During the Vietnam War a new kind of bracelet took over American pop culture. Each metal bracelet had on it the name of a soldier who was either held captive or missing in action.
People would buy the bracelets and every time they looked at it they would think of those who risked it all for others. The idea of the special bracelets was that whenever a soldier returned home whoever wore that bracelet could take it off, knowing he was home safe.
Kathy Strong was only 12 years old when she got one of those bracelets in her Christmas stocking in 1972. She read the paper and saw the name James Moreland. James was a Green Beret who was stationed in Lang Vei and went missing in the winter after an attack from Vietnamese troops.
Missing soldiers seemed to be returning every day so Kathy stayed hopeful and dreamed about meeting him at the airport and giving him that bracelet. Kathy waited and waited. After years it became clear that anyone who could come home had and most people forgot about their bracelet.
But Not Kathy, Kathy kept thinking about James and his family and how heartbroken they must be not knowing what had happened. So for 38 years she kept her promise until his remains were found and returned home.
Finally after 4 decades James’ remains were identified and sent home for a proper military funeral. And when Anita and Linda, James’ sisters, heard about Kathy they knew they wanted her to be there.
And of course Kathy agreed to go so the bracelet could be buried with James. What an incredible thing Kathy did for this family. And what a touching story! It is such a powerful reminder of those we’ve lost and a reminder to truly appreciate those who we still have with us. God bless our veterans and their families.