Along with more than 58,000 other soldiers, the name of Capt. Humbert Roque "Rocky" Versace is memorialized on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. The Medal of Honor recipient is one of 67 Alexandrians who gave their lives during the Vietnam conflict and the Friends of Rocky Versace organization is hoping to put a face to each of those veterans.
As part of the Faces Never Forgotten national campaign of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, organizers are hoping to locate photos of 22 Alexandria veterans that are among the 20,000 of America’s fallen from Vietnam without identifying photos.
“We’ve come a long way in obtaining photos since the dedication of the Versace Plaza in July, 2002,” said Mike Faber, founder and chief organizer of the Friends of Rocky Versace. “But we seem to have come to a dead end trying to locate these last 22 pictures.”
The VVMF is asking the public to search through yearbooks, family photo albums and newspapers in an effort to locate photos of those still unidentified. Three states have collected all of their photos – New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming.
The 22 missing photos of Alexandria veterans represents nearly one-third of the men whose names are carved into stone at the Captain Rocky Versace Plaza and Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Del Ray.
Photos of the fallen will appear online at VVMF’s Wall of Faces as well as on permanent display at the future Education Center at The Wall. The goal is for fundraising to be complete and construction to start in 2018 and for the center to open in 2020.
“We’re calling upon everyone to help us remember the service and sacrifice of those in their communities,” said VVMF founder and president Jan Scruggs. “Sometimes there are no living relatives. We’re asking people to do a little detective work. We can’t let these service members and their sacrifice be forgotten.”
Photos can be uploaded directly to VVMF’s website or via mail. For details on how to submit a photo, visit http://www.vvmf.org/how-to-submit.