There are no coincidences in life, but rather signals from the world around us telling us to pay attention. So it didn’t really surprise me that last week that I was thinking about Spec 4 David Munoz, the soldier named on my POW/MIA bracelet and then read about the replica of the Vietnam War Memorial wall that is visiting Long Island. http://www.newsday.com/news/region-state/replica-of-vietnam-war-memorial-visits-long-island-1.3793995
Back in the late 1960’s when I was still in junior high school, I sent away for a POW/MIA bracelet and I received one with David Munoz’s name engrained on it. His name became engrained on my brain, as well. I wore the bracelet for years and then I eventually placed it in my jewelry drawer.
Through the years I have moved at least 12 times and “decluttered” my life with each move, but I always kept that bracelet. I am not the most sentimental person, either. I even throw out my old news clippings, greeting cards and memorabilia. But the David Munoz bracelet always made the cut and I held fast to it. Just a few weeks ago I rediscovered it and thought that I would do some research on what the final determination was about PFC Munoz’ fate.
I emailed the POWNetwork.org and asked what they knew. I received a response within minutes from someone named Mary at the organization. This is what I found out:
David Louie Munoz was born on May 2, 1948 in Fresno, California. He was enlisted in the Army, Company B, 1st Battalion, 605th Infantry, 3rd Brigade, and 82nd Airborne. Munoz disappeared on May 13, 1969 just days after his 21st birthday. He was declared MIA in 1973.
PFC Munoz and SP4 Robert Masuda were serving as a machine gun team on a reconnaissance enforce mission northwest of Saigon in Binh Duong province, South Vietnam on that day. The two soldiers were assisting in destroying a large quantity of rice in the village, believed to be supplies stored by or intended for the Viet Cong. But several hours later it was determined that both men were missing.
The remains of both soldiers were never found, despite several attempts to go back and look for them. The best the Company could determine was that Munoz and Masuda may have been killed and left in a well. But it is uncertain.
Whether they were killed or captured, the US Government has to put more pressure on the Vietnamese to provide information on those missing from this war that has long been over. According to POWNetwork.com, the Vietnamese have been less than forthcoming with their pledge to provide this information and our government has not insisted. We need to turn up the heat on our elected officials.
As a matter of fact, I will be asking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to make this one of her priorities. Vietnam Vets were forgotten once, when they returned home here from an immensely unpopular war. Let’s not forget the ones who never made it home.
To view a photo and more comments about David Munoz, visit: