In 2015 a group veterans who grew up in the Southeast Volusia County area, went to school in the area, later served in the military during the Vietnam era and who earned the Vietnam Service Medal started a project to identify other similar veterans and collect their photos for a composite picture. The group soon expanded to seven members who called themselves the "Southeast Volusia Vietnam Veterans Committee". These seven men included George Benedict, Neal Coates, Frank Farmer, Art Goodrich, Brian Hathaway, Earl Tingle, and Russell Walker.
After more than a vear of work the composite photo was unveiled on February 6, 2016 in a ceremony held at the New Smyrna Beach High School auditorium. When originally shown the photo included 119 men, including eleven sets of brothers and seven who were killed in action. Since the original presentation several more Vietnam veterans have come forward and the new total on the photo is 128. This includes 127 war veterans and a military chaplain.
Several schools are represented on the photo including New Smyrna Beach High School, Chisholm High School, and several parochial and military schools. High school classes from 1946 through 1970 sent men to fight in Vietnam. Billy Maxwell Crawford, class of 1946, was killed during the war in 1966. The lone graduate from the class of 1970, Daniel Scanlon Brooker, was killed in 1971. Brooker was the last service member from Southeast Volusia County to die during the war.
The goal of the committee was that they "Leave no man or woman behind". With that goal in mind, if you, a friend, or a loved one attended school in Southeast Volusia County and were awarded the Vietnam Service Medal please leave your name and contact information with Robert Redd, at the New Smyrna Museum of History. Your information will be passed along to the committee and they will contact you for further information.
Facts About The Photo
The Photo Includes
- 127 classmates who received the Vietnam Service Medal
- 1 Military Chaplain
- 7 men killed in action
- 11 sets of brothers
- 2 sets of step brothers
- 3 sets of brothers served in Vietnam at the same time
- 1 who would rise to the rank of Brigadier General
Classmates by Branch of Service
- Air Force - 15
- Army - 72
- Marines - 19
- Navy - 21
Classmates by Year
- 1946 (1)
- 1951 (1)
- 1955 (1)
- 1956 (1)
- 1957 (1)
- 1958 (2)
- 1959 (4)
- 1960 (4)
- 1961 (6)
- 1962 (8)
- 1963 (12)
- 1964 (18)
- 1965 (16)
- 1966 (20)
- 1967 (16)
- 1968 (9)
- 1969 (6)
- 1970 (1)
Statistics of the Vietnam War
- Of the more than 2,700,000 Americans who served in Vietnam it is estimated
less than 850,000 survive as of March 2016.
- Nearly 400 Vietnam veterans die each day.
- Nearly 7,500 women served in Vietnam.
- More than 58,000 Americans perished during the war.
- The average age of a man killed in Vietnam was 23.1 years.
- 61% of those killed were age 21 and under.
- Dan Bullock, who lied about his age to enlist, was the youngest
American fatality at age 15.
- Kenna Clyde Taylor was the oldest American fatality in Vietnam at
the age of 62.
While in New Smyrna Beach be sure to visit the Vietnam Memorial
located in Riverside Park. The park is located south of Canal Street on
the east side of Riverside Drive. Also located in the park is the War
Memorial, honoring those who served in World War I, World War II,