Ray Dupere, an ordained minister, undertook a calling to visit the gravesites of each of the class of 1969’ 11 classmates who fell in Vietnam and are not buried at West Point. His arduous and emotional journey began on 2 July when he bade farewell to his wife and departed his home in Ellington, CT by car. Travelling alone over the next four weeks, he conducted a memorial service at gravesites in Detroit, MI; Gary, IN; Ft Snelling, MN; Corning, IA; Choteau, MT; Tucson, AZ; Ft Sam Houston, TX; San Marcos, TX; Winona, MS; Beckley, WV and Arlington, VA.
Along the way, he not only had to navigate between destinations and locate gravesites but on two occasions clear debris and overgrowth away from long neglected graves. At each stop he was buoyed by the presence of classmates and relatives of those being honored and was moved by the outpouring of love and respect for fallen classmates his mission engendered from those in the communities he visited. Many classmates put Ray up in their homes along the way.
They will all visit the remaining eight gravesites of their Vietnam fallen resting in the West Point Cemetery during their 50th Reunion.