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.

Posts Tagged ‘Maj David Klingensmith’

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.)

LTG MICHAEL LINNINGTON NEW DPAA DIRECTOR

Monday, June 22, 2015 @ 08:06 PM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis
Army LTG Michael Linnington has been selected by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter to serve as the first Director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). The agency is responsible for all POW/MIA recoveries from past wars. Linnington is not new to accounting community and served as an advisor before being named the new Director.

Army LTG Michael Linnington, (Ret),  has been selected by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter to serve as the first Director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). The agency is responsible for all POW/MIA recoveries from past wars. Linnington is not new to the  accounting community, having served as an advisor before being named DPAA Director.

READ:  MICHAEL LINNINGTON’S DEPARTURE

June 19, 2015, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter selected Army LTG Michael Linnington, (Ret), for the position as Director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA).  The newly formed agency is now responsible for investigations, searches, recoveries, identifications and repatriations of service members and personnel classified as POW/MIA, primarily from WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War and others as designated.

DPAAs soft roll out came in January 2015, with the consolidation of  the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO).  JPACs former Commander, Maj Gen Kelly McKeague, USAF,  assumed the interim position as Deputy Commander of DPAA, under Interim Commander Rear Adm Michael Franken, USN, who has moved on to become Deputy Commander for Military Operations at U.S. Africa Command.

It is my understanding that McKeague is currently serving as Deputy Director of DPAA; however, it is unknown if he will serve a tour of duty in that position now that the agency has a director in place.  In my opinion, McKeague would be extremely helpful, dealing with the complexities of  global field operations at this point in time.

MEETING MIA FAMILIES 

The Linnington announcement comes less than a week before families with loved ones still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War will be attending their annual League meeting in Washington, D.C. at which time DPAA will concurrently present a briefing to the group. (MIA families from WWII and Korea will meet in August for a similar briefing). UPDATE: Linnington’s DPAA leadership role well- received by POW/MIA families at 2015 League Meeting.

Now that Linnington has been selected, it is likely that he will attend the two briefings — even if able to make only a brief appearance at each.  Families at the League meeting will be eager to meet him and to be reassured of his commitment to do everything possible to bring home MIAs from the Vietnam War and to quell any fears to the contrary (see update below).

LINNINGTON’S CREDENTIALS

A native of Cape May, N.J., Linnington is a 1980 graduate of  West Point, at which time he was  commissioned as an infantry officer.  Later, the General received his MS in Applied Mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., along with a Masters Degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College in Washington, D.C.

Having served in key command and staff positions during his 33 years of Army service, Linnington has accrued many domestic and international tours of duty.  From 2002 to 2004 he took command of the 3d Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 101st Airborne Div (AASLT), both in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) in Iraq.

Comfortable in the D.C. arena, Linnington has served multiple tours there, and in July 2013 assumed duties as Military Deputy to the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness).  The General is not new to the accounting community, having served as an advisor to Franken and McKeague since the inception of DPAA, which places him in a much better position than someone coming into a start-up agency of sorts with no prior knowledge of the system.

OJT

According to recent press coverage, the Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer was tasked with assisting DPAA during the transition period with a workplace assessment to develop performance measures and a new organizational structure.  It is likely that Linnington will place priority on reviewing all the recommendations compiled by the various work groups, especially as they relate to personnel.  The agency is still in the growth mode.

Insiders say the competition for the job was tough and attracted a lot of high level candidates.  From what I can tell, Linnington appears to be an excellent choice.  I wish him the best.     UPDATE: LINNINGTON VISITS EXCAVATION SITES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA