Sister remembers her long lost brother, MIA Vietnam veteran
BIRMINGHAM - AL —
The more years that go by the more we tend to forget.
It's not our fault, really, it's human nature. It's much like a rule.
"When the war was over, the men came home," Jane Price said. "These guys didn't."
Price is the exception to that rule.
"See this right here," she says while showing off a green-stoned ring on her right hand. "This is a beautiful stone that my brother sent me on my 21st birthday. And he went missing three weeks later."
Her brother, Marine Corps Capt. James Carlton, Jr., she sees every day.
"I'm going down the road and all the sudden I see someone who looks like him and I'll do a double take," she said.
An Auburn graduate with a degree in Air Nautical Administration who loved to fly.
Then, on April 17, 1967 at 27-years-old, Carlton's A-6 Intruder plane went down in Vietnam.
No wreckage. No trace. Carlton was MIA
"I have always come here...ever since they were put down," Price said.
In 1972, Birmingham honored Carlton and 13 others MIA from Vietnam with plaques under an Alabama Holly Tree in Linn Park.
Price comes every year.
"All the sudden, I came one day and couldn't find them and it was very frightening to me," she said. "I panicked."
"Mrs. Price called and she was very distraught," Stanley Robinson said.
Robinson is with the city's Park and Recreation Board. He was on the other end of that distraught phone call. He thought Price was mistaken and thought she meant a different park.
But he met with her at Linn Park, under that Alabama Holly, and buried under debris and dirt and mulch...there it was.
"It's good for Mrs. Price to have that place to come to, but I think it needs to be just as important to all of us what occurred in the lives of those young men," he said.
"This is the only place I can go to," Price said. "Jimmy's not buried anywhere. It's hard to not go to see a plaque or something of someone you love."
Robinson says the city will do a better job of maintaining all 14 plaques, so that future generations can cherish and honor their sacrifices.