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Wisconsin media help with Vietnam War memorial

  • Associated Press
  • May 27, 2014 - 11:15 AM

MADISON, Wis. — State media groups are helping to find photos for 230 Wisconsin soldiers who died during the Vietnam War.

The photos will become part of a "Wall of Faces" at an education center built near the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C., Wisconsin State Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1kbDxq8 ) Monday.

The Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Wisconsin Public Broadcasting and others have already helped find information and photos for more than 1,000 Wisconsin soldiers since the effort began about 19 months ago.

"For every name on the wall, there is a story, and a picture or photograph can help tell that story a little better," said Ellen Clark, regional manager for Wisconsin Public Radio. The pictures and other information "give us a complete picture of who these people were."

Andrew Johnson, who is publisher of the Dodge County Pionier in Mayville, started the state effort. Johnson has tracked down information for 75 names from the list. His son David was killed while on duty in Afghanistan in 2012.

Johnson then took the effort to the National Newspaper Association. Now the state press associations are using the list of names to track down photos for each of the more than 58,000 casualties from the war to include in the wall.

Clark said tracking down all the names on the list — especially those in Milwaukee— has been difficult in part because soldiers in the war often were young men.

"Back in those days, in a transient community, (they) may have been juniors or seniors in high school and only been in Milwaukee for a year before going off to war," she said.

Clark said the project, which is led by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, has gotten help from a broad group of volunteers.

"The folks who are really involved are the veterans and retired people," Clark said. "To a person, they have said what an honor it is to help with the project."

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