My Dad passed away in January 2013 at age 96 in central Michigan, and as we were preparing for an estate auction in November, I came across a bracelet with the name of Capt. Larry Hanley.
I had no idea how it came to be at my parents’ home. My brother attended Michigan State in the late 1970s so I thought he might have some information. But he didn’t have any remembrance of it.
So, it remains a mystery how it ended up there.
After all these years, I was hoping Capt. Hanley had returned home long ago and I would find a happy ending.
But when I researched the name and learned his story and that his name was chosen to represent all POWs/MIAs from all wars and that he had finally been found and returned home, it was not the ending I had hoped for. It was a bittersweet revelation.
I wondered what to do with the bracelet, and my first thought was to return it to the family. But, I decided to save it and show it to my granddaughters (ages 3 and 10) and tell them his story and use it as an opportunity to tell them about the Vietnam War.
I had two close friends who died in the war and I still think of them to this day and the sacrifice they made.
I also have another friend who served and survived, but it has affected his life to this day.
I just wanted someone to know that Capt. (Maj.) Larry James Hanley is still being remembered. We will remember him this Thanksgiving and give thanks for his service and think of his family members who also still remember him. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.
I am glad the family finally has some closure (although I’ve always thought that word is overrated). There’s never closure but at least they have some questions answered and finally have him home.
I appreciate the Union-Bulletin for posting the story and the photo. We must never forget. My hope is he will live on in the minds and hearts of my granddaughters and another generation will continue to remember those who served.