North Carolina becomes 23rd state to find every photo for their Vietnam fallen

Pictured (L to R): Spec. 4 Douglas Bane Smith, U.S. Army; Pfc. Odell Bernard Pate Acker, U.S. Marine Corps; Lance Cpl. Ronnie Darnell Adcox, U.S. Marine Corps; Pfc. Donald Ray Arnold, U.S. Marine Corps; Staff Sgt. Jerry Leroy Addis, U.S. Army; Sgt. Merritt Adams, U.S. Army; Cpl. Warren Lee Beacham, U.S. Army; Pvt. Charlie Corbett Benton, U.S. Army; Staff Sgt. Ulysses Alford, U.S. Army; Pfc. Winfred Alderman, U.S. Army.

 

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) is pleased to announce that North Carolina has become the 23rd state to find every photo for their Vietnam fallen. There are 1,612 service members from North Carolina listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and now each of them have their photo displayed on the Wall of Faces. 

VVMF’s Wall of Faces effort aims to connect a face and a story to each of the more than 58,000 names inscribed on The Wall in Washington, D.C. so that future generations will better understand the impact of the Vietnam War on American families. Each name represents a life cut short and a family changed forever by their loss. Putting a face to every name helps further preserve their legacies.

VVMF has dedicated volunteers around the country who help locate photos of those who served and sacrificed. Two of these volunteers who were instrumental in completing North Carolina are Jim and Tom Reece, brothers from Wilmington. They have been involved with the photo collection effort since it began. Jim started by looking for photos of his high school classmates killed in Vietnam. Their work quickly broadened from Wilmington to the entire state of North Carolina and beyond.

Jim spent more than seven years in the Army starting in 1970 but was never sent to Vietnam.  He thought that being able to see the faces of the young service members who gave their lives was a powerful way to honor them. Their research involved genealogy websites, newspapers, telephone books, public libraries, military websites and classmates.com. Throughout the years, they had help in their quest. Rosa King from Rowan County got involved and went as far as Oklahoma for one photo.

Just before Memorial Day this year, they posted the photo that made North Carolina complete. The photo was of Spec. 4 Douglas Bane Smith, a native of Durham that was killed in 1968.

Because of the tenacious effort by Jim and Tom Reece and volunteers working on behalf of VVMF all across the country, more than 52,000 photos of service members who sacrificed all in Vietnam have been found and posted to the Wall of Faces. North Carolina joins 22 other states in finding every photo for their fallen. The completed states include:

Alaska

Colorado

Delaware

Hawaii

Idaho

Iowa

Kansas

Maryland

Minnesota

Mississippi

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Mexico

North Dakota

Oregon

Rhode Island

South Dakota

Utah

Washington

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Submitted photos are currently seen on VVMF’s online Wall of Faces, where family and friends can share memories, remembrances, and photos. In the future, the photos will also be displayed at the Education Center at The Wall – an interactive learning facility to be built on the National Mall. The capital campaign to build the Education Center is currently underway and construction will begin once fundraising is complete. To learn more about the future Education Center, please visit:  www.buildthecenter.org.

When The Wall That Heals visits Burnsville from October 12 – 15, 2017, photos of the North Carolina service members on The Wall from the surrounding area will be on display.

There are still more than 6,000 photos needed to complete the Wall of Faces effort. If you have a picture of a loved one or fellow veteran whose name is on The Wall, please help VVMF honor these individuals by submitting a photo. VVMF encourages the public to submit as many photos of each service member as possible. 

To submit a photo to the Wall of Faces, click here.