Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds seek Iowans assistance in locating photo of fallen Iowa Vietnam Vet for “Wall of Faces” memorial

Written by Theresa Rose on April 20, 2015

Branstad, Reynolds hope Iowans can provide assistance in locating the photo of David L. McCombs of Oskaloosa before Memorial Day

(DES MOINES) – Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today were joined at their weekly press conference by Iowa Newspaper Association Executive Director Chris Mudge to ask Iowans for their assistance in the locating photo of an Iowan who died in the Vietnam War for the Vietnam Memorial Fund’s “Wall of Faces” electronic memorial.

According to information from the National Archives, 851 Iowans died in the Vietnam War and are included on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. Of those causalities, David L. McCombs of Oskaloosa, Iowa, is the only Iowan whose photo has not been located and obtained for the “Wall of Faces.”

“As a Vietnam-era veteran and as governor of the state, I want to ensure that Iowans who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation are properly recognized and honored,” said Branstad. “Iowa has always been supportive of our military members and I am hopeful that we can work together to locate a photo of this brave soldier before Memorial Day.”

The following information is known about the Iowan whose photo is missing:

David L. McCombs

Date of Birth: 5/5/1943

Date of Death: 10/11/1969

Hometown: Oskaloosa, Iowa

Branch of Service: Army

“With Memorial Day approaching on Monday, May 25, 2015, we see this next month as an opportunity to take the time to locate a photo of David L. McCombs for the ‘Wall of Faces’ memorial,” said Reynolds. “Together we can ensure that every Iowan that gave his or her life in the Vietnam War protecting the freedoms we cherish is honored.”

The missing photo was brought to the governor’s and lieutenant governor’s attention by Iowa Newspaper Association Executive Director Chris Mudge at a March meeting. Mudge informed the Governor’s Office that her organization had been working with local newspapers to locate photos of fallen soldiers from the Vietnam War.

“Through our members across Iowa, we’ve been successful in finding many photos for the ‘Wall of Faces’ memorial,” said Mudge. “Unfortunately, we’re still missing a photo of Daniel L. McCombs, but we’re optimistic that Iowans will take this call to action to heart and help find the remaining photos before Memorial Day.”

The Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs has been working diligently to locate the photo by following-up on potential leads and resources. Unfortunately, the department has been unable to locate a photo through government, school and other community records. The department is hopeful that someone will come forward with more information about McCombs.

Individuals who believe they may have a photo of McCombs or may know someone who would have a photo may contact Missy Miller with the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs at Melissa.Miller2@iowa.gov or by phone at 515-727-3443.