Southern California

Forgotten Vietnam Photo Album: Couple Searches For Owners

A patch worn by one of the men reads, "101st Airborne, Screaming Eagles."

It's a photo album filled with priceless memories.

A group of young American men at war, fighting for their country in Vietnam and dozens of photos that capture their rare moments as friends overseas more than 40 years ago.

Who are these men? That's the question a Riverside County couple wants to answer.

"It was just one of those deals," Jeff Creek said about finding the album at a thrift store three years ago while living in Tuscon, Arizona.

It cost him 75 cents and he says he "fell in love with the cover," and "bought it."

As most things do, the album ended up in a box during a move. Creek relocated to Southern California and forgot about the his thrifty gem until recently when he found the old album in his garage.

"When you go through it you see really emotional pictures of the guys in Vietnam that were together, that were obviously very close," he said. "Kind of a deep story in the pictures itself."

The photos are dated February 1971, taken by an unknown person who captured the precious moments of downtime for a group of men at war.

A patch worn by one of the men reads, "101st Airborne, Screaming Eagles." They were obviously young men bonded by a military brotherhood during a bloody and brutal war.

"They're forced to be in this situation and it looks from every picture I've looked at.. it looks like they're making the best of what they got," he said.

His girlfriend, Julie Rogenski, describes the album,"like finding a treasure."

When Rogenski first saw the photos she immediately thought of her father who was in the Air Force, Maj. Thomas Rogenski.

He was a decorated C130 pilot who fought in Vietnam and sadly died after the war in a plane crash when she was nine years old.

"Seeing that stuff when I was younger, when he was alive, I didn't appreciate it," she said. "I didn't understand it, it didn't make sense and now looking back I wish I had asked him more questions and paid more attention to it," she said.

That is part of the reason why the couple has been posting the photos on Facebook, hoping someone will recognize the men. They want these photos to return where they belong, with the men's families.

"As many people as there are in these photos you know there's probably quite a few homes they need to go to and we'll do what we can to get them there," Creek said.

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