The Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. is collecting pictures of every American lost in the war — including more than 850 from Iowa. A dedicated father and daughter have tracked down pictures of all but five of the Iowans over the last two years so they can be included.
Tom Brickman from Janesville served in Vietnam with the Americal Division. “It was my daughter Sherry Kirkpatrick, she’s really the one that wanted to do it because she said ‘dad, if you hadn’t made home from the Vietnam War I wouldn’t have been born’,” Brickman explains.
They have gathered a solemn compilation of pictures from archives, yearbooks and by reaching out through the media. “And when you can see a photo of a soldier that has paid the ultimate sacrifice, you know that means so to me, so it has been a healing process for me also,” Brickman says. Brickman has good leads on two more photos, which means the tribute is almost complete.
He’s still searching for the last three pictures; of John Manson, David McCombs and Frank Smith, killed in Vietnam during 1968 and 1969. In addition to being displayed at the national Vietnam Memorial, Brickman has turned over his collection to the Grout Museum in Waterloo, for an exhibit scheduled to open next year.