Vietnam veterans need photos of about 400 more fallen service members to complete their virtual memorial


VIDEO: Vietnam veteran Sgt. Maj. John Canley awarded Medal Of Honor

A virtual Vietnam War memorial is nearing completion, and you can help.

The Vietnam Veteran Memorial Fund (VVMF) is searching for photos of five Columbus, Georgia, Vietnam War casualties.

The campaign, which can be viewed at, features a page dedicated to honoring and remembering every person whose name is inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. As of Thursday, the campaign has matched 1,585 pictures with Georgia veterans, and only 23 names from the Peach State remain without a photo, according to VVMF Vice President of Programs and Communications Heidi Zimmerman.

"There are 58,276 names on the wall," Zimmerman said. "In trying to preserve their legacies, knowing and seeing the face behind the name, and knowing more information about them where people can leave remembrances and hear stories about their lives, really helps give you a better picture of the person. It's really about preserving their legacies more."

The five from Columbus are:

Pvt. Emmitt Mays, Jr. (born February 8, 1946; died April 11, 1966)

Sgt. Henry Pasley (born February 2, 1926; died January 25, 1966)

Staff Sgt. Howard Williams (born January 18, 1941; died February 20, 1968)

Sgt. 1st Class Charles Wood (born October 25, 1931; died February 10, 1968)

Cpl. James Wright (born August 24, 1946; died August 11, 1966)

As of October 11, there are only 435 names remaining without a photo. With Veteran's Day coming up, the VVMF is making a push to get the last few hundred photos and complete the project.

"We certainly hope that we can get all the photos," Zimmerman said. "Because it's important for us to put a face with every name and make sure they're all remembered."

The VVMF is dedicated to honoring and remembering every person whose name is inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Originally named the Call for Photos and launched in 2013, the Wall of Faces campaign is an effort to preserve the legacy of those who sacrificed all in Vietnam by finding a photo to go with each of the 58,000-plus names on The Wall.

For more information about the Wall of Faces and to submit a photo, visit Individuals can also email photos directly to Latosha Adams at

©2019 the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Ga.) - Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Gen. Chuck Horner (ret.) commanded the air campaign of Desert Storm (Task & Purpose photo illustration)

When Air Force Gen. Chuck Horner (ret.) took to the podium at the dedication of the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial site in Washington D.C. last February, he told the audience that people often ask him why a memorial is necessary for a conflict that only lasted about 40 days.

Horner, who commanded the U.S. air campaign of that war, said the first reason is to commemorate those who died in the Gulf War. Then he pointed behind him, towards the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where the names of over 58,000 Americans who died in Vietnam are etched in granite.

"These two monuments are inexorably linked together," Horner said. "Because we had in Desert Storm a president and a secretary of defense who did the smartest thing in the world: they gave the military a mission which could be accomplished by military force."

The Desert Storm Memorial "is a place every military person that's going to war should visit, and they learn to stand up when they have to, to avoid the stupidness that led to that disaster" in Vietnam, he added.

Now, 29 years after the operation that kicked Saddam Hussein's Iraqi army out of Kuwait began, the U.S. is stuck in multiple wars that Horner says resemble the one he and his fellow commanders tried to avoid while designing Desert Storm.

Horner shared his perspective on what went right in the Gulf War, and what's gone wrong since then, in an interview last week with Task & Purpose.

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