Augusta man honored at Vietnam veterans "In Memory" ceremony

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Families from across the country converged on Washington Saturday to honor veterans of the Vietnam War. The veterans being remembered were not killed during the war, but died as a result of it.

Randy Reese, whose father passed away earlier this year, says his dad never liked to discuss his time in the Vietnam War.

Randolph Edward Reese, one of 412 names honored Saturday during a Vietnam Veterans “In Memory” ceremony. The Augusta native died earlier this year from complications after exposure to Agent Orange during the war.

“When he got back and as I grew up talking about it, he didn’t want to talk about it,” said Randy Reese, his son.

Randolph’s name won’t go on the recognizable memorial wall for soldiers who died in Vietnam. Randy says the memorial ceremony is important because while these servicemen and women didn’t give their lives during the war, they died as a result of it.

“(He) wasn’t injured on the battlefield. It was later on that effects of what happened there contributed to a lot of the men and women’s death,” said Reese.

He says it is hard not seeing his dad, his best friend, at home anymore. The death was unexpected Randy says, but this event provides some comfort as they continue to cope.

“To have something like this I think it helps with closure at some point. I mean, for me, it’s just honoring my dad and my family,” said Reese.