Hampden Man Finds POW Bracelet And Returns It To Soldier’s Family
Maybe you already know Mike Weston. I've known Mike since we were in grade school, and his mother was our den leader in Cub Scouts. We used to play on the same baseball team, I think, too. Then, we completed high school around the same time. Then I used to see him all the time in Portland when I lived down there, too.
We're not like, best friends or anything, but I've always liked Mike a lot. Sure, he says things on Facebook sometimes that are kinda vulgar. Maybe he's a little rough around the edges. But who isn't?! The important part, that I'll swear to ten times over, is that Mike's a good guy.
The other day, I saw him put up a post on Facebook about helping someone clean out a basement, and he found an old backpack. As he was going through the contents, he found an old POW bracelet from back around 1969-70. Years ago, bracelets were made with the names of POW's that didn't come home.
High school kids would often wear them, and if they found out the soldier came home, they'd get the bracelet back to the soldier. Obviously, there were many cases where these brave soldiers didn't make it home. Then, these bracelets would kick around in random spots for years.
My mom had one back in the day and I wore it for a long time in high school, not knowing the full significance of them. But Mike knew how important this might be to someone, so he posted the image online, and through the magic of the internet, a woman reached out and said she could get the bracelet back to the family.
But that's not where it ends. The family of the missing soldier is in Massachusetts, and Mike sent the bracelet to the person who reached out to him. He was then told that the bracelet would be delivered to the family of the soldier with a police escort, as well as a group POW/MIA bikers that wanted to ride it over to the family.
So 52+ years later, this family will be reunited with small piece of their family's history, that may even help provide some closure to the family, specifically Sgt. Smith's sister. She's the one who will receive it.
It restores one's faith in humanity a bit when you think about the number of people coming together to get this fallen soldier's sister his POW bracelet. It took Mike finding it and posting it, someone reading about it and reaching out, and local police and motorcycle riders to deliver it.
You gotta figure, Sgt. William M. Smith gave everything he had for this country. the least the rest of us can do to honor him is to say his name out loud. And to write about it. to post online about it. There are still thousands of POW's that never made it home. But at least Sgt. Smith's memory can live on another day through the goodness of others.