Wrapping up A Mission: Finding Pictures for 522 Fallen Soldiers
By Jill Kasparie, Reporter
JANESVILLE, Iowa – A Janesville Vietnam Veteran and his daughter are nearing the end of a mission to find hundreds of photos.
For months, Tom Brickman and his daughter, Shari Kirkpatrick, have been working to find pictures of Iowa's fallen Vietnam soldiers. It’s a project called “Faces with a Names.”
The two were inspired when they saw the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall last year in Washington, Iowa. On the trip home, they decided they wanted help all of the Iowa families who lost a loved one.
"Of course I told her, do you realize what kind of project that's going to be?” Brickman said.
The rest is history. Now, there's no stopping them.
"I do a lot of the emailing and posting of the pictures," Kirkpatrick said. "I do that. Dad does more of the phone calls and things like that. He's the social butterfly so he likes to talk."
The two have been working countless hours to find pictures for all of Iowa's fallen Vietnam soldiers. They’ve successfully found hundreds. Some they tracked down at the soldier’s former school or from family members who had a photo they could scan or send in the mail.
“Once you do finally find a picture, it’s just really gratifying,” Brickman said. “It really is.”
They needed 522 photos at the start. Some of the Iowa names on the memorial already had pictures before Brickman and Kirkpatrick started down their path. Now, the number had dwindled to about 70.
“Definitely the last hundred was a lot harder to find than the first hundred,” Kirkpatrick said. “Because we’ve sent out emails and used all the connections we’ve come up with and haven’t found them. Now, it’s like being like detectives and trying to have to search and look more.”
Through all the searching, they've found more than a little history. They’ve found a lot of emotions in the relatives of those soldiers.
"She said I know that my dad has not been forgotten after all these years,” Brickman said as he recalled a conversation he had with a woman about her father.
The father-daughter duo also struggled through some emotional times during the project.
"The hardest ones for me are the ones who I get their pictures from that are the children because that almost makes me feel guilty, like I got my dad and they didn't,” Kirkpatrick said.
"There have been times where I've been talking to other guys who served in Vietnam, and we've cried together and talked through our experience,” Brickman said. “It's been a really rewarding experience.”
The experience, however, is not over yet. The veteran and his daughter are determined to find every last picture to pay tribute to all of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
The project is part of a nation-wide effort to put faces with all of the names inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in D.C.
Brickman said the pictures would be used in an education center that's set to be constructed near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in D.C. in 2014.
If you’d like to contact Brickman and Kirkpatrick about a photo, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call Brickman at 319-987-2523. Here’s the list of soldiers they are still searching for:
Photos needed as of 5/5/13
all A's are complete
Barker, William: Des Moines, Iowa Polk Co.
Bills, Lyle: Council Bluffs, Iowa Pottawattamie Co.
Blewett, Roy: Dubuque, Iowa Dubuque Co.
Boots, Stephen: Des Moines, Iowa Polk Co.
Borchard, Leonard Jr.: Langdon, Iowa Clay Co.
Cason, William: Ida Grove, Iowa Ida Co.
Chase, Vernon: Sioux City Iowa, Woodbury Co.
Cheek, Philip: Davenport, Iowa Scott Co.
Clayton, Cecil: Fairbank, Iowa Fayette Co.
Collins, Jack: Melbourne, Iowa Marshall Co.
Cook, James: Bettendorf, Iowa Scott Co.
Craver, Dennis Linn: New Sharon, Iowa Mahaska Co.
Duart, Billie: Strawberry Point, Iowa Clayton Co.
English, Mark: Cedar Rapids, Iowa Linn Co.
Ferris, Delmer: Mapleton, Iowa Monona Co.
Foreman, Terry: Fort Madison, Iowa Lee Co.
Frazier, Jerry: Des Moines, Iowa Polk Co.
Fricke, Patrick: Le Claire, Iowa Scott Co.
Garrett, Richard: Des Moines, Iowa Polk Co.
Gehrt, Michael: Des Moines, Iowa Polk Co.
Goodman, Richard: Des Moines, Iowa Polk Co.
Gretten, Henry: Albia, Iowa Monroe Co.
Hahn, Michael: Davenport, Iowa Scott Co.
Harger, Don: Truro, Iowa Madison Co.
Harris, Robert Ernest: Sioux City, Iowa Woodbury Co.
Hasper, Charles: Keokuk, Iowa Lee Co.
Haynes, Vernon: Rock Rapids, Iowa Lyon Co.
all I's are completed!
Johnson, Steven: Alvord, Iowa Lyon Co.
Jones, Robert Jr.: Des Moines, Iowa Polk Co.
Juergens, William Owen: Dubuque, Iowa Dubuque Co.
King, Robert Douglas: Marshalltown, Iowa Marshall Co.
Larson, Mark Allan: Council Bluffs Powttawattamie County
Leamon, William: Davenport, Iowa Scott Co.
Lewis, Gary: Fort Madison, Iowa Lee Co.
Logan, William: Council Bluffs, Iowa Pottawattamie Co.
Maloney, Michael: Davenport, Iowa Scott Co.
Manson, John: Des Moines, Iowa Polk Co.
May, Dennis: Des Moines, Iowa Polk Co.
McBeth, Robert: Des Moines, Iowa Polk Co.
McClain, Richard: Des Moines, Iowa Polk Co.
McCombs, David: Oskaloosa, Iowa Mahaska Co.
McDonald, Robert: Des Moines, Iowa Polk Co.
Mihalakis, Ellas: Dubuque, Iowa Dubuque Co.
Nelson, Clifford: Council Bluffs, Iowa Pottawattamie Co.
Nutt, Walter III : Des Moines, Iowa Polk Co.
O’Shea, James: Council Bluffs, Iowa Pottawattamie Co.
Pickering, Russell: Des Moines, Iowa, Polk County
All Q Soldiers have pictures
Rath, Gary: Davenport, Iowa Scott Co.
Reilly, John: Fairfax, Iowa Linn Co.
Ristinen, Armand: Burlington, Iowa Des Moines Co.
Robins, James: Rose Hill, Iowa Mahaska Co.
Roth, LaRoy: Wall Lake, Iowa Sac Co.
Schmidt, Allan: Tipton, Iowa Cedar Co.
Schutt, Randall: Sioux Center, Iowa Sioux Co.
Scott, Donald: Spencer, Iowa Clay Co.
Slater, John: Marshalltown, Iowa Marshall Co.
Smith, Frank: Des Moines, Iowa Polk Co.
Steele, Robert: Selma, Iowa Van Buren Co.
Stickels, Mark: Afton, Iowa Union Co.
Teatsworth, Garrel: Keokuk, Iowa Lee Co.
All U Soldiers have pictures
Vergamini, Douglas: Council Bluffs, Iowa Pottawattamie Co.
Voss, Robert: Davenport, Iowa Scott Co.
Wehrheim, Richard: Des Moines, Iowa Polk Co.
West, Grayson: Webster City, Iowa Hamilton Co.
Westly, Cyril: Manly, Iowa Worth Co.
Widtfeldt, Paul Jr: Council Bluffs, Iowa Pottawattamie Co.
Wildman, Steven: Cedar Rapids, Iowa Linn Co.
Wilkerson, David: Davenport, Iowa Scott Co.
Wolf, Kent: Boone, Iowa Boone Co.
No X names
all Y's are completed
all Z's are completed
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