Viet­nam vir­tual wall miss­ing only one photo from Rome

Rome News-Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - By Blake Sil­vers BSil­vers@RN-T.com

Be­hind the face of ev­ery fallen Amer­i­can ser­vice mem­ber lies the story of a life lived prior to their time in com­bat. Some­times, how­ever, the face of that story is miss­ing.

A vol­un­teer with the Vir­tual Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Wall of Faces – found at www.vvmf.org – has been look­ing for pho­tos of two fallen ser­vice mem­bers who listed Rome as their home.

The vir­tual wall is op­er­ated by the Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Me­mo­rial Fund. Based in Ar­ling­ton, Vir­ginia, VVMF is the non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion au­tho­rized by the U.S. Congress in 1980 to build a na­tional me­mo­rial ded­i­cated to all who served with the U.S. armed forces in the Viet­nam War.

“I no­ticed that the wall is miss­ing two pho­tos of fallen vets who claim Rome as their home of record,” Marc Lewis said, a VVMF vol­un­teer. “Out of the more than 58,000 fallen Viet­nam vets na­tion­wide, we are miss­ing pho­tos for less than 1,900 — and 148 in Ge­or­gia.”

The two Rome vet­er­ans Lewis was look­ing for miss­ing pho­tos of are Thomas Steven Jones and Ed­die Lee Spivey.

SP4 Jones was born Sept. 22, 1947 and died in the Binh Duong Prov­ince in Viet­nam on Oct. 24, 1967. Sgt. First Class Spivey was born Jan. 22, 1937 and died in the Bac Lieu Prov­ince on Jan. 2, 1970.

Lewis, who lives in Tulsa, Ok­la­homa, has been reach­ing out for miss­ing pho­tos for the vir­tual wall for over two years.

Just this past Au­gust, a new mon­u­ment was ded­i­cated at Myr­tle Hill Ceme­tery in honor of the 22 Rome and Floyd County vet­er­ans who died in Viet­nam. Jones and Spivey are listed among them.

At that mon­u­ment ded­i­ca­tion was Allen Spivey, a Viet­nam vet­eran him­self who also hap­pened to be the cousin of Ed­die Lee Spivey and a high school class­mate of Thomas Steven Jones.

“He was a he­li­copter crew chief and he got shot down,” Allen Spivey said of his cousin. Ed­die Lee, who was 32 at the time of his death, left be­hind a wife, Alice and three chil­dren.

Allen is still search­ing for a photo of his cousin Ed­die Lee, but was able to lo­cate a cou­ple of pho­tos of his friend Thomas Jones from a rel­a­tive.

“He got killed right be­fore I went to Viet­nam,” Spivey said of his friend Thomas Jones who is buried at Oak­land Ceme­tery here in Rome, just a few plots away from Allen’s cousin Ed­die Lee.

The two pho­tos of Thomas Jones that Allen Spivey lo­cated have been passed along to the folks at vvmf.org, leav­ing Ed­die Lee Spivey as the only miss­ing photo of the 22 fallen Viet­nam fallen who called Rome home.

Any­one who has a photo of Ed­die Lee Spivey can con­tact Ro­man Record edi­tor Blake Sil­vers at BSil­vers@RN-T.com or by call­ing 706-290-5250.

/ Con­trib­uted

Thomas Steven Jones, a Rome res­i­dent, was born in the fall of 1947 and was buried at Oak­land Ceme­tery af­ter los­ing his life in Viet­nam.

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