EATON — The Preble County Room, Preble County District Library’s genealogy department, is working to collect photos of all local soldiers who died during the Vietnam War. The effort is part of “Faces Never Forgotten,” a national campaign to obtain photos of every soldier listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Fundraising is underway for a new project near the site of the memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The “Education Center at the Wall” will add another component to the Memorial, and part of the project aims to put a face with each of the more than 58,000 names on the memorial. A giant screen inside the Education Center will display those photos digitally. Photos are currently available on the “Wall of Faces” website at www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/.
The campaign began in 2010 to collect photos, and about 42,000 have been collected so far. Several local soldiers are still without photos, which led the Preble County Room to spread the word on the project locally. Inspiration to help the project came from a recent report in which David L. Hine, an Air Force veteran formerly stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, said he wanted to make sure all 3,097 names from Ohio have a photo.
“After more than 40 years, photos are getting hard to find,” said Preble County Room Supervisor Marlene Ressler. “Collecting photos of these soldiers will expand our local history collection, as well as contribute to the new addition at the Vietnam Memorial.”
The Preble County Room is seeking photos of the following soldiers from the county: Edgar W. Blankenship, Lewisburg; David A. Brown, West Manchester; Ronald D. Bruce, West Alexandria; Gordon L. Goins, Eaton; Melvin R. Green, New Paris; James M. Klink, New Paris; and Dennis O. McGhee, Gratis.
The Preble County Room can also send photos from around the state to the “Faces Never Forgotten” project. Search photos at the Wall of Fame website listed above to find soldiers by name, address, branch of military, and more.
The Preble County Room is seeking digital scans of photos. Send digital photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. The staff at the Preble County Room can scan a digital version of photo prints, as well. Photos can be brought to the Preble County Room at 450 S. Barron St. in Eaton.