To the editor:
In the Daily News article about The Wall That Heals, you mentioned there were four men on it from Jasper County. My cousin, Tommy D. Knapp, was also from Jasper County.
Tommy was the first serviceman to die in the Vietnam war from Newton. He was the second to die from Jasper County; David McMath was the first.
The flags were flown at half-staff for a week for Tommy. I was a teenager, and it was the first military funeral I ever attended, and it is something I will never forget.
Nora Henderson Borts
Editor’s note: The Vietnam War Memorial database lists U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Tommy D. Knapp, 21, a native of Colfax and a graduate of Newton Senior High School, as a resident of Des Moines. He joined the Army in August of 1964 and died as a result of combat injuries April 4, 1968, in Vietnam. He had been in-country for 59 days.
Prior to his service in Vietnam, Knapp served at Fort Riley, Kan., Fort Knox, Ky., Germany, and as a drill instructor at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. He entered the service at Fort Des Moines.
He was the son of Alvin and Dorothy (Henderson) Knapp of Newton, and also was survived by seven brothers — Royal, Robert, Michael, Alvin, Kevin and David, all of Newton; and Allan of Artesia, N.M. — and two sisters, Janice (Robert) Mindham of Des Moines, and Barbara (Jerry) Hall of Artesia, N.M.