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Update: The Legacy of Georgia’s Vietnam Veterans

June 2, 2016

In November of last year, I initiated a statewide campaign to honor our fallen Vietnam Veterans by identifying the 753 faceless Vietnam veterans from Georgia. Their names appear on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C., but they lack a photograph on the Wall at the Education Center sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF).

With the help of citizens, elected officials and veterans from across the state, I am happy to say 108 faceless Vietnam veterans have been given a face on the Wall of Honor in only a few months.

So with the passage of this Memorial Day, I hope this message continues to pour into the corners of the state. In support of South Vietnam, the United States began contributing troops to maintain the foothold of freedom in the region. During the course of a decade America lost more than 58,000 troops in the Vietnam conflict.

Despite the progress of the last few months, 645 of the 1,584 Georgians who were either killed in action or considered missing in action during the Vietnam War remain faceless.

I want to thank my colleagues in the Legislature for joining with me in this campaign. Also, the coalition of citizens, community groups and members of the media who have contributed their time and resources to this endeavor have earned appreciation.

To honor the courage and sacrifice of Georgia’s Vietnam veterans, I’m asking all Georgians to recognize their efforts and unite to find remaining faces to go with these 645 faceless Georgia Vietnam vets.

When I think about these veterans, I’m reminded of a quote from General George Patton that says, “It is wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

Photos of fallen veterans can be submitted through veteran profiles online or mailed to:

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
Attn: Call for Photos
2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 104
Washington, DC 20037

Please send a COPY of the original photo because the VVMF will not be responsible for returning any photos.

To see if someone you know is among those without a picture, or to view submitted pictures, visit The Wall of Faces website. The full announcement press conference is available online.

Please take a moment to see if there is a name you recognize on this list. To me, the best way we can identify these faces is to tap into old high school yearbooks in the communities where these veterans reside. I also think that local community news outlets might post a public service announcement, and groups like Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis and church groups could take on a couple names in their area to research with the hopes of finding a picture that can be put on ‘The Wall’.

It is my hope and desire that through our collective work, Georgia can put a face to every name that paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom and liberty during the Vietnam War. It is our duty to honor every last one.

About the Author

Sen. Judson Hill is a Republican state Senator from Marietta. He serves as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee as well as on the Senate’s Rules, Appropriations and Health and Human Services Committee. He represents Georgia’s 32nd Senate District, which includes portions of Cobb and Fulton counties.

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