LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Kathy Strong is on a mission. During the Vietnam War, she was given a Christmas present: a Missing in Action bracelet bearing the name, James Leslie Moreland.
"He was just with me every day," recalled Strong. "I come from a Christian family and I believe God answers prayer. I was just going to keep praying for him to come home. I never gave up."
In 2011, Moreland's remains were identified and he was finally buried. Since then, Kathy has been on a quest. This week, she came to Lake Charles.
“I just wanted to make sure he’s never forgotten. So now, I’m on a new mission to put a memorial brick in all 50 states. I just want to know that on Memorial Day, you can go to any state in the United States and honor him for his service.”
Barbara Moreland Bagby is a cousin of Moreland. She came down from Monroe, La. to view the brick.
"Kathy is just such a blessing to this family," said Bagby. "For a stranger to take this much interest in him and spreading his word. Not only that, but she is letting people know that they are still trying to find these people."
This is the twenty-first state where Strong has had a brick installed.
"I'm just thrilled to know that people know who James Moreland is," said Strong. "Even though he's been gone now for 51 years I just want to make sure he's never forgotten."
The brick is located in the Vietnam War section of Veterans Memorial Park on Lakeshore Drive. The annual Lake Charles Veterans Day celebration is set for Saturday, November 9, 2019.