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.
Two of the fallen
Heath, a 19-year-old Marine lance corporal, died May 3, 1966, in south Vietnam, his profile shows. Pictures of Heath are included, as are several messages of remembrance.
"I pray that by showing you in your uniform that you will be remembered by all those who served over there with you," read part of a message identified as from Patricia Heath, the Marine's niece.
Moyer, a 25-year-old Air Force captain, died Nov. 29, 1970, also in south Vietnam, according to his profile. It includes several messages of thanks, but Moyer is not pictured.
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."