I learned about the most fascinating trend the other day: POW bracelets of the Vietnam War. My aunt called to see if I could help her find a prisoner of war (POW) from the Vietnam War, and I just had to know why. (How often do you get a call like that?) She explained that in the 70s, it was a “thing” to wear a bracelet with the name of a POW. She had one with Capt. James Warner and wanted my help in finding him. (I’m pretty stellar with my Google skills.)
I was able to find some info on Capt. Warner to send to her, and in my searching, learned more about these bracelets. They were the brainchild of Carol Bates, who was part of a group, Voices in Vital America, to remind everyone of the POWs overseas. They were about $2.50-$3 and about five million were manufactured. Each bracelet was engraved with a soldier’s name and his date of capture. VIVA closed in ’76; according to Bates, “By then the American public was tired of hearing about Vietnam and showed no interest in the POW/MIA issue.”
(Everyone from Nixon to Johnny Cash to Sonny & Cher wore the POW bracelets in the 70s.)
If you happen to own one of these bracelets and want to send it to the soldier, contact:
Defense POW/Missing Persons Office
ATTN: Public Affairs
2400 Defense, Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301 – 2400
Want to know what happened to the solider on your bracelet? Check out the POW Network and do a search.
This Veterans’ Day, take a moment to think about each of the POWs who had his name engraved on a bracelet and thank those who have/are serving our country. Did you have a POW bracelet? Have you ever tried to contact “your” soldier?