A heroic connection (Charlie James)

It took her 44 years, but Morreen O’Reilly-Mersberger finally tracked down the prisoner of war whose name was on a bracelet that she purchased in college and kept to this day.

The 62-year-old Plymouth resident bought the item for $2 in the fall of 1970 from a student group on the University of Wisconsin-River Falls campus that was selling bracelets to commemorate Vietnam POWs. The bracelet listed the name of Cmdr. Charlie James Jr. and the date of his capture, May 18, 1968.

The bracelets were meant to encourage people to remember and honor those fighting for the U.S. during the Vietnam War despite the controversy surrounding the conflict, said O’Reilly-Mersberger.

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