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Arizona organization to create project using photos of local Vietnam service members

A mock-up of what Operation Welcome Home Arizona officials plan to have the new Vietnam victims memorial park and education center to look like in 2017. (Photo: Lisa Rigler/Operation Welcome Home Arizona)

PHOENIX — A local organization is hoping to collect pictures of all Arizona service members who were killed or went missing in action in Vietnam.

Operation Welcome Home Arizona is trying to collect photographs of the 623 soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in Vietnam and integrate them into a new memorial park and education center in Gilbert, Arizona.

The park will include an 80-percent scaled version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. and will feature the photographs of Arizona service members killed or missing in action in Vietnam.

The photos will also be on display at a new Vietnam education center in Washington, D.C.

Lisa Rigler with Operation Welcome Home Arizona said they wanted to find a way to honor Vietnam’s fallen heroes.

“We chose to do a park which is a really highly aggressive project,” she said. “We think it’s going to be very, very unique and a gift to the state of Arizona.”

The project will launch on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Tempe Marketplace. Family and friends can bring photos of those Arizonans killed or missing in action in Vietnam to the event.

The entire park is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

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