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Photos needed to honor Vietnam vets

By Kay S. Pedrotti The Pike County Journal Reporter and its sister paper in Barnesville are joining a nationwide effort by community newspapers and others to find photos of all troops whose names are enshrined on the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C. ’The Faces Never Forgotten’ project is sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation. The National Newspaper Association and Georgia Press Association have highlighted the project in communications to all member papers, citing the ‘deep community roots (and) unique position’ of newspapers to help find and submit photos of each person killed in that war. Barnesville has three persons whose names are on The Wall; others in the area include one from Yatesville and one from Pike County. The community is asked to help find the families of these fallen heroes: Arthur Blake Crews, Air Force SGT, born Feb. 16, 1945, killed Sept. 24, 1968 in Quang Tri province; Eddie Morris Mann, Army PFC, born Dec. 10, 1947, killed May 9, 1967, Tay Ninh; Iseiah Releford Jr., Marine Corps LCPL, born Sept. 1, 1947, killed March 13, 1969, Quang Tri; James Drewery Tyus Jr., Marine Corps PFC, born Sept. 13, 1947, killed Feb. 23, 1969, Quang Nam; James Thomas Harris, Marine Corps LCPL, born Dec. 18, 1947, killed Dec. 20, 1966, Quang Tri. All were under 22 years of age at the time of their deaths. The name of Lonnie Lee Silver, Pike County Marine Corps LCPL, born Jan. 1, 1947, killed Nov. 26, 1967, Quang Nam, was on the list as published in last week’s Herald Gazette. Lonnie’s brother, Alton Silver of Forsyth, has provided a photo and background information on his brother. Newspaper staff members will be able to meet with families, obtain photographs and make sure the pictures are submitted appropriately. Current numbers show there are 58,000+ plus names on the wall and so far more than 22,000 photos are not available. Georgia’s total names on The Wall number 1,583 and as of June 12 photos were needed for 889 of them. The June Georgia Press Bulletin features quotes from publishers working with NNA, including Andrew Johnson, publisher of the Dodge County (Wisc.) Pionier (cq). Johnson says, ‘I think we (newspapers) have the unique ability to go into every small and rural town as well as the bigger ones as their number-one sources of news. Broadcasters don’t have the grassroots readership of hometown newspapers. Nobody else can do this job like we can.’ If you are a member of one of our local heroes’ families, or know of them and could put us in contact, please call The Herald Gazette at 770-358-6397 (Missy Ware or Kay Pedrotti) or the Pike Journal Reporter at 770-567-3446.

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