Alan Boyer was part of our family

News and views in the POW/MIA world
By John Bates, VietNow National POW/MIA Chairman

Dorothy Boyer POW/MIA Mom

In all the years and decades since 1968, Dorothy Boyer never gave up hope that she would find the truth about what happened to her son.

As most of us have long known, VietNow is a family – and as a family we enjoy our yearly reunion – known as our national convention. Just like many families, our convention is when we gather to conduct family business and talk with family members. And as family members, our discussions often turn to helping each other in our hour of need.

The Mom of Rockford Chapter

The Rockford Charter Chapter, like other VietNow chapters, holds monthly meetings. But one thing different is that Rockford Chapter had Dorothy Boyer. Dorothy was different. She was our Mom, and was Mom to all of VietNow. You might ask why we all called her Mom. One reason was her son, Alan Boyer, a Green Beret who went missing in Laos in March of 1968.

Dorothy attended all VietNow meetings except when she and her daughter Judi were traveling the world together – often to places most travelers don’t go. My wife Dawn and I would pick Dorothy up, and bring her to the monthly chapter meetings.

Flag proudly waving

Before the first time I picked her up, I asked her how I would recognize her house, and she said it would be the one with the tall flag pole with the flag proudly waving. Sometimes she would tell me to not pick her up next month because she and Judi would be off traveling again.

She always remembered Alan

Often, while Dorothy was traveling with my wife and me, she would talk about Alan, and about what had happened to him and the other two men who were with him that day in Laos. Dorothy said she wished Alan could have been found before her husband, Charles, passed away.

The Boyer family, Mom and daughter (Judi Boyer Bouchard), and the entire VietNow family always looked forward to finding Alan. Dorothy never considered herself a Gold Star Mother since Alan was listed as MIA.

While Gold Star Moms receive yellow roses at our conventions, Dorothy was always given a red rose. We were all sad when Dorothy left us in May of 2013, still not knowing the whereabouts of her son, Alan.

Alan is found

Finally, on March 7th, 2016, which was the eve of Alan’s 70th birthday, Judi received the long-awaited phone call from the DOD (Department of Defense), telling her that Alan had finally been found.

DNA testing proved the match with Dorothy and Judi, and thus ended almost 48 years of waiting for the Boyer family and the VietNow family.

Burial at Arlington

Formal ceremonies will take place in June at Arlington National Cemetery where Alan will be laid to rest with full military honors. Dorothy, and her family, now know where Alan is.

Being family, we all celebrate Alan coming home. Rest in Peace, Brother.

 

John Bates, VietNow National POW/MIA ChairJohn Bates, USNR serves as a VietNow National Director and as the VietNow National POW/MIA Chair.