- Associated Press - Sunday, May 25, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - More than 1,000 photos of Wisconsin residents who died in the Vietnam War have been collected for a new memorial in Washington D.C., but more are needed.

The photos will be part of an education center built in 2016 near the Vietnam Wall, according to the Wisconsin State Journal (https://bit.ly/TL95y7 ). The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is collecting photos of the over 58,000 service members featured on the memorial, including 1,244 from Wisconsin.

Two statewide media organizations, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and Wisconsin Public Broadcasting, are working to track down the 230 photos still needed.

The project goes beyond just collecting formal military and high school yearbook photos. Organizers are also looking for tributes, memories and candid images, said Ellen Clark, regional manager for Wisconsin Public Radio.

“For every name on the wall, there is a story, and a picture or photograph can help tell that story a little better,” Clark said. Coupled with memories and tributes, the stories get filled out with details “that tell give us a complete picture of who these people were.”

The WNA began participating in the project in April. Andrew Johnson, publisher of the Dodge County Pioneer in Mayville, has managed to cover 75 names on the list.

The newspaper association turned out to be an ideal channel to track down photographs, said the WNA’s Mary Kate Elbow.

The 230-member WNA forwarded a list of 339 names to Wisconsin publishers. Many papers published names of soldiers from their communities, drawing responses from relatives, classmates, neighbors and others devoted to preserving the memories of Vietnam War casualties.

Johnson, whose son, David, was killed while on duty in Afghanistan in 2012, initiated the state effort and then took it nationwide, to the National Newspaper Association.

Johnson hopes to get the majority of the photos to the VVMF by Nov. 11.

The organization recently surpassed 35,000 photos, according to Post-Crescent Media. Most are coming from family members or those who served with the fallen men and women, said Heidi Zimmerman, a spokeswoman for the group.


Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, https://www.madison.com/wsj

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