How to Add Names
Help For Family Members To Correct Wrong Information On The Memorial
Veterans Names Not Inscribed on the Memorial
A Department of Defense (DOD) Instruction, Executive Order No. 11216, signed by President Johnson on April 24, 1965, designated Vietnam and adjacent coastal waters, within specified geographical coordinates, as a combat zone.
As hostilities spread, the combat zone was expanded to include additional areas such as Laos and Cambodia in or over which U.S. forces operated. DOD Instruction 7730.22, ("Reports of U.S. Casualties in Combat Areas," January 20, 1967, and March 20, 1973) provided that the casualties to be reported were all those occurring within the designated combat areas and those deaths occurring anywhere as the result or aftermath of an initial casualty occurring in a combat area.
In 1999, Congress reassessed the timeframe of the Vietnam Conflict, authorizing commencement on November 1, 1955 and conclusion on May 15, 1975. With the increase of the span of conflict years, now more cases are brought to the attention of service members whose combat injuries caused their deaths months or years after the return from the war zone. Also, when previously denied review of inclusion on the memorial, the extended timeframe now warrants more detailed investigations of each submission.
DOD continues to provide assistance by reviewing these cases on an individual basis. The service branches and DOD have continued to work diligently to ensure that any names fitting the eligibility requirements are forwarded to the VVMF, who retains and fulfills the responsibility for name addition to the Memorial. If a family member believes their veteran qualifies for inscription on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, they are asked to contact the veteran's branch of service.
AIR FORCEExecutive Office for Inquiries
Headquarters Air Force Manpower and
550 C Street West
Randolph Air Force Base, TX 78150
MARINEHeadquarters U.S. Marine Corps
Manpower and Reserve Affairs, MRC
3280 Russell Road
Quantico, VA 22134-5103
NAVYNavy Casualty Assistance Division
5720 Integrity Drive
Millington, TN 38055-6200
ARMYHuman Resources Command
1600 Spearhead Division Avenue
Fort Knox, KY 40122
1) The next of kin must submit a request for the above action in writing or email, and mail all service records (including the DD 214 and death certificate) to HRC.
2) In order for a Service member to have his or her name added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, one of the following criteria must be satisfied:
*** 184.108.40.206. Died in Vietnam between November 1, 1955, and December 31, 1960; or
*** 220.127.116.11. Died in the defined combat zone on or after January 1, 1961; or
*** 18.104.22.168. Died as a result of wounds (combat or hostile related) sustained in the combat zone; or
*** 22.214.171.124. Died while participating in, or providing direct support to, a combat mission immediately en route to or returning from a target within the defined combat zone.
*** 6.5.3. For clarification purposes on the above criteria, there is no requirement that the Service member was killed in action or that the cause of death was combat related.
(Please see DoD 1300-.18)
2) HRC will complete a FOIA request for all medical records.
3) HRC will build a packet containing both the medical records and Service records of the deceased service member.
4) HRC sends packet to the Office of the Surgeon General for opinion. Once opinion is received a service determination is made by PTO on whether service member is eligible to have their name inscribed on the VVM.
5) The completed packet is submitted to the Directorate For Information, Operations and Reports (otherwise known as WHS) and approves eligibility based on recommendation from Service. They also update the Casualty database at that time.
6) HRC submits to the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund (VVMF) who in turn lets the family know the next steps.
7) HRC sends a letter to the requester on the determination made and next steps if name is to be inscribed on the VVM.
When the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was erected in 1982, names were supplied by the various Services known to have died in the war-zone boundaries or died as a result of the war elsewhere. Each Service provided the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) - designated as the administrator of the Memorial - databases that included such things as date of birth, home city, date of death, race, religion, etc.
If a family notices that any of the information is incorrect, this is the procedure to follow to get it resolved:
First, the family needs to understand that there are numerous "Vietnam Wall" databases on the Internet that contain information about the name, and that none of these organizations (including VVMF) can, or will, make any changes without approval from Department of Defense (DoD). Any attempts to contact them, even with verification, will normally be ignored.
The most common mistakes and or discrepancies in these databases are:
Only the DoD Casualty Office in Washington, DC is authorized to allow a discrepancy to be officially changed. The new data will then be transmitted on updates on a periodic basis to the public - usually every 2-3 years. It's been our experience that only the VVMF website (WWW.VVMF.org) will make such changes after DoD approval in a timely manner.
All casualty information for Vietnam is handled by the Pentagon's Washington Headquarters Services (WHS), Directorate for Information and Reports (DIOR). Any changes to public data should be requested through them, along with some type of proof that the change should be made (e.g. birth certificate, death certificate, etc).
Therefore, please send these request for changes with the appropriate documentation to:
or email me: Request for Information Change
On your behalf, I will forward the request and documents to Mr. Tom Campbell, WHS/DIOR. I will also follow up on your requests and keep you informed of the progress of your submission. I have been assured that every documented submission will be investigated. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Be sure to identify the family connection, as they will normally act on cases where a next-of-kin (NOK) is involved. If the issue involves a misspelled name on the Memorial, it is up to the family to request that the name be re-etched correctly. This must be written within the request.
There has never been a venue for family members who feel that their loved one was denied for a reason or inadvertently not included on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Please contact me Special Request with the veterans name, date of birth, date of casualty, reason for denial and cause of death. All emails will be respectfully handled.