CONNECTED BY A POW BRACELET, VIETNAM VET AND LONG BEACH WOMAN MAY SOON MEET
LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — They have never met, but they’ve been connected for decades.
Jo Murray, a Long Beach woman, got a prisoner of war bracelet when she was a girl. She always wanted to meet the man whose name was engraved on the bracelet.
KCAL9’s Jasmine Viel says a meeting between Murray and a retired Navy captain is in the works.
During the Vietnam war, Americans to show support wore POW bracelets with the names of soldiers who were missing in action, believed captured or being held prisoner.
“I wore my bracelet for four years in 1968, and I remember the day list of POWs came out,” Murray says.
Murray was 10 when a friend gave her a bracelet. Hers had the name of Lt. Wilson Key on it. He had been a naval aviator. He had been shot down by a surface-to-air missile in 1967.
Murray’s bracelet even broke. But she kept Key’s name written down.
Recently, she decided to find the man she said a prayer for every night.
She knew he had made it home from war but had no idea if he was still alive.
“I Googled his name, found phone, dialed number and one ring he answered the phone,” Murray said.
On the other end of the phone was Wilson Denver Key, now living in Florida.
He told Murray he had spent 64 months in captivity near Hanoi and was tortured for information. He survived on bread and soup.
“It just meant we had not been forgotten,” Key says.
Key’s name was engraved on hundreds of bracelets and dozens have been given to him over the years by strangers.
“This is something very similar to what Jo wore,” he says, holding up one of the bracelets with his name on it.
Key thanked Murray for reaching out. She is grateful that she finally gets to thank him for his service in a more personal way.
Murray hopes to meet Key face to face, even inviting him out to the annual Patriot Regatta at the Long Beach Yacht Club in September.