Governor’s Office seeking photo of fallen Vietnam soldier

Vietnam War MemorialBy The Iowa Statesman


The Governor’s Office is asking for the public’s help to find a photo of an Iowan who lost his life during the Vietnam War. During Gov. Terry Branstad’s weekly press conference, he was joined by Iowa Newspaper Association executive director Chris Mudge, who joined in the call for help.

More than 850 Iowans lost their lives during the conflict and are commemorated on the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC. The photos of all but one of them — David L. Combs of Oskaloosa — have been added to the memorial’s “Wall of Faces” digital memorial.

“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,” Branstad said. “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.”

Mudge brought the matter of the missing photo to Branstad’s attention at a March meeting. She 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,” Mudge said. “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.

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,” Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds said. “Together we can ensure that every Iowan that gave his or her life in the Vietnam War protecting the freedoms we cherish is honored.”

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 or by phone at 515-727-3443.