By KEVIN CHIRI
Tammany West news
COVINGTON – The mission for “Ride of the Brotherhood—No One Rides Alone” has taken one more step towards finding the remains of American soldiers left on Vietnamese soil so they can be brought home.
Ed Lewis, president of the Brotherhood group, started the organization in St. Tammany Parish in 2013 with a goal of returning to Vietnam and locating burial sites of American soldiers.
After several trips to Vietnam he believes he has identified five key locations, with one burial site in Southeast Asia providing hard proof of soldier remains from items uncovered by local villagers.
In August, Lewis signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Fern Sumpter Winbush, Director of the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, that is allowing the Brotherhood to return to Vietnam again, probably in early 2018 when they will use specialized x-ray equipment to find remains at a key site.
“We already have reports and pictures of American soldier remains and artifacts that make it clear this is probably a burial site,” Lewis said as he showed off pictures given to him with clear evidence.
After making a couple of trips to Vietnam the Brotherhood was “shut down by the Obama Administration in September, 2016.”
“We believe it was because they did not want a private organization to find these remains. The American government has worked on this for many years in some ways so naturally they want to be the ones to get this done,” Lewis said.
“All we care about is that someone find our brothers from war who were left there,” he said. “Can you imagine being a mother or father who had a son go to war and never returned?”
Lewis has connected with Dr. Chet Walker from Austin, Tex. who specializes in the x-ray work needed to view under the ground and find remains. Lewis is hoping they will both be going to Vietnam in March, 2018 to resume that work.
“We have to wait until the monsoon season clears, probably right after February,” he explained. “We have five locations where villagers have uncovered bones and other items that indicate American soldiers are there.”
Lewis continues to seek private and business funding to help his group achieve their goal. He currently needs $3,000 for the next trip, plus $10,000 to bring the necessary equipment and get the work done.
“I have personally talked to villagers who found bones when they were digging, and they have found shells and other items making it clear the bones were connected to military battles,” he noted. “This is so important to get this done. I’m consumed by it all and won’t stop till we bring our brothers home.”
To help support the work of the Brotherhood, contact Lewis at 504-234-0778.