Six Kaua‘i photos are needed, said Billie Gabriel, the Hawai‘i liaison for the Call for Photos project.
Gabriel is faced with the lofty project of collecting photos for each of the 276 Hawai‘i fallen heroes of the Vietnam conflict by the end of August.
“Hawai‘i has 276 names etched on that black granite wall at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial,” Gabriel said in a release. “We have collected only 91 photos so far. Our goal is to collect at least 150 photos by the end of August and I am reaching out to our community who may have a photo of their brother, uncle, friend, classmate or fellow soldier whose name is on The Wall.”
Gabriel, whose brother was the first Native Hawaiian and Green Beret to be killed in Vietnam, believes a grassroots effort will help find these remaining 193 photographs.
The National Call for Photos is a campaign to collect a photograph for each of the more than 58,000 men and women whose names are inscribed on The Wall, states the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund website.
Collected photos will be used in the planned Education Center at The Wall and can also be found on The Virtual Wall.
The Education Center will showcase photos of individuals whose names are on The Wall and display collections of items and letters left by loved ones and fellow soldiers.
“We now have more than 19,000 out of the 58,272 pictures we need,” said Jan Scruggs, president and founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. “New Mexico and North Dakota have completed the task of getting the needed photographs. Hawai‘i is of such symbolic importance to the rest of the nation, and finding these photos will be significant for this project.”
Gabriel said veterans groups, high school reunion groups, school libraries, families and the community can make this happen.
“Two of the eight photos needed from Kaua‘i have already been received,” Gabriel said. “Does anyone remember Gaylord Kila De Fries of Anahola? Or, Rodney Wayne Pavao of Makaweli? These are just two of the remaining six we need from Kaua‘i.”
Gabriel said more than 16,580 people from the state of Hawai‘i served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War and more than 82,904 people from Hawai‘i have an immediate family member who served in Southeast Asia during the war.
Visit www.vvmf.org/hawaii_cfp for more information, or call Gabriel at (808) 497-7264.