CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) - A couple from a veteran’s group in Macomb County made it their mission to locate the grave of every Michigan man killed in Vietnam, but when they found something with three graves they asked 7 Action News for help.
“It’s not right, it needs to be corrected,” said Ruth Babcock of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 154 in Macomb County.
Her and her husband Charlie could not find the graves belonging to three Detroit men because they had no headstones. When they went to Lincoln Memorial Park in Clinton Township to visit their plots, all they found were numbers pressed in cement. The lots are numbers 27, 4, and 6.
“Those guys are American heroes. They gave their all in Vietnam for this country,” said Pat Daniels. Daniels is the past president of Chapter 154.
He tried to help Ruth and Charlie find the family members of the men to see if they wanted to the headstones owed to them.
“The least we owe them is to put those headstones on there and have their graves marked so that someone passes by there that they know there is an American hero in that ground,” said Daniels.
When they could not find the family members after weeks of research, the group turned to 7 Action News. The government pays for a military headstone as part of honoring their services.
“Most likely the families were never informed that they were entitled to the headstones or they thought they had to pay for them and it was too costly at the time,” said Daniels.
Here is what we do know about the men. Lot 27 belongs to Marine Martin Luther Rimson. A single man from Detroit killed at age 20. Lot 4 belongs to Soldier Willie James Smith Jr., a married Detroit man killed at age 19. Lot 6 belongs to Marine J.T. Smith, a single Detroit man dead at age 20. All three killed fighting for our country in Vietnam. Now, the three from this group are fighting to make sure they are never forgotten.
If you know who these veterans are and how to get in touch with their family, please call Pat Daniels at (586) 246-0876 or email him at: 2TallDaniels@gmail.com.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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