Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Iowa Vietnam Veteran putting faces to names on Wall

Iowa veteran attempting to put faces to the Vietnam Memorial Wall names
By Dean Reynolds
January 7, 2013
(CBS News)

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Every year, more than 3 million people visit the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington. Many others visit replicas that travel around the country.

All have the names of the more than 58,000 of Americans killed in the war -- but just the names.

That gave one Vietnam vet an idea.

Tom Brickman was an Army specialist in Vietnam who has spent most of the last 44 years trying to forget about it.

"I didn't want to talk about the war," he said. "I didn't want any memories of the war. I just wanted to put it deep in the past."

Last summer, Tom and his daughter Shari Kirkpatrick saw what's known "as the wall that heals" -- a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington.

What he saw moved him, but he wanted to see more than names. He thought photographs would fill an emptiness he felt.

So now with Shari, Tom is on a mission to match a photograph to the 853 names on Iowans who fell in Vietnam.

"It's kind of a healing process... for myself, as well as the people, the families I have talked to. And I have talked to people who have told me about their experiences of what they went through with the death of their brother," he said.
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