Soldier Missing From Vietnam War Identified: Midland Family Describes the Moment 12/3/12
CBS 7 News
December 3, 2012
Midland, TX - For many the Vietnam War is a distant memory, but for James Jones it’s a recurring nightmare. That was when James' big brother Sgt. John Robert Jones went missing in action.
“He was my champion, my hero, when I was growing up I always wanted to be like him,” he said.
James says he was just a teenager wondering if he would ever see his brother.
“I was mad because they told me I lost my brother and he was missing,” he said, “I was like what do you mean he is missing?”
Time went on as anxiety grew in his family. Their parents passed away never knowing what happened to their oldest son.
“When he was lost our family created a big upheaval,” James said.
*Sgt. Jones was a Green Beret assigned to guard a communications post on a mountain near Laos. James says his mission and location were kept secret because enemy messages were intercepted at that post, which was attacked. Sgt. Jones was 22 years old.
“We wondered and wondered,” James said.
The search for Sgt. Jones started in 1993, but just this year after interviewing witnesses and surveying the area researchers confirmed a piece of cranium they found matched James’ DNA. A piece of Sgt. Jones’ eyeglasses were also found matching his prescription.
“The U.S. government continues to work closely with the governments of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to recover all Americans lost in the conflict,” said in a statement of The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personal Office (DPMO)
James was in disbelief.
“On one side you're happy, then on other side this means my brother is dead,” James said, “There is no more hope or what-ifs.”
James says the soldiers who fought next to his brother are also heroes.
He even after 41 years they still never gave up looking for his brother.
“I met a few of them who say I act like him (Sgt. Jones) and that makes me proud,” James said.
James is now planning a funeral that they never had, putting to rest a soldier who is now home.
“You hear that on TV that no one is left behind and we will never forget and you wonder if that’s true,” James said. “In this case it's true those guys never forgot.”
Sgt. Jones’ remains were flown back Monday. He will have his long awaited funeral this Thursday at The Arlington National Cemetery near Washington D.C.
According to POWNetwork.org Sgt. Jones is among nearly 2500 Americans sill missing in Southeast Asia.
*For Sgt. Robert Jones’ Bio and details of the attack from a witness (released POW, Jon R. Cavaini) go to: POWNetwork.org/bios/j/j041.htm