Kathy Strong’s bracelet

Posted on 17/05/2011 by

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I tried my best to get him to come to the Navy,” chuckled retired Navy Seabee and older brother Robert D. Moreland, 75, of Lakeside, Calif. “But he liked to skydive

SFC Leslie Moreland

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BRIERFIELD — There’s a spot marked in a small country graveyard near here for the long lost Green Beret.

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Now, after 43 years of uncertainty, the grave in Ashby Cemetery can be filled

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Burial for James Leslie Moreland — missing in action in Vietnam since Feb. 7, 1968 — will be May 14 in this isolated cemetery off Bibb County 2, south of Montevallo. Moreland was born in Bessemer on Sept. 29, 1945, moved to California in high school and in 1965 went to Vietnam as a medic in the elite Army Special Forces.

The 22-year-old was presumed dead after a ferocious battle at Lang Vei in South Vietnam. But his body wasn’t recovered or identified. Finding the body and securing an ID turned into a decades-long quest until last month, when DNA earlier submitted by five relatives matched remains found at Lang Vei. Read The Rest

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POW MIA Don’t let them be forgotten

I haven’t heard anyone even mention a MIA Bracelet in years, Kathy Strong never
took hers off…  She wore it every second of every day from Christmas 1972
until May 14th 2011

CBS Video  As part of our continuing series “Assignment America,” Steve Hartman meets 50-year-old Kathy Strong, a California woman who waited four decades for one special soldier to return home.  http://youtu.be/cjNVsBrmQd0  (CBS disabled embeding)

From Kathy Strong’s MIA bracelet By Theresa Harrington

Kathy Strong

I was in seventh grade when I put the bracelet on,” said Strong, a 47-year-old Walnut Creek resident who works in Richmond. “He was missing almost five years by the time I got the bracelet.”

She received the bracelet Christmas Day 1972 in her stocking. It was one of about 5 million bracelets made to remind Americans of the more than 2,500 military personnel who were missing or prisoners during the Vietnam War.

Moreland, who lived in Anaheim, is one of 1,788 troops still missing from that war. Of those, 179 are from California.

Dating back to World War II, there are about 88,000 troops unaccounted for, said Capt. Mary Olsen, spokeswoman for the Defense Department’s Prisoner of War-Missing in Action, or POW-MIA, office. Currently, four soldiers are missing in Iraq.

“I was very young when Vietnam was going on,” said Strong, who lived in Southern California when she received the bracelet. “I don’t really understand a lot of the politics behind it. But personally, I don’t believe we should go to any other war until we get our men back from the last war.”

As Strong grew into adulthood, she gradually learned more about the man who has been a presence in her life for decades.

Through research in books about Vietnam, Strong found that Moreland was seriously injured and presumed dead at age 22 in the battle at Lang Vei. When she marked the 40th anniversary earlier this month of the last time he was seen alive, , Strong decided to make her story public to remind people in Contra Costa County and the country that there are still hundreds of American military personnel missing and that she and others are keeping their memories alive.

“I’ve never been to Vietnam,” Strong said. “But I still feel a connection with my MIA as well as the others who were with him the night he died.”

READ THE REST

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