Everyone Can Do Something
|September 19, 2013||Filled under Grace Notes|
In May of this past year I wrote a few posts about my friend, Sue Krall, and her family’s battle to bring home the remains of her uncle, 1st Lt. John C. Kelley, from the site where his plane crashed in Tripura, India. You can read the posts here: http://cathrynhasek.com/2013/05/29/every-day-is-memorial-day/ and here: http://cathrynhasek.com/2013/06/06/black-and-white-cut-and-dried/
It has recently come to my attention that the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) had a team return to India to speak with the local and federal authorities about doing an excavation of the burial site. They then visited the burial location and some of the crash site, where an anthropologist was able to assess the scope of work and operational parameters.
The people of India have given tentative permission to the JPAC crew to do an excavation of the burial location, survey the crash area and possibly excavate the crash area, as well.
This is incredible news! The team that returned from India says that the Indian people seemed committed to making this happen and the team remains hopeful for its success. JPAC anticipates having boots on the ground at the site in early November of this year.
As I mentioned in part one of these postings, I was asked by Sue and her family to help write a letter to the Governor of Tripura, India, pleading with him on behalf of the families of the downed C47 soldiers to allow JPAC ground access in the Tripura area to bring John and the other heroes home.
I am extremely humbled to learn that my letter was received and read by one of the Indian “Secretaries of Defense” with much interest. This same person was also one of the escorts for JPAC’s latest mission to the crash site. In an email to my friend Sue this person writes, “I have gone through your letter written to H.E. Governor, Tripura, I am very impressed and empathize with your feelings. Hope this mission will be success.”
Being asked to do this for my friend, my country and its heroes is something that I will always be very proud to have undertaken. As our 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, once said, “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”
Our VFW Post here in North Ridgeville, Ohio will recognize our POW/MIA servicemen tomorrow, September 20th, during National POW/MIA Recognition Day. I ask you to please remember First Lieutenant Kelley, as well as all of the over 83,000 soldiers still missing from past conflicts, by saying a prayer, lighting a candle, or flying a POW/MIA flag in their honor tomorrow.