Sunday, September 19, 2010

New documentary - Bracelets of Grace - almost done!

The POW-MIA bracelets of the Vietnam War era made an incredible impression on all those who wore them. Millions of bracelets with the name of a missing or imprisoned soldier were worn on the wrists of family, friends, supporters and critics of the war. It may have been the only item - the only common bond - that crossed the tumultuous political divide.

In 2004, a talk show host at a Chicago radio station was taking callers on this discussion subject: What do you own that you just can't ever throw away? One caller responded by saying she still had the POW-MIA bracelet she wore during the Vietnam War. That phone call prompted dozens of others to call in about their bracelets, telling their stories of wearing them and keeping them safely tucked away in jewelry boxes, night stand drawers and attic boxes.

"I just can't ever let this go," said one caller."This was MY soldier."

The emotions behind the stories of the bracelets told that day on the radio talk show were genuine and true, and they prompted me to begin the research that has led me to the rich and powerful story of U.S. Air Force Major Stanley Horne. In January of 1968 Major Horne's plane was shot down over North Vietnam. Soon afterward his name was one of the many engraved on a POW-MIA bracelet. His story, and the story of those who wore his bracelet, not only tell the narrative of the bracelets' impact, but also the story of how America struggled with the war and tried to heal from the scars it left behind.

BRACELETS OF GRACE - An audio documentary - is Major Horne's story, the bracelets' story and the story of how a soldier's family and a nation grieves and attempts to mend from it's tragedies.

This November 11th, Veterans Day, is the 40th anniversary of the POW-MIA bracelets of the Vietnam War. I'm hoping to have the documentary on radio stations nationwide.

On this blog, BRACELETS OF GRACE tell your personal stories of the POW-MIA bracelets. Share them with all of us who remember the bracelets and still cherish having worn them.

This is my latest story.

Oh, and by the way ACCIDENTAL LESSONS is now in a new printing - hardcover.

David W. Berner

Friday, September 3, 2010

Bracelets of Grace (Audio Documentary)

It's a been a bit. My fault. I've been working on my audio documentary about the MIA-POW bracelets of the Vietnam War era, and it's been intense. GOOD intense, though. That kind of intense when you can see, feel, and hear the work coming together. I'm so happy with what I've been able to discover from this story and so grateful to the family of Major Stanley Horne of Madison, Wisconsin. They have been so wonderful to me, giving me access to personal letters and documents. The major's story is the focus of the narrative of the documentary, taking the listener through the making of the bracelets, what the bracelets stood for, and how they crossed the divide between those against the war and those supporting it during those incredible and tumultuous times.

I will be soon starting a blog, a place where anyone who has stories about their POW-MIA bracelets can enter a post, write about what the bracelet meant to them. It will also be a place for those who lost loved ones in Vietnam but are thankful for the bracelet campaign and how it helped them through those difficult times. I'll be promoting the blog and the documentary soon, hoping to have it aired on radio stations across the country and possibly be available for download at where some of my other material has been offered.

Before I get the bracelet blog going, if you have any personal stories of the bracelets you'd like to share, please write me here at this blog. We would all love to read them.