Unknown deceased Vietnam veteran

Discussion in 'Find a Veteran' started by John R Williams, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. John R Williams

    John R Williams New Member

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    In September 1966 I discovered the grave of a Vietnam Veteran in the Township of Wolcott, NY. It was behind a vacant disheveled house that has long since been torn down. I made note of the name; rank; service number; date of death etc. That afternoon after work I contacted Carl Becker, the local undertaker. We talked for some time. It seems that the remains were shipped to him along with the name of a contact person. That person turned out to be a teenaged mother of one. When asked where she would like the veteran to be interred she replied "In back of the house". Carl Becker told her he'd have to check with the VA in Lyons, NY. The person in charge told Mr Becker to go ahead and inter the remains where the widow requested. Carl reluctantly did so. Later when the head stone arrived he placed it on the grave along with an American Legion pendant and flag. It was that flag waving above the grave and underbrush that caught my attention. When I approached and saw what it was I was overcome with rage and anger. It was apparent to me that the property was abandoned and soon would be overgrown in weeds and brush. I cleared away the overgrowth. After talking to Carl I contacted the VA in Lyons to inquire about having the remains relocated to a local cemetery where they could be properly memorialized. I made several attempts to intervene but was met with hostility from the head of the Lyons, NY VA. He ultimately told me to drop the matter or face harassment charges through the Wayne County Sheriffs Dept. It should be noted that Carl also told me that the "widow" seemed only interested in collecting the $10,000 death benefit and shortly thereafter "boggied", Carl's words; off to California. She was not the owner of the property, only a tenent. Some 40 years later I took a renewed interest in the matter. Unfortunately 40 years had erased any data I had on the veteran. Also the property went for unpaid tax sale circa 1968 and was subsequently acquired by the current owner circa 1984. By then the property had been cleared by a bulldozer and no gravestone remained. I am the only living person who knows that Veteran is still buried there. Since about 2007 I have done extensive research and so far have been unable to positively identify the Veteran. I am in hopes that researching your records I might discover who he is. He deserves a proper burial.
    I am respectfully yours; John R Williams; Commander/Service Officer; Peterson-Hall American Legion Post 436, Red Creek, NY 13143 Tel # 315-754-8929

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