Bracelet Links Local VFW to Airman MIA - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Bracelet Links Local VFW to Airman MIA

Posted: Updated:

(KXAN) - War Veterans in Austin are welcoming home a Vietnam Airman who went missing more than 40 years ago. Using DNA analysis, forensic specialists confirmed the remains of Major Larry James Hanley.

The Air Force pilot went missing on November 4, 1969 at the age of 32 while on a mission in Southeast Asia in the country of Laos.

He grew up in Walla Walla, Washington but is linked to a group of Austin Veterans at the VFW Post 3377 who have been keeping his memory alive along with other Prisoners of War and Missing military members.

Post member Bill Reesman of Austin has been wearing a brass bracelet bearing Major Hanley's name since the early 1980's. Bill's wife bought the bracelet in 1970 to support the family's of POW's and those MIA. Bill's grandmother wore the bracelet without knowing who Hanley was while her grandson served in Vietnam.

After his grandmother's passing, Bill eventually ended up with the bracelet and started wearing it. He knew nothing about Hanley other than the fact he was a fellow Airman. Once the internet came into the picture, Bill found the national POW/MIA website and started posting comments each year on the anniversary of the date Hanley went missing. His goal was to let others know Hanley was not forgotten.

One of Hanley's family members saw the comments and emailed Bill. The families starting emailing back and forth and kept in touch over the years.

In 2003, the VFW Post 3377 decided to create a memorial wall inside their building dedicated to POW's and those still MIA. Due to Bill's connection to Hanley's family they decided to dedicate the wall to him. His family flew in for the ceremony in September 2003.

Last year Bill got a call from Hanley's family that his remains had be recovered and that he was coming home. Major Hanley was laid to rest on July 13, 2013 in Washington.

"I thought thank goodness he's going to come home -- of course it's closure for the family," said Reesman. "But it's a double-sided sword because then you think, 'Oh my, he's not coming home alive."'

Saturday, Hanley's family came back to Austin to help rededicate the wall now that Hanley has been found.

"Thank you for taking Larry as your brother," his sister Darlene Allen tearfully told the crowd. "Thank you for bringing him home."

  • Latest NewsMore>>

  • Fire Breaks Out At Dental Office In Lott

    Fire Breaks Out At Dental Office In Lott

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:41 PM EDT2014-08-21 03:41:18 GMT
    KCEN -- A fire broke out at dentist office in downtown Lott late Wednesday evening. It happened in the 100 block of Walnut St. No word yet on how the fire started. So far no injuries have been reported.More >>
    KCEN -- A fire broke out at dentist office in downtown Lott late Wednesday evening. It happened in the 100 block of Walnut St. No word yet on how the fire started. So far no injuries have been reported.More >>
  • Central Texas State Fair and Rodeo August 29-31

    Central Texas State Fair and Rodeo August 29-31

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:04 PM EDT2014-08-21 01:04:25 GMT
    The Central Texas State Fair and Rodeo kicks off next Friday.And fair organizers are gearing up for big crowds.They are expecting way more than the 30,000 visitors. The fair will have a lot to offer including rides, vendors, shopping, and of course the PBR Rodeo. And music fans you won't be let down; Wade Bowen, Kevin Fowler, The Casey Danhew Band and Grupo Siggno are just some acts taking the stage.Event organizers also filled us in on some news additions to this years fair."Well,...More >>
    The Central Texas State Fair and Rodeo kicks off next Friday.And fair organizers are gearing up for big crowds.They are expecting way more than the 30,000 visitors. The fair will have a lot to offer including rides, vendors, shopping, and of course the PBR Rodeo. And music fans you won't be let down; Wade Bowen, Kevin Fowler, The Casey Danhew Band and Grupo Siggno are just some acts taking the stage.Event organizers also filled us in on some news additions to this years fair."Well,...More >>
  • 'The Voice of Baylor': A Tour of the Carillon Bells with the Woman Who Plays Them

    'The Voice of Baylor': A Tour of the Carillon Bells with the Woman Who Plays Them

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:00:23 GMT
    (KCEN) -- It's an iconic sight on Baylor's campus: Pat Neff Hall. It's so iconic, in fact, it graces the university's official logo Carillon bells have been ringing at the top of the building since the ‘80s.More >>
    (KCEN) -- It's an iconic sight on Baylor's campus: Pat Neff Hall. It's so iconic, in fact, it graces the university's official logo Carillon bells have been ringing at the top of the building since the ‘80s.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KCEN. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.