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During the 1970s, when veterans returned to the United States from the war in Vietnam, often times they were treated poorly.
This did not sit well with Virginia Spreen of Wasilla. So she began to wear a Prisoner Of War bracelet she picked up in Anchorage at the Veterans Administration in Anchorage; the bracelet bore the name of Capt. Park G. Bunker, whose plane was shot down over Laos.
“The men that went into war, they didn’t like war, but they went,“ she said, according to Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office. “Uncle Sam called them or they volunteered, but they fought so that everyone else has the freedom to do what they are doing. I wore that bracelet for years and years. I was trying to return it to his family for years, but the Air Force couldn’t help me.”
Now near 90, Ms. Spreen wanted to be in touch with the family of the man she had honored for decades. Murkowski’s office helped her locate Capt. Bunker’s sisters.
They spoke together on the phone recently, and the sisters now have the bracelet.
“It is a wonderful, wonderful thing that someone else besides our family was worried about Park,” one sister, Patricia Shivers of Knoxville, Tenn., said. “We still don’t know exactly what happened to him, but it is comforting to know that Virginia was worried and praying right along with us.”
Sometimes, even though we don’t realize it, just being there for someone helps. Kudos to Virginia Spreen for her tenacity both in continuing to wear the POW bracelet for a man who might have been forgotten, and for figuring out how to get in touch with his family.
We never know how we might help other people with a simple act. Even if the act never is recognized, it is worthwhile.