The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., has the names of 58,300 Americans who died in that conflict engraved into a black granite wall.
The organization that built the wall 35 years ago wants their faces remembered, too.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is raising money to build an educational center near the memorial that will include photos of those who didn’t return home. It has established an online “Wall of Faces” to honor them pictorially and has collected thousands of photos since 2009.
The site — vvmf.org/wall-of-faces — also provides basic information about each deceased veteran, and it allows for friends and loved ones to post remembrances.
So far, there are 50,000 photos, but the organization is searching for the others, said volunteer Janna Hoehn, of Maui, Hawaii.
Two years ago, The Advocate published a story about the Wall of Faces trying to find the photos of 51 Baton Rouge-area veterans. To date, 31 have been turned in to the group.
Vietnam Veteran John Rougeau says he would give anything to see his fallen brother again.
“Times have changed you know? It’d be nice to see their young faces again and remember them that way.”
Vietnam Veteran Glenn Baudoin says it’s hard to think about all the lives that were lost.
“I had quite a few friends who didn’t make it. I had some of them who lost limbs, so it was a year of not knowing what tomorrow would bring.”
But Baudoin says he is comforted knowing they will never be forgotten.
“Just keep remembering. That’s all we want to do is be remembered.
The organization is still hoping to get photos of these veterans from area parishes:
ACADIA PARISH: Michael F. Austin and Joseph W. Harrison, of Crowley; Christopher Kelley, of Church Point; and Bradley J. Bourque, Harold L. David Jr. and John E. Mougier Jr., of Rayne.
ASCENSION PARISH: David P. Achord and Eddie L. Landry, of Gonzales; and Charles A. McKinney and Armond J. Stein Jr., of Donaldsonville.
ASSUMPTION PARISH: Calvin Harris, of Rosedale.
EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH: Emile Cole, Johnny L. Evans, Alvin Grimes, George J. Singleton, Aaron C. Smith, Rudolph Stevens and Walter L. Wells, of Baton Rouge; and Anthony L. Moore and Eugene Morris Jr., of Pride.
EAST FELICIANA PARISH: Willie Jackson, of Clinton; and Charlie B. Thomas, of Ethel.
IBERIA PARISH: Roger C. Collette, Thomas C. Eldridge, Dannie Fitch and Glenn B. Rao, of New Iberia; Robert M. Shuptrine, of Loreauville; and Sylvester Wright Jr., of Jeanerette.
IBERVILLE PARISH: Robert Brown, David M. Kaufman, Clarence H. Lewis and Ernest Tatney Jr., of Plaquemine.
LAFAYETTE PARISH: Thomas T. Hensley and Walter Williams, of Lafayette.
ST. HELENA PARISH: Melvin G. Bryant, of Greensburg.
ST. LANDRY PARISH: Charles E. Johnson, Jessie Richardson and Foster L. Sonnier, of Opelousas; James H. Abram, of Melville; Chester Bob, of Grand Coteau; Charles O. DeJean III, of Port Barre; and Isiah Thomas, of Washington.
ST. MARTIN PARISH: Joseph R. Landry, Willie J. Delacroix and Curtis J. Perrodin, of St. Martinville.
ST. MARY PARISH: Dexter J. Lombas and Marvin J. Louviere, of Morgan City; Allen J. Bodin, of Centerville; and Clarence J. Henry, of Franklin.
VERMILION PARISH: Paul J. Meaux, of Kaplan; and Howard C. Williams, of Gueydan.
WEST FELICIANA PARISH: Henry Jones Jr., of Bains.
For information about submitting photos, visit vvmf.org/faces-never-forgotten.