Man Searching For Pictures Of Oklahoma Veterans On Vietnam Memorial Wall
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa man is collecting pictures of each Oklahoma veteran whose name is on the wall of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.
It's part of a national effort to match a picture with each of the thousands of names.
For the past year, Marc Lewis has spent hours on the third floor of the Tulsa Central Library looking through old newspapers for pictures of Oklahoma Vietnam vets.
“They gave the ultimate sacrifice,” Lewis said.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall is engraved with more than 58,000 names. One is Walter Pointer of Sand Springs, who served in the Army. His mother mailed a letter, along with his picture, to Lewis.
"When I first started I thought, 'Well, we'll knock this out in about a month and a half,'" he said.
Lewis is working alongside Jackie Hatton in Oklahoma City to track down pictures of every Oklahoman on the wall - there are 991.
"We're down to nine," Lewis said.
They've searched obituaries, yearbooks and cemeteries.
When Lewis started volunteering the list had 76 names on it.
"It's just a matter of following leads," he said.
Each picture found is an accomplishment.
Volunteers are following leads nationwide, and, as of September, 24 states have found every picture. Texas is getting close to being finished with only eight pictures left to find.
The goal is to display a "Wall of Faces" in Washington, adding another layer of appreciation, Lewis said, to their service - something he's proud to be a part of.
"They're my age, or close to my age, so, there's a, not bond, but I think there's an obligation to bring this out," Lewis said.
Of the nine veterans left on the list, Lewis has been promised two pictures, but he won't take them off until he receives a copy of their picture.
If you have a picture of the remaining nine veterans listed above, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find renderings for the future project here.