David L MunozSergeant First Class
B CO, 1ST BN, 508TH INF REG, 3RD BDE, 82 ABN DIV
Army of the United States
02 May 1948 - 31 July 1978
Los Angeles, CA
Panel 25W Line 107
The database page for David L Munoz
This Is How It All BeganIt was 1970, my mother, sister and I were out shopping. At the mall, there was a booth, in which people were trying to raise awareness of the Vietnam War and the soldiers who were listed as POW/MIA. Being young, I didn't really understand all they were trying to tell us, but I did understand that those men were missing and no one knew where they were. They were selling bracelets with those soldiers' names on them to raise money to continue their work. We all bought one.
On the way home my mother explained to me just what those bracelets meant, and told me that I should pray every night for their safe return. I took out the shiny bracelet, and looked at the name, David Munoz, I thought of my brother, his name was David too, and I began to feel really sad, I don't know what I would do if he was missing. I wondered how the family of the man on the bracelet was feeling right now.
I was proud that I was doing something for David. If nothing else I would help God to be on his side with my prayers. Someday the war would be over, they would find him and bring him home. I put that bracelet on my arm proudly. I squeezed it together tightly, I would never want to lose it. I wore that bracelet faithfully everyday. Telling everyone who would listen about David and all the men who were missing.
David became a part of me. Everywhere I went, he went. I must have read his name at least a million times. Then in 1973, came the news. They were coming home. I was so happy. David would finally be home with his family. I remember sitting on the couch during the Homecoming, watching each soldier, reading each name. The name on my mother's bracelet appeared the first day. It was a wonderful experience seeing the face that was behind the name for all those years. Then, after a few more planes arrived, the name on my sister's bracelet appeared. Again we celebrated. I was now sure that David would be coming off one of those planes any time now. I waited, I watched. As the last soldier walked off, I felt a tear run down my cheek. He wasn't there.
I began crying, "Mom, where is he?" "Why wasn't he on those planes?" My mom gave me a hug, trying to keep my spirits up. "Don't think the worst honey, there may be some reason he wasn't there." Being a child, I thought of a million reasons, maybe he missed the plane, or maybe he took a regular plane home to get with his family quicker. I was sure God had listened to my prayers. He had to be OK.
As I became an adult, I would often wonder if David ever did come back home. In my heart I had always hoped that he did. I would think about him often, especially when my life was the most difficult. I knew what was happening in my life, was nothing compared to what David could be going through. He was my hero, my strength, and although I never met him, my friend.
It has been 24 years now that I had wondered about David's return. Recently I came across two organizations that could finally answer my question. I first contacted Friends Of The Vietnam Veterans Memorial who informed me that David was still listed as MIA. They referred me to the National Alliance of Families who could give me some further information. I was relieved that I would finally know what happened to David. When my reply arrived, I anxiously opened it and began to read David's Story and I once again felt that tear run down my cheek. All my hopes that he had just missed the plane were gone.
Knowing that his fate has not changed since I last knew it, I am dedicating these pages to David and all POW/MIA's like him, who are waiting for the country that they served so faithfully to bring them home. What has happened to David should not happen to any American Serviceman that was willing to put his life on the line for his country. It is time that the Citizens of this country take a stand and demand that all our missing soldiers, from all our wars, be brought back to American Soil.
To you David, and all the other POW/MIA's from all our wars....I send a Guardian Angel to watch over you until your safe return home...
I am looking for any members of David's family, or anyone who might have known him. I would like to learn more about him. If you have any information please email me. Thank You.
A note from The Virtual WallSP4 Robert Masuda and PFC David L. Munoz were serving as a machine gun team on a reconnaissance in force mission northwest of Saigon in Binh Duong Province, South Vietnam, on May 13, 1969.
At about 0900 hours, their unit, Company B, 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry, found a large quantity of rice in a village, and both Masuda and Munoz assisted in destroying the rice cache, believed to be supplies stored by or intended for the Viet Cong.
At about 1100 hours, the unit began moving toward their night position. At 1800 hours, it was determined that Masuda and Munoz were missing. Elements of Company B began to retrace the day's route and search the area where the rice had been found and destroyed.
A well found in the area that had been recently filled in with dirt was partially excavated in search of the two men, but excavation was stopped with the approach of darkness. Freshly fired AK47 rounds and scattered bits of blood-soaked sand were found in the position in which these two men were last seen.
The next day, Company A of the same battalion made another unsuccessful search of the area, and on May 18, Company B returned to the area and found an 82nd Airborne patch in a pack of cards that may have belonged to Masuda.
In February 1975, a well in the vicinity of Cu Chi was excavated and the remains of an American serviceman and a local female were found. After digging a few more inches, the workers unearthed an old, live hand grenade, and suspended operation pending the arrival of American Department of Defense personnel. Subsequent digging unearthed an old rusty bayonette scabbard, and when the EOD mine detector found evidence of further material (which perhaps indicated that the well had been booby-trapped), the investigation was halted and never completed. The remains found were not correlated to either Masuda or Munoz.
(From the POW-MIA Network)On 31 July 1978 the Secretary of the Army approved a Presumptive Finding of Death for now-SFC David Munoz. His remains have not been repatriated as of this date; current status is available on our PM-SEA pages .
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 08/10/2009