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Search for high school classmate has Vietnam veteran asking questions

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RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia War Memorial is a somber place to visit.

"We want to honor the heroes from Virginia in the best possible way we can," says Executive Director Jon Hatfield.

But a recent visit to the Virginia War Memorial has a Vietnam Veteran concerned about a high school classmate.

He discovered his friend's name under the City of Hampton and not under Southampton County.

Ronald W. Bass was killed in action March 14, 1967 about a year after graduating from high school in Southampton County.

In 1980, the Virginia War Memorial added a glass panels dedicated to Virginian's who lost their lives in Vietnam .

"The list of those heroes from Virginia killed were separated by home of record and under the city or county, where their home was and underneath in alphabetical order," says Hatfield.

The names were obtained from a list provided by the Department of Defense, which is when Ronald Bass was added to names underneath the City of Hampton.

A look at DOD records doesn't clear up the confusion. For home of record under city it lists Southampton and under county it lists Hampton.

The two are more than 60 miles apart.

As for a possible mistake, Hatfield says, "Certainly we would like to correct any error that's on the wall."

But before any changes or additions are made at the Virginia War Memorial, they require three forms of verification.

Right now they are looking into the matter.

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