The personal interview approach, it was agreed by both researchers, is becoming harder due to the numbers of Vietnam veterans, as well as family members we are losing each year. The majority of family members of many of our brave heroes, lost during the Vietnam War, are now their children, who, for the most part, don't remember their dad's because they were mere infants at the time of their father's loss.
Joseph mentioned that "In Honor and Memory: Installations and Facilities of the Vietnam War" was a tremendous reference source and few other documents available to him have come close to his needs in scope and depth. He also referenced Ray's previous tome "Vietnam Military Lore - Legends, Shadows and Heroes" several times.
Joseph also used the example of the photograph of Sergeant (SGT) John L. Houston, who was killed, along with Master Sergeant Gabriel Alamo and Australian Warrant Officer Kevin Conway, during the 6 July 1964 attack on Nam Dong, when Captain (now retired colonel) Roger Donlon received the first ever Medal of Honor awarded for heroism in South Vietnam. Joseph told Ray, "I have for many years had a team photograph in which John Houston appears, however, until I saw your photo of SGT Houston on page 191 of 'In Honor and Memory', I never imagined how young he actually was as a soldier. He must have been a young teenager when he enlisted."
Their connection is that both Colonel Dewey and Ray Bows lived at different times in Paris, France, before their service in Southeast Asia. Dewey as a reporter for a Chicago newspaper, from August 1939 to early 1941, while Ray was stationed in Paris with the US Army, from September 1964 until February 1967.
"I don't think I could have written about the colonel's time in France, unless I had experienced Paris for myself," Ray commented. Colonel Dewey had a great impact on our memorialization project, as were it not for available information about the colonel, Ray would have found it much more difficult to discover that many early American casualties of Vietnam are not, or were not, listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
It is with great admiration that I view Ray's early research, when his memorialization project began in 1987, and it is evident that others like Joseph appreciate Ray's efforts in preserving this information, just as we appreciate Joseph's database.
Joseph and Ray have agreed to stay in contact and exchange and share information. We encourage others with similar interests to do the same, and bring us into the loop, as well.