WHRO Public Media's 'Wall Of Faces': 1 Photo To Go
- Written by Belinda Elliott
- Category: Community
- Published: 21 May 2020
Since its dedication on November 13, 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) has "pursued a mission of preserving the legacy of The Wall, promoting healing and educating about the impact of the Vietnam War." To further this mission and to help memorialize each individual, the VVMF is building The Education Center to tell the stories of our fallen heroes to provide an educational experience about the Vietnam War.
There are 1,307 Virginian Vietnam veterans listed on The Wall. In the fall of 2015, we launched the Wall of Faces project as over 500 veterans still needed a photo. Today, only one photo is missing. Sergeant Walter Williams, Jr. of Portsmouth is the remaining name on The Wall without a photo. We need your help to find the photo of Sergeant Williams.
Help us find this last remaining photo so every Virginian is honored. Here are resources to get you started.
Stories from the Wall:
Here is a sampling from some of the latest photos that have been found:
For PFC Rudolph Nathinal Ward, of Portsmouth, who served in the Army
The war may be forgotten but the warrior will always be remembered. All gave Some-Some gave All. Rest in peace Sky Soldier. - From a veteran of the 173rd Airborne Brigade
For BM3 Leon Dugan Witherspoon, of Norfolk, who served in the Navy
Uncle Leon. You were my favorite uncle. I still think of you a lot, and I miss you. - From your nephew
Though I have lived the last 39 years of my life without you sharing it, you will never be forgotten. I know that you would be proud of the women that Sheri and I have become, and I often wonder if you are watching over your grandsons and now your great-granddaughter. Your picture hangs in my home and is a reminder to all of us of your service and sacrifice to this country. - From Teresa
Uncle Leon, I'm so sorry it has taken me this long to tell you how much I loved you and how proud our family is of the ultimate sacrifice you gave for your country. I think of you often and remember the happy times we shared together. - From Janie
For SP4 Jerry Malone Jenkins, of Winchester, who served in the Army
You were one of the brave that answered the call. You honored us by your service and sacrifice. We now honor you each time we stand and sing the words “THE LAND OF THE FREE AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE”. Rest in Peace and Honor Jerry. - from Bob Ahles, Wolfhound Brother
It was Jerry's dream to restore a 1956 Belair... his brother and Nephew restored it, they did Jerry proud! David and Doug - from Janna Hoehn for the Jenkins Family
For SGT Samuel Earnest Witcher, of Martinsville, who served in the Army
You Saved My Life Sam - Sam was my squad leader in the 1st Cav. While we were on a patrol, one guy in our platoon stepped on a mine and lost part of his leg. Our squad began to search the area adjacent to the mine. Sam and two others started climbing up a steep 5 foot incline, and I noticed a more level spot a few feet away. As I was walking to the level spot, Sam stopped me and sent me back to the incline, and he walked to the level area instead of me. A few seconds later, he stepped on a land mine and was killed. I would have been killed instead of Sam if he had not stopped and redirected me. - From Jerry Prater
Uncle Sammy I was but a young boy when you died. Yet even today many years later at the age of 59 I still have fond memories of your life. You'll never be forgotten. - Love Always, Keith
Thank you to everyone who has partnered with us to locate photos for each Virginian veteran whose name appears on the wall!
If you’d like to hear recordings of more Stories from the Wall, visit vietnam.whro.org.
Visit the Wall of Faces online.