POW/MIA Bracelets


Did anybody else wear these bracelets in the 70's? I wore one in high school and can still remember his name. For me to remember someone's name from 40 years ago, the experience must have made an impression on me. It may have been a school project I'm not sure, but I do remember writing his family in Hawaii. I don't have the bracelet anymore but I wish I did. After I was finished wearing it, I know I flattened it out and probably used it for a book mark for awhile. But from there I have no idea what happened to it. I got curious and did an online search for him one night, a luxury that was not available back then. Apparently bracelets of the same name were wore by many people as I found this picture on Vietnam Vets Memorial Fund site.


Luther Lono was in the Marines and had the same birthday as mine, born in 1931. He was from Tacoma, Wa., but his family was from Hawaii. Both pilot Lono and his bombardier navigator (Patrick Curran) were sent on a recon mission over Laos and things were going well until the Airborne Tactical Air Control aircraft lost contact with them on September 29, 1969.

It is believed the plane landed but they were taken prisoner or executed on the spot. They next day they heard a signal from their emergency transmitter but after searching, they or their aircraft were never found. Curran's mother felt they were alive though and fought tirelessly to free them and the almost 600 other men imprisoned. If they had been captured, the United States never negotiated for any captive's release from Laos, which leads some to think there still might be prisoners being held today.

In further reading of Curran's bio, the suspected crash sight was investigated in 1997 and pieces of a plane were found, enough to determine a correlation of  the one that went down years before.

Although he was listed as MIA his remains were returned in 2000 and positively identified in 2001. The remains of both Marines were buried together at Arlington Cemetery in 2002 with full honors. If Luther were alive today he would be the same age as my mom.

I didn't realize, but the bracelets are still being sold by the POWNetwork. You can order from a specific war and even customize it with a particular name. So I will get my bracelet back after all! As Veteran's Day is upon us, I salute Lono, Curran, and the millions of men and women who gave and are still giving us the gift of Freedom.

Comments

Mr. Shife said…
Good post kden and nicely done. You are awesome. Enjoy your weekend.

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