Monday, March 7, 2011

She never gave up hope...

...he would come home.

Kathy Strong (left) and the soldier she never forgot...

More than four decades ago, a U.S. Army Green Beret - James Leslie Moreland - was declared "Missing In Action" (MIA) after his unit was overrun by communist fighters.

That was 1968 and the place was a little-remembered hotspot named Lang Vei. Moreland's comrades were injured and killed, but he was never found.

Family and friends hoped that he had escaped or -as time wore on - been captured by the North Vietnamese and was being held prisoner. When American Prisoners of War (POWs) were repatriated after the conflict, Moreland wasn't among them.

But he wasn't forgotten.

For 38 years, Kathy Strong (a former classmate and friend) - who was just a young girl when she received a POW bracelet with his name on it - kept his memory alive. Long after it had no longer been fashionable to wear the shiny, inscribed metallic wristband, Kathy wore hers.

And she wore it.

And wore it.

And still, to this day, wears it.

But that will soon come to an end.

Moreland's remains were recovered and are being returned to the U.S. for a proper military burial. And when the young soldier is laid to rest in his grave, Kathy will finally take the bracelet off and leave it with him in his final place on this Earth.

And just as the brave Army medic stood his ground, seeing his oath through til the end, Kathy Strong will stand true til the end. Just as he honored his soldier's promise, so will have Kathy Strong honored the promise to her soldier.

Watch the CBS News report below to learn more.

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