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Date Posted: Thu, July 07 2005, 1:34:38
Author: Jeff Northridge
Author Host/IP: dialup-188.8.131.52.Dial1.SanJose1.Level3.net / 184.108.40.206
Subject: Give Me A Name
In reply to:
's message, "Re: Vietnam records..." on Wed, July 06 2005, 22:45:03
That sounds like a lot of contradictory information that your family has been told. It must be quite frustrating not to mention painfull. If you can just give me the name of your relative, I'll see what I can find out. It looks like you have exhausted most official sources, but I might be able to determine his unit down to the company level. That is one of the hardest parts in trying to locate a buddy who knew him and who knows what happened.
Personnel records, medical records, DD-214s, replacement medals, etc. will only be provided to a deceased veteran's next-of-kin (or to the veteran him or herself if still alive). You didn't mention what your relationship is to this GI. If you are his sister, wife, mother, or daughter, then you probably qualify as next-of-kin, but if you are a second cousin, then probably not.
Your family might like to get in touch with a veterans organization (like the American Legion, VFW, VVA, or DAV) because they might be able to help. Ask to get in touch with a Service Representative because they are trained and experienced in how to deal with government bureaucracies and are free of charge.
Other options include writing letters to your Congressman, both state Senators, the Secretary of Defense (Donald Rumsfield), and the President (George W. Bush). If that doesn't work, try the national news media. If that doesn't work, the only option left is to sue everybody in Federal Court and appeal the matter up the Supreme Court if necessary. If the Supremes turn you down, that's the end of it, but you should be able to get some definitive answers long before that happens. Denying information about a KIA/MIA to a relative would be political suicide to any politician.
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