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Vietnam Vet in Lacombe leads effort to find MIA troops

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LACOMBE, LA (WGNO) -- Ed Lewis has a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with one of the most inspiring paint jobs you've ever seen.  The images show everything from Americans in combat situations to  the names of Louisiana troops on the Vietnam War Memorial wall in Washington, DC.

Lewis takes the bike around the country to help raise awareness of our troops who never returned from Vietnam.  He says there could be 1,200 or more still missing in action.  Many were killed over water or in explosions.

"We're looking at as many as more than 600 that are recoverable," Lewis says of the remaining MIA cases.

Lewis and other members of his group, Ride of the Brotherhood, wrapped up their fourth visit to Vietnam in September.  The group follows leads and speaks with locals to find potential remains of American and Vietnamese troops.

"These soldiers were left behind not by the choice of the soldiers that served with them.  So it's not just the families that need closure on these soldiers coming home, but the ones that served with them," Lewis told WGNO News.

Once Lewis finds a location that may contain remains, he takes soil samples.  If the tests are positive, he'll pass along the information, including the location where the sample was taken, to the American and Vietnamese governments.

But he says convincing them to spend the money to dig could be difficult.  So far, he says, he and his team have yet to take any soil samples that test positive for human remains.

For more on Lewis' mission, click on the video button above or visit his group's website, Ride of the Brotherhood.

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