With Military Honors Combat Medic James Leslie Moreland Laid to Rest

A Misplaced MIA - A ForgotteN Tale 


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Found in Hacienda Heights

Sgt. James Leslie Moreland is laid to rest with military honors in Alabama Saturday. His sisters, Linda Brown of Puyallup and Anita LeMoine of Olympia were among more than 400 people there to celebrate the life of the Special Forces combat medic 43 years after he went missing in Vietnam.   Photo courtesy of John Bowden

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Post by Kris Sherman / The News Tribune on May 16, 2011 at 8:23 am


Forty-three years after he went missing in Vietnam, U.S. Army Sgt. James Leslie Moreland received a hometown burial attended by more than 400 people, draped in American flags, steeped in tradition for a fallen soldier.

The service at a rural Alabama cemetery 40 years south of Birmingham drew people from across the nation, The Birmingham News reported.

Moreland’s sisters, Linda Brown of Puyallup, WA and Edna Anita LeMoine of Olympia, WA were esented with the Alabama Distinguished Service Medal for their brother, a Green Beret posthumously awarded a Silver Star for his heroism in a fierce battle at Lang Vei, South Vietnam, on Feb. 7, 1968.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley made a surprise appearance at a memorial service on Friday night, the eve of Moreland’s burial. He presented the family with a flag that had flown at the state Capitol.

Kathy Strong, the California woman who wore a MIA bracelet in honor of the Special Forces medic for nearly 40 years, finally removed it and placed it in Moreland’s casket.

The soldier, his remains finally identified through DNA, came home to rest.

“Never in my dreams would I have thought it would be like this,” LeMoine, 73, told the Birmingham News, speaking of the crush of people and the patriotic ceremony.

Here’s a piece of The Birmingham News story:

“I hope everyone knows why we are here today,” said Col. Paul Longgrear, Moreland’s commanding officer, in the eulogy. “We are not here to celebrate a burial.

“He was already buried in the debris of war. . . . We are here today to celebrate a homecoming.”

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A discarded plaque dedicated to a missing in action soldier who had no connection to the community it was found in... Hacienda Heights. Discover the plaque's ties to WHS. Please view the link below.

Our Fallen Heroes Not to Be Forgotten . . .

Western High School's Official Umbrella Alumni Association

Memorial Plaque


WHSPFAA donated a permanent plaque to the high school commemorating the former Pioneers that gave their lives in the service of our country. It was present to the schoolat the Annual Memorial Day Assembly on May 23, 2014.


All of the major television networks were present for this event. It was on all of the news shows for two days. A copy of the entire program is available on DVD for $5.00. To order use the DONATE button on top right of this page.

1962 - Dennis Lee Williams - April 27, 1966

1963 - James Leslie "Les" Moreland - February 7, 1966

1963 - William Edward Wolfe - May 21, 1971

1964 - Ronald Carl Crapo - February 24, 1967

1964 - Charles Curtis Clendenen - April 18, 1967

1964 - Dennis Lee Williams - April 27, 19

1964 - Thomas Lee Scott - November 11, 1967

1964 - Barry William Van Horn - May 1, 1968

1965 - Steven Allen Sommers - May 9, 1968

1966 - Tommy "Tim" Clayton Donovan - January 7, 1969

1966 - Lea Everett Nibbelink - March 29, 1969

1966 - David Eugene Watkins - May 25, 1968

1969 - Jackie Lee Denny - February 4, 1971

1973 - Robert W. Ross - May 13 1975

2003 - Raymond Lamar Henry - April 25, 2006