The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall was erected some 25 years ago to memorialize those who died in the Vietnam War. More than 58,000 names are inscribed on the wall. Johnson County Mayor, Dick Grayson, recently gave me a letter written by Judy Gorman King of White Bluff, Tennessee.
In the letter she explains that the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) is in the process of building an education center near “The Wall” and needs photos of all whose names are on the Memorial. She goes on to write that when the Education Center opens each name and photo will be featured on their birthday and the pictures will also be on the Virtual Wall the website for “The Wall.”
Ms. King is especially interested in getting photos of all from Tennessee whose names are on the wall. In order to do that she has broken the names down by county and is asking each county for help in getting the photos. Mayor Grayson asked me to help get the word out about her project.
There are seven from Johnson County on her list. They are as follows:

James Carroll Gilbert from Butler,
Tony Lee Griffith from Butler,
Worley Wayne Hall from Shouns,
Michael Pierce Oliver from Butler,
Dallas Dean Robinson from Trade,
Donald Ted Sluder from Mountain City,
Edsel Wayne Steagall from Shady Valley.

If you have a photo of either of these men, you may mail or drop off a copy of the photo to Mayor Grayson’s office. The address is Johnson County Government, Dick Grayson, County Mayor, 222 West Main Street, Mountain City, TN 37683. Mayor Grayson will forward the photos on.
King wrote in the letter, “We want to retain copies at the state level and also think of the impact it will make if they all go in together. More importantly though by collecting them and sending them in as a group each name will be accounted for and no one will slip through the cracks.”

According to King the state copies will be donated to the Tennessee Library and Archives. VVMF isn’t seeking original photos and cannot be responsible for returning photos to donors. Donors are requested to send high quality copies only in an 8 x 10 size if possible. The photos should be clearly identified as well.
We should never forget those who gave their lives on our behalf in the Vietnam War and we must continue to honor their memory as the years go by. This recent project that uses their pictures seems to me to be another good way to do that.