POW bracelet returned to Vietnam veteran whose name it bears
BURLINGTON, N.C. (WBAY) - Two brothers from the Fox Valley are back home after a road trip to North Carolina. As we first told you a couple weeks ago, they traveled there to present a Vietnam War POW with a bracelet that has his name on it.
A TV station in North Carolina captured the moment when Karl Schrampfer, along with his brother Marty, met retired Air Force Col. Norman McDaniel.
“It is my distinct honor to meet you and to present you with the bracelet that I wore in high school,” said Schrampfer handing the bracelet to Col. McDaniel at a restaurant in Burlington, North Carolina.
“Oh Karl, thank you so much, these bracelets, we heard in the late ’60′s that our fellow and sister Americans were wearing our bracelets because they had not forgotten us,” replied a grateful Col. McDaniel.
After his plane was hit by a missile, Col. McDaniel survived more than six years in a North Vietnamese prison.
“There were times when you didn’t think you’d live to see another moment,” recalls Col. McDaniel.
Back in the U.S. millions of people like Schrampfer, bought a bracelet that had the name of one of the more than 700 American POWs on it, vowing to wear it until their POW, or their remains, returned home.
After finding his bracelet last year, Schrampfer tracked down Col. McDaniel.
“Usually the person who wore the bracelet is the one who returns it, if some of the people who wore my bracelet have passed on, their children or offspring, they will contact either me if they know me directly, or through Air Force personnel and want to return the bracelet,” says Col. McDaniel, now 83.
Col. McDaniel estimates he received close to 400 bracelets over the years.
He plans to make a figurine out of his bracelets of a POW with his head tilted down.
“We the ex-POWs feel very, very fortunate that we are Americans, we have a great country, we have a blessed country,” says Col. McDaniel.
And for two Fox Valley brothers, it turned out to be a very blessed weekend in Burlington, North Carolina.
“If there’s any way that you can recognize and thank our veterans for their service, whatever it is, it’s appreciated,” says Schrampfer with a smile before the long drive back to Wisconsin.
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