Debby Burns was a young POW wife and one of the original members of the San Diego-area League of Wives of American Vietnam Prisoners of War organized under Sybil Stockdale.
Debby’s scrapbook begins in 1966 with her husband’s (navy Lieutenant Commander John Douglas Burns’) shoot-down telegram from and chronicles her life on the home front during his six years of imprisonment in North Vietnam. Communications with the navy, letters from Sybil Stockdale, and newspaper clippings about the POWs are included along with Debby’s handwritten notes.
Phyllis Galanti kept this scrapbook containing images and items created by VIVA: Voices in Vital America. Founded in 1970, VIVA’s mission was to raise awareness of the American POW MIA situation during the Vietnam War.
This student-led organization made and distributed bumper stickers, matchbooks, buttons, letters and ads promoting the POW/MIA cause. Their most successful product was a metal POW MIA bracelet which came in a variety of finishes and was inscribed with each POW or MIAs name, rank, service, loss date, and country of loss. Over five million bracelets were sold, making these bracelets became the most recognizable symbol of the Vietnam war and its human cost.
POW/MIA activist Judi Clifford created this scrapbook in 2010 for the grandchildren of her close friends Paul and Phyllis Galanti.
The scrapbook chronicles Paul’s years as a POW up to his release in 1973 and Phyllis’ extraordinary efforts to free him and his fellow POWs as well as the deep friendship that developed between Judi, Phyllis and Connie Richeson as the three women worked together to “Bring Paul Home.”