RICHMOND, Va.(WAVY)- The state’s department for veterans services is looking to honor 50 Vietnam veterans from across Virginia.
The Virginia War Memorial, which is a division of the Department of Veteran’s Services, is planning to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords, which ended the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War.
Executive Director Dr. Clay Mountcastle says they’re doing that through their project, “Fifty Years Beyond: The Vietnam War Experience.”
“What we want is Vietnam veterans from across Virginia to submit photos to us serving or on a ship during the Vietnam War. That way we can collect these photos, pieces of history caught in time. Then, we want to spotlight 50 different views from around the state and focus on their service and lives as Vietnam veterans over the past 50 years,” he said.
Mountcastle says the foundation works a lot with Vietnam veterans who have felt forgotten between the World War II generation and current-day servicemembers.
“It’s been a unique experience for Vietnam vets these past 50 years,” Mountcastle said, adding the memorial will also focus on outreach.
He says that people can submit photos, correspondence, oral histories, and more of their experiences.
Award-winning photographer and Navy veteran Laura Hetcher will work with the Virginia War Memorial on the project.
Those 50 people selected will be contacted.
Mountcastle hopes that veterans from Hampton Roads will submit mementos because they typically get a large influx of submissions from those living in Central Virginia.
“We have so many veterans located in that part of Virginia,” he said about Hampton Roads. “We want them to tell their stories for all who come here.”
You have time to enter submissions until May 30.
You can do so digitally by clicking here or by mailing it to:
Fifty Years Beyond: The Vietnam War Experience
c/o The Virginia War Memorial
621 South Belvedere Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Mountcastle says the project will debut on January 27th, 2023, which is the exact anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords signing.
He hopes that people will leave the exhibit informed and veterans leave knowing they’re being remembered.