Woman Keeps 4 Decades Old Promise To Veteran

FRUITA, Colo. - On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 -a formal agreement of conflicting parties to stop fighting went into effect --November 11th, we consider that Veterans Day.

Mesa County has been recognizing Veterans Day for the past week and Saturday morning Veterans Memorial Cemetery and the Vietnam Memorial Park presented the annual Veterans Ceremony.

There was one person who came all the way from California to appreciate those who defended our freedom and keeping a promise that would last a lifetime

Kathy Strong made a promise over 45 years ago to a stranger she never met and it was a promise she's continues to keep even if the outcome was fatal.

"I sent Jim a letter, just telling him I wanted to go ahead and have a memorial brick for James Moreland here" said Kathy.

When Kathy was 12 years old on Christmas Day she received a POW-MIA -a bracelet to wear until your Vietnam soldier returned from combat. She wore the name James Moreland.

"I promise to wear it till he returned home. I just had no idea I'd be wearing it for 38 years"

She took her commitment seriously and continued to wear the bracelet on her left wrist till he returned from combat. Little did she know he would be returning in a casket.

"So to fulfill my childhood promise, I flew to Alabama for his funeral and I took off his bracelet and I placed it on the left sleeve of his full dressed uniform so he can wear it in the same spot where I've been wearing it for all these years"

But she didn't just commit to the bracelet, she has set a goal for herself and for people to know who James Moreland was.

"Colorado now marks my twelve state where I've done a memorial brick or pave for James Moreland and my goal is to do one in all 50 states"

James paid the ultimate sacrifice and now Kathy is on a path to make sure he is always remembered.

"February 7th will mark 50 years since he's been missing in action and sometimes over time people forget and I just want to make sure James Moreland is never forgotten"

Kathy continues to keep her promise and this morning she was awarded with the Colorado State Flag.


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