Stroud family gets last MIA bracelet for grandfather

Posted at 8:55 PM, Mar 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-29 10:00:19-04

STROUD, Okla. -- Last week, 2 Works for You told you about Air Force Veteran Lance Cartlidge who has been wearing an MIA bracelet with a Vietnam veteran's name on it.

The remains of that veteran were identified last year and his family lives in Green Country. Now, we've connected the two families to exchange the bracelet. 

“We were always doing things together, we lived on a farm," Donald Hall's sister Louise Morgan said. 

It's everything one Stroud family knows and loves. 

“We would go mudding and just have a lot of fun out in the pasture," Morgan said. 

It's life on the farm. But for years, a piece has been missing. 

“We would get a letter every year saying they’re still looking and it got to the point where I almost didn’t read the letter because I knew what it was going to say," Morgan said. 

ID tags and a box of medals represent Donald Hall's life in the service. 

"I used to trump through the house wearing his Air Force dress coat," Hall's grandson Aaron McGee said.

Hall's last known day was Feb. 5, 1967. 

“A reconnaissance pilot, a ford air control pilot, was shot down of the Ho Chi Minh in North Vietnam and they dispatched rescue to try and get them but it was too hostile of an area and too bad of weather at the time," McGee said. 

The next day, that rescue crew went in for the pilot. 

“As they were trying to get out of there, they were just shot to pieces," McGee said. 

A helicopter found the pilot, but not didn't have time to look for the rest of the men.  

“They couldn’t stick around long enough to search for some of the others," McGee said.

For years the family had no answers. They turned to books to read about their granddad's mission. Then last year, Chief Master Sergeant Donald Hall was found after a villager in Vietnam told investigators. 

"He showed them the crash site, which was over on a mountain about a mile away from where they had been looking for the past 20 years," Hall's grandson said. "It’s just something you think about and dream about what it would be like for years and years and years.” 

“You never give up, but now I have closure," Hall's sister said. 

The veteran had a proper burial Monday at Arlington National Cemetery. Family members of the other men who died in the crash were alongside the Stroud family. Multiple MIA bracelets were in Hall's casket but one from an Oklahoma veteran is missing.  

“They want to return it to the family for one reason," McGee said. "You know I just think that speaks volumes to the American spirit.” 

A once open chapter is now almost closed. 

“To me, he was such a hero," Morgan said. 

One of the last MIA bracelets may end up down this red dirt road and in the hands of a Stroud family. It's a story they'll gladly tell while life continues on the farm. 

2 Works for You connected the two families. They plan to meet next week in Seminole to exchange the bracelet.

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