Jim Stanko: Honor a soldier

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In a recent news release, it was announced that there are plans to build an education center on the grounds of the Vietnam Veterans and Lincoln memorials in Washington, D.C. With groundbreaking planned for November 2012, the Education Center at the Wall is a multi-million-dollar, state-of-the-art visitors center and learning facility. Visitors will better understand the profound impact the Vietnam War had on their friends and family members, hometowns and the nation.

The Education Center will feature the faces and stories of the 58,272 men and women on “The Wall,” honoring those who fell in Vietnam, those who fought and returned and the friends and families of all who served. The goal of the Education Center is to collect as many pictures as possible of those who gave their lives. This will allow Americans to put faces with the names of these brave men and women, fostering an appreciation and respect for generations to come.

The people of Colorado suffered among the greatest number of losses in the Vietnam War, sacrificing 623 servicemen and servicewomen in combat. To date, only 193 pictures have been collected.

American Legion Post 44 wants to make sure that both young men from Routt County who gave their lives are represented in the Education Center. Hilda Fogg has graciously donated a picture of her son, David, who was killed in July 1969. Our American Legion post now is seeking any family member of John Vialpando, who was killed in December 1968. If anyone knows how to contact a member of the Vialpando family, or who might have a picture of John in his service uniform, please call me at 970-879-3936. Also, any family that lost a member in Vietnam and wants to contribute a picture or find out more information can call me or visit www.vvmf.org.

Jim Stanko

Steamboat Springs

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