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Austintown alums use pieces of the past to pay for memorial

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AUSTINTOWN TOWNSHIP, Ohio- A group of Austintown Fitch High School alumni are working on a way to honor two of their classmates who died in the Vietnam War.

"We realized nobody's ever done anything to honor these two guys who gave their lives for us, so it's time," said Jack Kidd, a member of the Austintown Fitch Class of 1962 committee.

Kidd says he and his peers remember Sgt. James Prommersberger and Lt. Charles Brown from the high school football field. Prommersberger was a U.S. Marine who died while serving his final tour in Vietnam. Brown died the next year in combat in 1967.

To keep their memories alive, Kidd's class is utilizing pieces from the past to help raise enough money to pay for a permanent memorial near the school's new football stadium.

Working by hand, classmate Larry Cadman is creating handmade pens with wood used from the former high school including pieces of the basketball court.

A kit containing 24 karat gold plated parts helps him assemble the ink pens. He says going green and giving back is the right thing to do.

"It's fun, it's time consuming and it's a good cause," Cadman said. "I was a Vietnam vet. I was fortunate enough to come back and got to live my life."

Each pen is sold for for $30 to save up for the $5,000 the class would like to raise for the memorial.

"Our only regret is that it has taken us 47 years to do this," Kidd said.

But 50 years after graduation, Kidd and Cadman agree it's better late than never when it comes to recognizing two men who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

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