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tv   FOX31 Denver News Special Remembering the 24  FOX  September 5, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm MDT

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to us as a monument commit to the men and women who we probably never met in my are nonetheless per they died for their country for us, but for some colorado families, so many others to proceed her? because there is so much unknown
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flag waves over the colorado freedom memorial. they are the colorado man who went to war in a country half a world away and never came back. they are the 24th. coming traveled 8,000-mile stick it here to tell you the stories of
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the once war-ravaged country, villages and families, sweeping rivers, next its driving cities.
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he disappeared back in may 1965. he was an observer on an aircraft that went down killed in action, and thought it never could recover his body never recovered, his remains still out there somewhere in april 1972, bruce walker, 26 rolled from pueblo colorado, flew out of this town, his plane was shot down he survived several days even used a mirror to cigna to signal rescuers he was surrounded by north vietnamese fighters killed in action his remains lost forever thousands of miles from home. life was never the same again. for us it never was. official farmhouse in the tiny town of beulah colorado the family of private first class michael, have been waiting nearly 50 years for a phone call >> they say, he was probably killed, but you never know 100 percent.
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went over there and married somebody. you constantly think. >> just 20 years old, he was a crew chief on a helicopter that crashed in south vietnam. >> he volunteered conceiving on r&r when he came back the other guys retired he volunteered to go. he went up. that's the way it was hit his sister is still haunted by the stories from that day. >> the helicopter pilot so they could hear someone screaming mom, and that was very tough to hear. five decades can release -- the receiving the most profound personal memories. >> these of the telegrams that we received the stack of old messages a few gaps. his been reported missing in action. little did he know, listen out
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family getting these telegrams. this complete stranger, who knows 90 miles of the road in colorado was trying to reach the wreckage and help bring his body back home. we tried to get them out. it's a tough way to go. eighteen days after the chopper was shot down, resold and his battalion sent to try to reach the crash site and recover the remains of the 11 men on board. they marched all night and never close to t came under fire for the north vietnamese army foremen for men were killed, seven wounded ray was one of those hurt, injured by grenade shrapnel. i was upset the that for my friends are killed that we're doing the right thing when we did it. he never reach the crash site those who did say there was little left foot black earth over the years i've been trying to touch base with the families who are on the helicopter, and i
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families he was able to track down was michael's. i started looking at the names of who would been involved in the accident. they're sort of a relief, sort of a hesitancy to me that contact, with someone who was on the helicopter. for betsy, that phone call from a stranger, finally answered so many questions because he called, he told me how much and how hard they worked just to get to a fill so that they look er this makes sense for the last several years they stayed in touch shared stories, fond memories, photos. from his time on r&r, let them have that. she got a great laugh, and the connection is true tragic events, but it's a bond of shared sacrifice 49 years of
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remains of 20 -year-old michael, there's really no way to close this chapter in her life. it was until later on that you realize what it told us was going to take per they have now identified the remains of two men killed in the helicopter crash. privileged to been able to go to the funerals of two of the 11 who had been able to come back. i wouldn't have known they brought these of the two bodies home if it wouldn't would have been for ray who knows maybe one day she wil they have found michael, there still hope, it is the one thing the southern colorado family has not lost. so many questions about what happened here so long ago and for many colorado families, the
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welcome back. this is one of many places in this country looks vastly different than it did more than 40 years ago during the vietnam war many veterans have returned to this country and have made happy memory since then. for one colorado family we met there are nothing but painful memories of this war. old home movies of a doting man faded photograph show him with his young family, these are what help fill in the memories. all david jenner, he's two recalls that one day, such a
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news. at the end of the day, my mom took me back in the room, and sat me down and said, i've got news for you. your dad was shot down, he was captured, you're going to cry, cry now, that's why mom was educated out and be done. there is little seven -year-old kid, i understood my dad was caught by some bad guys and he'll be home at the end of the war. the colonel was part of lading is thunder chief when it was hit by ground fire on may 18, 1965. he was forced to eject come his parachute landed near a village in laos. look so many others, he was taken prisoner of war who this picture, publish later in a communist newspaper, this is last image, her family had seen of him and 51 years.
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side or the other, all lopsided, tough on father's day, seven doing for half a century, there sure david lived for years as a pow, who knows, could even still be alive, 85 now, he and his wife, .-point seven she collected, seem to live in captivity recently 1989. it's possible. i have no evidence to prove that he died, the always be there. the images of prisoners of war, possible to erase the web for so many families, at least there was hope. in 1872 moving into the 1970s in january, saw the return of all of our combat forces.
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their way home, my dad is in laos. you don't know. i knew that at that point he was not coming home is all about geography. it wasn't just vietnam war a southeast asian war. he was shot down over laos, he was forgotten. he is not the only one to the defense department lived more than 300 approved a missing in action in laos, most likely died in plane crashes, as many as 41 maven held pow there is at the us never officially acknowledged taking part in the war in laos, free the pow held in peel vietnam, didn't apply to those across the border and a lot of people care that were with them, after that. in a very real way, he still carries it with him. he still wears his dad pow
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man he barely knew, but who is inspired him nonetheless. years later, he joined the navy and like his dad became a pilot pitted tribute to the man forgotten by so many, but unforgettable to those who left behind. unimaginable pain that continues indefinitely brought on by war here in vietnam so long
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here in the mountain town, even in tough on the letter who they are, and what they care about so much. it brings it front and center. certainly our hearts and minds today. it is just two weeks ago, huge gathering, it is that 29 time they've gotten together here and memory of the more than 50,000 americans who didn't come home alive from the vietnam war in
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i think it is tough to imagine not having gone through myself, to lose a loved ones like that, and not know exactly what happened to them or brought about the demise come you never get over that. people in this crowd can relate. got shot down over hanoi, just north of hanoi. and all of that time held prisoner, he never gave up hope. for the families, those are country couldn't get he had
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wishing there was something we could do for them, maybe this is it. in those leather vest, that carried us more on their backs in many ways for 50 years, putting their busy lives on hold just one day a year, to show there is strength in numbers until their kids about a war half a century in half a world away of those 24 colorado men who cannot be here today, they are
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barren field in aurora, some 8500 miles on the battlefield of vietnam, monument made of metal and water in class on the colorado freedom memorial are the names of every hero from our state who died serving our country. tonight we want to put a face to 24 of these names, the men missing are killed in action in vietnam who never made it back
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twenty-four men from all of our state fathers, brothers, children. guys who left the comfort of home half a century ago and left behind avoidance only colorado families that neither time or distance can ever diminish. >> something to think about the
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flight with one of those bracelets from a veteran who never came home a family has so many unanswered questions after so many time. i'm here in vietnam, thank you
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