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


Posts Tagged ‘VVA.’


Wednesday, September 19, 2012 @ 02:09 PM  posted by Elaine Zimmer Davis


 The Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Command (JPAC) keynote speaker for the annual National POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony, Friday, September 21,  is retired Col. William S. Reeder, US Army.   A former Vietnam War POW, Col. Reeder is  among 400 JPAC personnel and invited guests attending the event at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.  Col. Reeder’s AH1 Cobra attack helicopter was shot down on May 9, 1972, during the Easter Offensive in the Ben Het area of the Central Highlands. Thought to be an MIA, Reeder’s POW status was not known until his release a year later. Col Reeder, a Captain at the time, sustained multiple injuries from the crash, including a broken back and tried unsuccessfully for three days to escape the enemy. I encourage anyone reading this post to visit www.pownetwork.org/bios/r/r090.htm. Col. Reeder has written a moving story about a South Vietnamese A-1 Skyraider pilot, also shot down and captured, who saved his life during a tortuous journey on foot to prison. Although the story is not pretty, the ending is beautiful.

 The evolution of the National POW/MIA Recognition Day began on July 18, 1979, to honor America’s Prisoners of War and Missing in Action (POW/MIA), following the conclusion of the Vietnam War.   It was largely a Washington, D.C., event, involving Congressional resolutions, a ceremony at the National Cathedral, and a Missing Man formation, flown by the 1st Tactical Squadron, Langley AFB, in Virginia.  The Veterans Administration created a simple poster with the letters POW/MIA.  

Enter President Ronald Reagan in 1982. So moved was he by a new POW/MIA flag, inspired by Mrs Michael Hoff, an MIA wife and member of the Nat’l League of POW/MIA Families (League), President Reagan placed priority on achieving the fullest possible accounting for Americans still missing from the Vietnam War. Other than “Old Glory”, the League’s POW/MIA flag is the only flag ever to fly over the White House, having been displayed in this place of honor on National POW/MIA Recognition Day since 1982.

By 1984, National POW/MIA Recognition Day was elevated to White House level — literally, inspiring a renewed commitment to honor all returned POWs and to renew our national commitment to account for, as fully as possible, those still missing from past wars.  The dates and some of the ceremonial traditions have changed since the early days – growing in magnitude — the League moved for the day of recognition to be observed annually on a date not associated with any particular war or League event.   Today, National POW/MIA Recognition Day is observed throughout the United States and around the world on the third Friday in September at our military installations, aboard ships and many other state and local areas throughout our nation.   Flying the  POW/MIA flag on Recognition Day has also become a part of this annual observance.

Nowadays the POW/MIA flag is fast becoming one of the most recognizable symbols of the sacrifice that these special military heroes have given for our country – in many cases, the ultimate sacrifice.  The starkness of the black & white flag is a reminder of the dark days endured by our POW/MIAs, and the prominent silhouette is a striking remembrance of their pain, not knowing when or if they would be reunited with families – many of whom did not know that their loved ones were imprisoned in a harsh environment – in the case of my generation, the jungles of Vietnam and Laos or the tough desolation of the now infamous Ha Long Prison (Hanoi Hilton)  and elsewhere.  Many families still grieve for the loss of their husbands, fathers, sons or brothers, left behind on former battlefields, wondering if they will ever come home for a proper burial in the United States of America, for which they gave so much.

2012 National POW/MIA Recognition Day — Retired U.S. Marine Corps Col. Gene Castagnetti, now the Director of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, speaks to more than 400 people during JPACs somber POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony at the cemetery. Seated are Johnie Webb, Deputy to the JPAC Commander, and retired Col William Reeder, US Army, Vietnam War POW. (DoD photo by William Dasher/Released)

Vietnam War families, like mine, have never forgotten their loved ones.  My first husband, Capt Jerry Zimmer, USMC, has always been a hero to our family, friends and many guys who served with him in Vietnam.   To me, the four words emblazoned at the bottom of the POW-MIA flag – “You Are Not Forgotten” – are a reminder of our Patriotic duty, regardless of the war that is nearest and dearest to our hearts, to never forget those who sacrificed their lives and suffered great indignity so that we may enjoy our freedom.   


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