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 ‘Veterans of Foreign Wars’

My Visit To Jerry’s Crash Site

Saturday, June 9, 2012 @ 02:06 AM  posted by Elaine

Had someone told me that my first helicopter ride would be in a Russian-made MI-17, launched from Da Nang Heliport in central Vietnam, I would have thought they were crazy.  Yet here I am in an MI-17 on a surreal journey in peacetime Vietnam, flying over the Que Son Mountains, where the remains of my first husband, Capt Jerry A. Zimmer – a Marine F-4 Phantom pilot shot down during the Vietnam War on Aug. 29, 1969, along with his navigator, 1st Lt Al Graf, are believed to be located, possibly with others from both sides of the battlefield in this mountainous graveyard.

In many ways, I have relived this journey in my dreams — probably a thousand times during the past 40 years, but this is reality, and I am no longer dreaming.  Ironically, my foray coincides with the long 2012 Memorial Day weekend in the United States. Although not planned around the holiday – or at all — I know that every Memorial Day in future years will take me back to this experience for the rest of my life.

I am here at this moment, thanks to the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), the government group responsible for bringing home our MIAs from past wars.  I have been given a unique opportunity to visit Jerry’s crash site and to observe the American and Vietnamese teams, working side-by-side, as they conduct the site’s Phase II excavation.  I am not here because the teams have found remains, although this could happen at any time.  Yet in simple terms, the goal is to find Jerry’s and Al’s remains so that our respective families can repatriate them for burial in the U.S. and hopefully achieve some modicum of closure in the process.   But as many people know, there is nothing simple about JPACs job, and I am soon to learn — although trite – no truer words have ever been spoken.

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL TEXT AND MORE PHOTOS OF “MY VISIT TO JERRY’S CRASH SITE

Tango Mike Mike — A Must-See Video!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 @ 01:10 PM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis

 

When troops were pinned down and surrounded by hundreds of NVA during the Vietnam War, the Hueys were a beautiful sight, along with all the other choppers that came to help out the guys on the ground.

If you don’t have time to read a great Vietnam War book, then watch the attached video (youtube link below) — you’ll think again.  It depicts a side of the Vietnam War that a lot of Americans back home did not see or realize that extraordinary human beings were fighting a very dangerous war, in a far off place that few knew existed until they heeded our country’s call to serve. 

While soldiers — most not old enough to vote — were described in those days as “baby killers” — words created by activists and loved by media — yet, in reality,  our guys were risking their lives, often trying to save fellow warriors, above everything else.  

In the video, you will meet M. Sgt. Roy Benavidez, USA, SF (Dec.), a young man who came from a humble background, during an era when being a Hispanic-Indian from Texas, was tested in every way.  But as you will see, M. Sgt Benavidez exceeded all expectations and earned the Medal of Honor for heroic actions that seemed almost super human.  Some might look at this video as a lesson in prejudice, i.e., white vs. brown or rich vs poor, but I see it more as a way to convey that wearing a United States Army uniform is a transformational opportunity, and M. Sgt. Roy Benavidez proved it — yes, in every way. 

M. Sgt. Benavidez served in the U.S. Army for 24 years, and later died on November 29, 1998, at the age of 63.  You can purchase a copy of his book on Amazon — it is called, “Medal of Honor:  One Man’s Journey from Poverty and Prejudice,” written by Roy Benavidez and John R. Craig.  It is also available on Kindle.  Or, simply watch this video again and again.   Maybe even share it  with others. http://www.youtube.com/watch?=RZ7968BbMnU&feature=player_embedded