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Remembering Tulsans who never made it home from Vietnam

Posted at 5:02 PM, Oct 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-12 19:06:15-04

TULSA, OK (KJRH) — More than 1,500 American service-members who served in the Vietnam War are still unaccounted for. 30 of them are from Oklahoma.

Their families never got the closure of their remains making it home, so Green Country servicemembers got together to remember them in a special way.

A "Loaded March" has different names across different services and countries; for most it's carrying a heavy load and walking a long distance. This one is different; the group shares the load of a cinder block and chains.

The chain and the block represents the chains that shackled Vietnam Prisoners of War. Since the end of the Vietnam War, 22 Oklahomans' remains have made it home, but 30 have not. Katelynd Albertson and her team are marching for each of them , in each of their hometowns.

It began in Katelynd's own hometown of Pawhuska, embracing the Army tradition of a Ruck March, and continued to Claremore. Saturday, they remembered Capt. Wayne Irsch, who went missing in Laos, and SFC. Samuel Padgett, who was lost in South Vietnam.

"You're willing to die for the person standing next to you, so whenever you have somebody that paid the ultimate sacrifice for something they believe in, it's something I think needs to be honored," Albertson said.

The march got attention from all over the world. Albertson hopes to grow it into a statewide tradition for those 30 veterans and their families.

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