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How and When to return a bracelet

Bracelets... the past and the future


NOTE: The Next of Kin signed a form giving permission for the loved ones name to be used along with the date of the incident on the bracelet. NOT all NOK gave permission for bracelets to be made.                    N. McKamey, 12/26/2002

Home Fires Burn for POWs/MIAs
Kelly Patricia O'Meara

Summary - In 1970, three college students began making bracelets to remember servicemen. Thirty years later, U.S. soldiers are still missing and Americans continue to wear the bracelets.

It was on June 30, 1967, while carrying out his 179th bombing mission over Southeast Asia, that 27-year-old Navy pilot Mike McGrath's A4C Skyhawk was hit by antiaircraft artillery just south of Hanoi, the capital of North Vietnam. With no time to radio his location, McGrath ejected from his crippled aircraft and landed in a kind of hell few have known.......

When the prisoners of war were repatriated to the United States from North Vietnam in 1973 during Operation Homecoming, there was great public interest about how their years in captivity may have affected them. The following numbers speak for themselves:

* Seven POWs were awarded the Medal of Honor:
Vice Adm. Jim Stockdale, U.S. Navy;
Col. Bud Day, U.S. Air Force;
Col. Don Cook (posthumously), U.S. Marine Corps;
and Capt. Lance Sijan (posthumously), U.S. Air Force - all for action above and beyond the call of duty as POWs.
Col. Leo Thorsness, U.S. Air Force;
Sgt. Maj. Jon Cavaiani, U.S. Army;
and Sgt. William Port, U.S. Army - all for heroism prior to being captured.

* 137 Vietnam-era POWs are graduates of one of the four military academies.

* 80 percent of the POWs who were repatriated remained in the military and retired with a minimum of 20 years service.

* 24 Vietnam-era POWs were promoted to flag rank.

* 16 POWs have held other public offices with distinction, including:
Everett Alvarez, former deputy director of the Peace Corps and former deputy administrator of the Veterans Administration.
Lawrence Chesley, former Arizona state senator.
Thomas Collins, former undersecretary of labor.
Jeremiah Denton, former U.S.senator.
John Downey, Connecticut Superior Court judge.
Mark Gartley, former Maine secretary of state.
Samuel Johnson, U.S. representative.
Joseph Kernan, governor of Indiana.
John McCain, U.S. senator, former U.S. representative, currently a candidate for the GOP nomination for president.
Douglas Peterson, ambassador to Vietnam and former U.S. representative.
John Pritchford, former mayor of Natchez, Miss.
Ben Purcell, former Georgia state representative.
Orson Swindle, federal trade commissioner and former assistant secretary of commerce.
Leo Thorsness, former Washington state senator.
James Warner, former senior White House domestic-policy adviser.
Ronald Webb, former assistant secretary of the Federal Aviation Administration.

**  Jack Zeider, was the owner of Midway Stamping and Die Works in Santa Monica, California.  In order to produce enough of these bracelets, on a minimal budget, Jack ran crews 24-hours a day.  He and Shirley Zeider, my sister-in-law,  ran the day crew and my husband Richard Zeider, a college student at the time, ran the night crew.  While Jack manufactured the bracelets his brother, Bob Zeider, did the engraving and my mother-in-law, Ruth Zeider, kept the books.   It was truly a family effort and the only affordable way the bracelets could be produced for VIVA.  For a period of time the Zeiders were producing 50,000 bracelets a day. 

Dr. Richard & Janet Zeider


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Dolores Alfond -- 425-881-1499                                Lynn O'Shea ---- 718-846-4350
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February 12, 2000 Bits 'n' Pieces [a portion of...]


A Look Into The Future - Bulletin... In OOTW, we have 3 IP's...
Translation : In "Operations Other Than War" we have three "Isolated Persons." That's the new terminology. Wars are longer wars and captured Americans are no longer POWs. They are Isolated Personnel. This terminology comes from the 1999 Department of Defense Personnel Recovery
Conference Report dated October 26 - 28, 1999. A scan of the body of this report reveals the phrase "Prisoner of War" is used only once, as is the acronym POW. The phrase "Isolated Personnel" appears, by our count, 13 times.


A Look Into The Past - 27 years ago this weekend, the first Freedom Bird out of Hanoi, was landing at Clark Air Force Base, the Philippines.


"Rapid Post-Hostility Accounting" - In the January 29th 2000 edition of Bits N Pieces we quoted from a DPMO booklet titled "POW/MIA Accounting," dated 1999. The quote reads; "By the end of the year 2004, we will have moved from the way the US government conducts the business of recovery and accounting to an active program of loss prevention, immediate rescues, and rapid post-hostility accounting."

We discussed DPMO plans to end POW/MIA investigations as we know them by the year 2004. Today, we want to discuss the phrase "rapid post-hostility accounting." To us, that phrase means that the U.S. government will never again allow themselves to become involved in a 30, 40 or 50 year investigation or recovery operation. The government's plan is simple, end all POW/MIA operations, past, present and future. "Immediate rescues, and rapid post-hostility accounting" is the plan of
the future.

"Immediate rescues, and rapid post hostility accounting" is an important goal. However, we must ask what about the pilot or ground soldier who is not immediately rescued but known to be in captivity? What about the ground soldier or pilot known to have died but the enemy for whatever reason does not return his or her remains?

Are we supposed to forget them?

The next time you look at your "IP" bracelet... oops we mean your POW/MIA bracelet think about these questions.