Bracelets of my MIA's and POW'sBracelet Symbols
The Stories Behind My Bracelets
Why I volunteer centers around my two current MIA's, James Herrick and Humberto "Rocky" Versace and these amazing veterans that have a part of my life since 1970. Throughout my volunteering, I have worn numerous bracelets honoring our veterans:
Lt Michael T Burns, USAF - POW returned
Major Thomas S Collins III, USAF - POW returned
Col Jerry D Driscoll, USAF (Ret) - POW returned
LCDR Paul E. Galanti, USN (Ret) - POW returned
Maj Donald Lee Harrison, POW/MIA + panel 40W, line 53 (Don's bracelet is used in my displays)
Capt James "Jim" Wayne Herrick Jr,POW/MIA + panel 17W, line 124 (photo with MIA symbols will be soon added)
John William Kennedy, POW/MIA - repatriated (solid <> diamond) Panel 3W, line 132
Col Richard Abbott Kibbey, POW/MIA + panel 14E, 129, (Richard's bracelet is used in my displays)
Robert Lewis III, (Spec 5), POW returned (returned to private life)
Capt John "Mike" M McGrath, USAF (Ret) - POW returned (still looking for Mike's bracelet - misplaced when we transferred from Africa to Taiwan)
Capt Humbert Roque "Rocky" Versace, POW/MIA + panel 1E, line 33
I currently just wear Jim's and Rocky's bracelets.
When the bracelets were first sold there were stick-on symbols that indicated whether the name on the bracelet was known as either a Prisoner of War (POW) or Missing in Action (MIA).
There was the White Star within the Blue Circle that indicated the name on the bracelet was a POW. (note see any of the bracelets displayed below for an example)
There was the Blue star within the White Circle that indicated the name on the bracelet was a MIA.
There were also bracelets that had nothing because there was no information.
I finally found a bracelet with a white circle and a blue star and I was very fortunate it just happened to be for my MIA, James Herrick. (donated back to Roger Herrick, for his family, from a very generous person Dave, in May 2009).
These symbols are much like the ones engraved (or silk-screened) on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to indicate whether the veteran is either known Killed in Action (KIA) or still Missing in Action (MIA).
There is a solid <> diamond symbol that indicates the name on the memorial is a KIA.
There is a plus + symbol that indicated the name on the memorial is a MIA.
The Stories Behind My Bracelets
Lt Michael T Burns, POW returned
Michael Burns was featured in the Sarasota Hearld Tribune, August 1, 2009, titled: Veteran Learns of "Silent Vigil". I was given permission to link the article written by ABBY WEINGARTEN, correspondent, Photographed by E. SKYLAR LITHERLAND. Please visit their web site: www.heraldtribune.com/article/20090801/ARTICLE/908011043. to read the story about a bracelet being return to this hero living in my city.
Major Thomas S Collins III, POW returned
Tom and I first met at the Mississippi Vietnam Memorial dedication, Ocean springs May 30, 1997. I was asked to participate on behalf of Friends of Vietnam Veterans Memorial, (FVVM) for their two day celebration activities before the official dedication. I had no idea I would meet one of my POWs. A few years later he remembered that I was involved with The Moving Wall and Hattiesburg, Mississippi was now scheduled to have the event in his hometown. He called and asked if I would come over to help with the event and of course, I was honored to be asked. So on November 1, 2001, once again I had the chance to link up with this amazing veteran.
When Capt Jerry D Driscoll returned, he sent out this letter to his bracelet wearers. Later he followed it up with a newspaper article, written by Paul Molloy, Chicago Sun Times, April 8, 1972. (Please note that Jerry's bracelet had the blue stars on the white circle)
LCDR Paul E. Galanti, POW returned
Throughout the years from 1973 to 1996, I had been writing to Sally and Dan Kennedy. When we moved to Florida, Sally and I discovered that we were just miles from each other.
In the summer of 1996, I received word from Sally that John's body had been found and the new DNA technique had been used to identify his remains. A funeral would be held in Arlington National Cemetery on August 2, 1996, and she invited me to attend. My husband, transferred his air miles into a round-trip ticket so I could be there to welcome John home. The trip to Washington DC and to Arlington National Cemetery was to find peace in my heart for John.
A month later, I saw the article in People's magazine on John and again I was so proud to know Sally and Dan Kennedy. Unfortunately Dan passed away before this news was shared.
I put together a collage of my years honoring John and included various mementoes.
And for years, I carried around the poem that Dan Kennedy wrote about his son, John and others in the same situation.
Richard A Kibbey, POW/MIA
Once the repatriation (the veterans' remains are returned to the family) takes place, individuals should not continue to wear the bracelet unless it is a black bracelet, In Memory of....
So they inquire, what can they do about the bracelet - should they send it back?
I often tell people there are numerous ways to honor their veteran and one is to place the bracelet into a frame.
A bracelet can also be left at The Moving Wall, which will find a place in The Moving Wall Museum to be built in the future.
You can read more about the bracelets on the FAQ page.