learn more about the accounting system, and this year’s session was exceptionally good.

A partial list of participants, who traveled from overseas, included Ron Ward, Casualty Resolution Specialist, Det 2, Hanoi; LTC Marcus Ferrara, USA, Chief, Detachment 3, Laos; Pete Laverde, Stony Beach Specialist, DIA, Cambodia; Jared Elison, Stony Beach Specialist, DIA, Thailand, and many others.

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