Carson City resident Maurice Deveraux, 69, wears upon his right wrist a newly acquired copper POW/MIA bracelet. The bracelets were originally created in the 1970's to draw public attention to the prisoners of war and missing in action in Vietnam. When his granddaughter Shannon Deveraux, 16, saw the copper ID bracelet on her grandfather's wrist, she wanted to know what it was.
"She asked me what it was about. She seemed really interested so I ordered two, one for each granddaughter and they wear them," he said. But someone found Shannon's bracelet in the parking lot of Carson High School on Sept. 6 and turned it over to the Appeal. Deveraux saw the story of the found bracelet and realized that was one he had given to his granddaughter.
Retired from the United States Marine Corp as a gunnery sergeant, Deveraux has been in Carson City since 1972. He is a Korean War veteran and has a personal connection to American military men missing in action. In 1951 he was one of 13 men selected to replace a platoon that went missing in Korea.
"Quite a few of us went to one platoon and we didn't know why. The story goes that the platoon (before us) went way behind the lines looking for (the enemy) and they never came back. They still don't know what happened to them. That's when I started thinking about how horrible that is.
"I think that has to be the hardest thing for a parent to endure," he said. "It's bad enough for a parent to get that letter your son has been killed, when it says he is missing you never finalize it."
At the conclusion of the Vietnam War, 2,583 Americans, to include 10 missing from Nevada, did not return. An estimated 8,207 servicemen are still missing from the Korean War, of those 34 are from Nevada.
"When I saw the bracelet in the paper I said,
'Man this is great, this will give some attention to the bracelets,'" he said. "We should never forget them."