920 – Reece brothers close out NC Vietnam Vet picture quest

Brothers Tom and Jim Reece, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Brothers Tom and Jim Reece at the New Hanover County veterans memorial in 2013. Paul Stephen Paul Stephen – Wilmington Star News

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has taken up the mission to find a photograph of every person whose name appears on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. To date they have surpassed the 40,000 mark for pictures located. Although much progress has been made there is still much to be done to find a picture for every name.

There are wonderful people across the nation who are dedicated to helping make the noble mission complete. Janna Hoehn of Hawaii is one of the “rock stars” of the crusade and she has been on our podcast several times. She provides updates on her efforts and gives helpful hints to others who desire to join in the mission.

In this podcast episode the work done by two brothers in North Carolina will be featured. A story in The News and Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina titled: A successful, decade-long mission for 2 brothers: Finding photos of NC Vietnam casualties that was submitted: By Richard Stradling  (stradling@newsobserver.com) outlines the work done by brothers, Jim and Tom Reece.

Douglas Bane ‘Smitie’ Smith, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Douglas Bane ‘Smitie’ Smith

Recently they were able to locate a photo of Douglas Bane ‘Smitie’ Smith, the last missing photo of the 1,958 North Carolinians who died in Vietnam. The Reece brothers got involved in the picture search over a decade ago when Jim Reece began a project to find pictures of his high school classmates in Wilmington who had died in the war.

Once they began finding missing pictures they were hooked and made it their mission to find all the photos for North Carolina names. Last November, 2016, they were down to needing the last 22 names. These were the toughest of the tough, they said, the ones with tenuous or no connections to family or the places they had lived. With dogged determination they were able to complete the task.

After a short break they intend to assist others in other states locate missing photos.

If you would like to assist in this noble pursuit go to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund website for more information. CLICK HERE. www.vvmf.org

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