I want everyone to be aware of what is going on right now, some Tigers have already gotten this news, this is why I am writing this e-mail to make everyone aware of the situation. The association was contacted by Rick Lawrence, USMCR and USAFR SSgt, Counselor at Floral Haven Cemetery & Funeral Home in Broken Arrow, OK. . He informed us of the situation of Cpl. James Teffs burial site, one of our KIA. Here is some of what he had to say:
“Sometime back, while walking through one of our cemeteries many gardens, I came across the bronze grave marker for Cpl James Richard Teffs who was KIA on 9/22/1970 while assigned to HMM-262. Since that time, I have visited his grave several times to place a flower or two to honor the memory of this fallen warrior. To my knowledge, there are no family members who visit this warrior’s grave.
Cpl. Teff's grave marker is what is known as a "full ledger" bronze memorial, meaning it is as big as his actual burial plot. If you have ever seen a photo of Elvis's bronze marker, then you have seen how big Cpl. Teff's marker is. Whoever paid for that marker honored him the way he should have been honored and spared no expense. Today a marker like that would cost about $15,000.00. The marker, while in good condition, has tarnished to a green patina due to neglect. This marker can be refinished by the Maint. Dept at the cemetery but they charge $200.00 to do so, and, considering the size of the marker that really isn't too bad of a price. I'm hoping maybe some of the men in the HMM-262 association would be willing to donate to this project as well as contribute to a flower program so that Cpl. Teff's will not be forgotten this Memorial Day and many more to come.”
Since this was written, the family members have been contacted and made aware of the situation and offered to contribute toward some of the clean up of the burial site. There have already been donations from some Tigers coming in for the clean up of the burial site as well as flowers for the grave for Memorial Day and for the future Operation Rose ceremony at the burial site in the near future. If you would like to donate, and we encourage you to do so, please send a check to:
5 Pine Way Court
Little Rock AR 72211
PLEASE MAKE CHECK PAYABLE TO “HMM262 VVA.” And note on the check “CPL TEFFS”
Lastly, if anyone is interested in attending or being a part of the Operation Rose Ceremony at the burial site please contact me ASAP. We do not have a date yet because of our schedules, but it will probably be sometime in the near future after Memorial Day on the weekend with as many of the KIA family of Cpl. Teffs as possible.
Dave “Butch” Powell
C.O. HMM-262 Vietnam Veterans Association