What if you could put a face to every name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial?
The VVMF hopes you can.
The National Call for Photos is a project organized by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund to match a headshot or portrait photograph to every service member listed on The Wall.
The pictures will be displayed in an exhibit at the future Education Center at The Wall, an underground visitors center to be built near the Vietnam Veterans and the Lincoln memorials. Every day, the center will celebrate the birthdays of service members who died during the Vietnam War by featuring their photos on a giant digital wall.
So far, 25,526 veterans have complete profiles with at least one photograph, according to George Pojani, a research associate at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. These profiles are currently featured on The Virtual Wall, an online database of the Memorial's veterans.
5 of Media's Fallen
Records show 139 people who enlisted in Delaware County died in the Vietnam War, five from the Media area.
Scott and Garrity each have photos already attached to their profiles but Brown, Cannon and Long still need photos.
Brown died in South Vietnam on Feb. 23, 1969, his profile shows. Brown is buried at Media Cemetery, according to a post left by Robert Sage on his profile.
Cannon died in South Vietnam on Oct. 27, 1968. One of Cannon's messages of remembrance reads, "Bob's parents were friends of my parents. It seems like yesterday when we heard the news that Bob had died in Vietnam," read part of a message left by Jim Tucker.
Long is listed as MIA as of Oct. 18, 1966, his profile shows. One of Long's messages of remembrance reads, "I lost a genuine friend. Not a week goes by but that I think of you. Your mission to rescue aviators who came down at sea was one of the most humanitarian of flying assignments. ... I sometimes wonder if somehow the Chinese captured you off Hainan Island, and that you may still be out there. Some things we may never know. But friendships and memories last each lifetime," read part of a message left by Richard E. Buys, Lt. Col. USAF (Ret).
How to Contribute
To locate photos for the project, contributors can visit www.vvmf.org/thewall and search for veterans who enlisted in their area. The VVMF recommends contacting family and friends of the veterans to find photographs or visit local libraries and search through yearbooks or newspaper obituaries.
To submit a photograph, contributors should obtain a high quality scan of the image and post a remembrance at http://www.vvmf.org/remembrances. The VVMF will send an email to contributors when their photograph is posted with a matching profile.
Relatives of service members with complete profiles are encouraged to submit photographs to the VVMF, even if there is already a photo available.
Pojani says that the contributors to the National Call for Photos will help improve the visitor's experience at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
"It's a place where people can go back and find stories about all the casualties on the Wall," Pojani said about the future Education Center. "It will be more personal than just names on the Wall."