Major Paul J. Weaver, MIA

by Colonel Dan


The Cowboy Chronicle

December  2008  

It’s that time of year again when I leave the political world behind and touch on more important things in life.  This year, I’d like to relate a soldier’s story that I found very meaningful on a personal level.  You all probably know by now, I’ve retired from career #2 and have been experiencing some of those little amusing things everyone goes through when they too enter that phase of their lives.  Here is another much more rewarding experience that I think those in our SASS family will also appreciate. 

While engaged in the retirement ritual of cleaning out “stuff” that had accumulated in drawers over more years than I want to count, I came across an MIA bracelet that I’ve had since coming home from Desert Storm.  The name on the bracelet was Major Paul J Weaver.  Major Weaver was a C-130 Gunship driver assigned to the 16th Special Operations Squadron stationed at Hurlburt Field , Florida .  Although we both deployed to Desert Strom from Hurlburt, I never met Paul that I could recall anyway, but that wasn’t surprising—he was an Air Force pilot who hung out at the airfield and I was an Army ground pounder who had no reason to hang out at the airfield.

Nonetheless, that bracelet brought back a flood of memories—memories about the area around Al Kahfji, the fighting that went on there and the lives that were lost there.  Paul’s plane was shot down and ditched in the waters just off the coast of that little town in the Eastern Coalition sector from where I operated along with a contingent of Marines, Saudis and Kuwaitis.  Unfortunately, Paul’s body was never recovered.

As I looked at the bracelet, I decided that it should be in the hands of Paul’s family to whom it would mean more than it ever did just sitting there in my dresser for the last 17 years.  So that day I began my search for his family.   I scoured the internet and found that Paul was from Alamosa , Colorado but no mention was made of family members.  I decided to search for any Paul Weavers from Alamosa and found the name of one who was currently living there along with a phone number.  I had no idea if this was a relative or just a coincidence.  I called the number but had to leave a voicemail. In my message I told this Paul Weaver who I was and my background, how I came to know of Major Weaver and finally told him that I didn’t know if he was related to the Paul Weaver whose family I was looking for or not but if he was, I’d very much like to talk with him. 

A few days went by with no return phone call so I assumed the names were just coincidently the same.  On Sunday, my phone rang.  The Caller ID indicated it was someone from Alamosa , Colorado !  When I picked up the phone I heard the voice of what was obviously an elderly gentleman who told me he had gotten my message and that he was Major Weaver’s father.

We talked for about 25 minutes.  He told me about Paul and all he knew about what happened the day Paul was shot down and I told him what I knew of the area and the fighting that went on there.  I felt the disappointment in his voice when he asked and I had to tell him that no, I hadn’t seen Paul’s plane get hit or go down. 

In any event, I told him I had Paul’s MIA bracelet and would be honored to send it to him.  The gratitude in the old man’s voice came through the telephone more clearly than anything I could have imagined.

I put Major Weaver’s bracelet in the mail the next morning and felt extremely good about that most important outcome of my “stuff” cleaning operation of the previous week.  The small effort it took in tracking down his family and returning that bracelet to those who would appreciate it most was rewarded seven fold. 

I’m sure had I been the one whose name was on that little bracelet, some GI who had it would have done the same for my family. 

In any case, this was just one of those many military stories with a happy ending that made both sides feel very good as they hung up their phones.

Merry Christmas my friends…

Just the view from my saddle…

Contact Colonel Dan:







Dark Canyon Home Page