One woman's quest to honor soldiers killed in Vietnam by matching photos with names on the Memorial Wall has turned into a major project, and she is seeking help in completing her mission.
Janna Hoehn, who lives in Hawaii, is looking for photographs of 10 men from Jefferson County who died in Vietnam between 1966 and 1970 so they can be added to more than 53,000 photos that have already been collected and placed on the “Wall of Faces” online memorial with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund website, as well as in the future Education Center that will be adjacent to the wall in Washington. D.C.
Those 10 servicemen, their dates of birth and death, and their homes of record are as follows:John M. Burley, 1949-1970, Pine Bluff Robert L. Clark, 1944-1966, Tucker Henry L. Kentis Jr., 1948-1968, Wabbaseka McElree Mays Jr., 1945-1967, Altheimer Willie L. Morgan Jr., 1946-1968, Pine Bluff James A. Sanders, 1949-1969, Pine Bluff Edgar L. Simmons, 1946-1968, Pine Bluff Jesse B. Stribling, 1946-1966, Pine Bluff Solomon E. Thompson, 1950-1969, Pine Bluff Willie C. Torrence, 1949-1968, Pine Bluff
Hoehn said those names are the ones still needed from Jefferson County, so if a name is not included and readers wish to look up their loved one or friend's name, they can go to the “Wall of Faces” website, type in the name in the search box and the profile will come up. She added that it is possible that there may be a better photo than the one that has been submitted and she encouraged people with photos to submit them to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
“If anyone is related, a friend or a classmate to any of the young men on the list I would very much like to hear from you,” she said in a news release. “Even if you don't have a photo but know which school any of these young men attended, it would be so helpful. We need a photo of ever single Fallen Hero whose names are etched on the wall, all 58,315 of them.”
Her research indicated that there were 595 Arkansans killed in the Vietnam War.
She said in the news release that she got started when she and her husband went to Washington eight years ago and went to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. She said she did not know anyone who was killed in Vietnam, but wanted a rubbing of one of the names. Hoehn chose the name Gregory John Crossman, who was listed as Missing in Action, and when she got home, she started researching the name in an effort to find the family and pass that rubbing along to them.
The search took six months before a cousin found a college photo of Crossman, which Hoehn sent to Jan Scruggs, the founder and president of the Vietnam Memorial Wall. Scruggs asked her help in tracking down photos of 42 residents of Maui, Hawaii, where she was living, and after another six months, she was able to collect those photos.
She moved on to soldiers from her hometown in California and is working on collecting photos of all soldiers from California who died, as well as from other states. Hoehn said she has collected over 5,000 photos and is working west to east, taking one state at a time. So far, she said she has completed the states of Montana, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Washington, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Alaska, Kansas and Hawaii and is close on several other states.
For more information about the Education Center or to make a donation to help build the center go to: www.vvmf.org/thewall