Forty-six (yes, 46) years ago, my brother, Anthony John Pepper went missing in Vietnam. Alongside him, another young man, 19 years of age, James Trimble. Neither of them were ever found. Nothing came home, not a scrap of clothing, not dog tabs, not a clue.
This past June, an organization that goes searching for our lost military, approved a search for these two missing Marines. This time, they took witnesses. Two men who had been there, knew the terrain, and knew where to search. The team that headed up the mission is called JPAC. Joint Pacific Accounting Command.
This was a very long journey, both physically and emotionally, for the two men who’d been there 46 years ago. They aren’t 20 anymore; humping hills in 100 degree temps isn’t an easy chore even for the young. Miraculously, they located the spot where these men were left behind. Left behind and not brought home to be buried on American soil. After they fought, and died, for us, for their country.
But will the excavation take place? We do not know. Reports are being prepared; lists are being made. Lists for others who also never came home. I am told that we may wait another two years, until 2016, to go back and bring home the remains of my brother and James Trimble. Is this the way is should be? Isn’t 46 years long enough? I ask for you to please help us get these men on the list for 2015.