A bracelet, a former P.O.W, and an 40 year old connection

The internet is bringing together a former Vietnam Prisoner of War with the then 10-year-old boy who spent many days worrying about him, wondering if he was ok and whether he would come home safely.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - The internet is an amazing thing.

It’s just brought together a former Vietnam prisoner of war with the then ten-year-old boy who spent many days worrying about him, wondering if he was ok, and whether he would come home safely.

Now they're connecting, thanks to a story we put on line a few weeks ago.

We'd gone to talk to John Fer in New Market, Md. about the cancer diagnosis of his former POW cell mate, John McCain.

PREVIOUS: Fellow POW in Vietnam says McCain can beat cancer 

“It’s devastating,” he told us.

It was that story Warren You found when while Googling the name of the P.O.W who had meant so much to him.

On Wednesday night, we got an email from the California man, who said he’d been thinking about Fer off and on for decades.  

“I came across your story, and I went, 'Fantastic, I will reach out to you guys and see if you can help me.'”

As a young paper boy in California, while Fer was detained in the infamous Hanoi Hilton, Warren You had kept a bracelet etched with his name around his wrist.

He remembers seeing the picture of Fer's homecoming in the newspaper.

“He was hugging his mother, and it said, Captain John Fer.... and I thought. 'Hey, that's my guy!'”

Now more than 40 years later, he wants to get that bracelet back to him.

”I want him to know that during that time I was wearing this bracelet with his name on it, that I kept it cleaned and polished," he said. "I knew he'd make it back home. And I just want him to know there was someone out there, back in the state who was thinking about him on a daily basis.”

“That's wonderful,” said Fer, when we told him. “I tell him thank you very much for your steadfast support over the years of my imprisonment, for your prayers for my safe return.”

Fer says the prayers worked.

“I'd love to meet him!” said You.

He’s mailing that bracelet to us, and we're going to get it to Col. Fer.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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