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Wisconsin Public Radio and its public broadcasting partners are seeking volunteers to find photos of the 1,244 Wisconsinites whose names are listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. Nearly 1,000 photos have been found as part of the “A Face for Every Name Project,” but images of service men from western Wisconsin who lost their lives during the Vietnam War are still needed.
“The response from volunteers around the state has been wonderful — this project has really moved forward with their involvement,” noted Mike Crane, Director of Wisconsin Public Radio. “We’re committed to finding every Wisconsin photo and hope more folks will join our effort this summer,” he added. The photos will be part of a “Wall of Faces” in a new Education Center in Washington D.C. being developed by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, the organization behind “the Wall.”
Madison-based volunteer David Reichenberger said the project was a great way to honor those who lost their lives in the war. “I enjoy the sense of reverie that the process of searching for and find pictures creates…this sense of being with them, all these years later,” he said. “Two, I knew, and this project brought them and the others into sharper focus and gave good attention to their sad, but true, reality,” Reichenberger added.
The following men from western Wisconsin still need a photo for the wall:
• James Asher, Elmwood (August 28, 1949-June 11, 1969)
• Dean Beranek, Rice Lake (Born April 23, 1946-Died July 23, 1967)
• John Bronkema, Shell Lake, (May 14-1938-March 9, 1967)
• John Chapman, River Falls (February 6, 1942-January 8, 1968)
• Gregg Goslin, Spooner (June 17, 1948-November 12, 1967)
• Gerald Hague, Maiden Rock (May 21, 1945-May 20, 1967)
• Gary Halverson, New Richmond (March 12, 1949-September 11, 1968)
• Charles Janke, Grantsburg (February 2, 1942- November 12, 1965)
• Kent Johnstone, Amery (May 7, 1944-February 4, 1967)
• Dennis Kromrey, Osceola (June 23, 1946-February 26, 1968)
• Gerald Kuhnly, Siren (August 29, 1940-December 28, 1965)
• William McCann, Grantsburg (October 8, 1939-October 21, 1966)
• Orlan Nelson, Black River Falls (July 30, 1940-February 23, 1969)
• Vernon Nelson, Glenwood City (January 29, 1950-January 21, 1969)
• Lowell Peterson, Eau Claire (September 29, 1947-March 7, 1968)
• Timm Peterson, Clayton (August 30, 1946-January 10, 1967)
• James Schachtner, Somerset (February 15, 1949-June 29, 1970)
• Wilbur Skaar, Chippewa Falls (August 23, 1930-May 17, 1968)
• Gene Swager, Balsam Lake (May 7, 1949-April 15, 1970)
• Gerald Vizer, Eau Claire (June 15, 1948-May 30, 1967)
• Steven Wasson, Spring Valley (November 11, 1950-May 5, 1970)
Reichenberger says focusing on service members from specific regions of the state will help finish this project and school photos are a good place to start a search. “If you know the town the veteran was from, you could meet with the local high school principal, explain what you are trying to do, ask to see the yearbooks in the library from that era, find his picture, make a copy — done,” he concluded.
WPR has set up a dedicated webpage with more information about the project, the partners involved, tips for finding photos and links to upload photos. To get started go to: www.wpr.org/veterans