Havre Daily News - News you can use

New hope for MIAs

Group meets in Havre to pay tribute to Pfc. Gordon

 

August 13, 2014

John Kelleher

Skip Hetterscheidt and his wife Sherry, members of Run for the Wall, stand with their motorcycle in front of the Great Northern Inn. They are attending services in Eastend, Saskatchewan, today for Pfc. Lawrence Gordon whose body has been identified 70 years after he was killed in combat.

Skip Hetterscheidt stood by his motorcycle in front of the Great Northern Inn Tuesday afternoon.

Hetterscheidt couldn't help but think of his high school friend Bob Gage who was kidnapped July 3, 1966 ,as he was nearing the end of his tour in Da Nang Air Force Base, Vietnam. He was listed as missing in action and presumed dead. His remains have never been located despite efforts of American and Vietnamese officials.

Hetterscheidt, who lives in Utah, and 50 fellow members of Run for the Wall, a nationwide group that advocates for veterans and those missing in action, are staying in Havre.

They gathered in front of the Great Northern Inn, Tuesday, as comrades, greeting, hugging one another and talking about the old days.

But there was a deeper purpose to their gathering.

They traveled to Eastend, Saskatchewan, this morning to take part in burial services for U.S. Army Pfc. Lawrence Gordon who died in France during World War II.

Gordon's remains have been positively identified after 70 years. Family and friends fought the bureaucracy before getting positive ID of the body.

Run to the Wall had worked hard over the last two years in support for Gordon's case.

Their success gives people hope that other MIAs will be located, he said.

"Maybe they can identify Gage," Sherry Hetterscheidt, Skip's wife, said softly as he chatted about MIAs.

The Hetterscheidts spend a lot of time making the case for MIAs.

Every year Run for the Wall takes a 10-day coast-to-coast trip, stopping at veterans homes, VFW lodges, churches and neighborhoods across the country. They meet and talk to people as well as making their case for MIAs.

They meet some successes. The Pfc. Gordon case is especially important to them.

"This is what it is all about to us, bringing people home," he said.

Harlan "Whitebirch" Olson, a board member for Run for the Wall. "They are out there. We want to bring them back."

Successes like the Gordon case is why they continue their work," he said.

"That's why we do what we do," he said. "We keep the pressure on."

This kind of public relations has made it easier for veterans returning from overseas.

"I came home from Vietnam in the 1960s," he said. "That wasn't a good time."

"I made the mistake of saying I was a Vietnam vet in a class at Northeastern Ohio University," he said.

"After that, I kept my mouth shut," he said.

"That's one of our purposes, to make sure that people are not treated the way we were treated."

Downtown parade

Run for the Wall will hold a motorcycle parade through downtown Havre tonight to thank the community for its support during the past few days.

About 50 motorcycles will take part.

The parade will take place down U.S. Highway 2, 2nd Street and 5th Avenue after they return from services for Pfc. Lawrence Gordon in Eastend, Saskatchewan. They estimate that will be between 6 and 7:30 p.m.

 

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