A woman from Maui, Hawaii made a trip to Washington DC years ago; the trip turned into a nation-wide search for photos of soldiers who served in the Vietnam War.
Janna Hoehn, 25-year resident of Maui, Hawaii had always been interested in the Vietnam War.
“It was the war that was going on while I was in high school,” Hoehn wrote. “In Washington DC, the first memorial on my list was the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.”
On the wall she found a name of a soldier who was Missing in Action (MIA), Gregory John Crossman.
“When I returned home I decided to research Gregory and try to find his family, in the event they were never able to go to the Wall,” Hoehn said. “Off and on for 6 months I researched every way possible and never found any family. I was quite disappointed.”
Hoehn's cousin was able to find a college photo of Crossman; she finally had a face to the name. Approximately two years later she saw a story on the local news about the “Faces Never Forgotten” for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. The goal, to put a face with every name that is etched on the Wall.
“I immediately sent in the photo I had of Gregory Crossman,” Hoehn said.
She decided to help find other soldiers. The project took Hoehn to different states in the nation. Finding photos to the names etched on the wall.
“I have collected nearly 1,500 photos since May 2013,” she wrote.
All of the photos will be submitted to the “Wall of Faces” online memorial with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, as well as in the future Education Center that will be adjacent to the Vietnam Wall in Washington DC.
Putting a face with a name changes the whole dynamic of the Wall, it keeps our Fallen Heroes memories alive and will honor them, our heroes stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten, she wrote.
Hoehn is currently working on Texas soldiers.
She asks, “If anyone is related, a friend or a classmate to any of the young men on the list I would very much appreciate hearing from you. Even if you don't have a photo but know which school any of these young men attended, it would be so helpful.”
To date 42,000 photos out of the 58,307 names have been collected.
“I want to obtain a photo of every single fallen hero,” she stated.
In Duval County, Hoehn is searching for Richard P. Cruz of Freer, 1945-1967 and Frederico Perez of San Diego, 1946-1967.
In Jim Wells County, James C. Clarke of Premont, 1948-1968, Antonio B. Jaime of Alice, 1927-1968 and Willard O. Pack of Alice, 1943-1968.
In Nueces County, Samuel Blunt of Corpus Christi, 1937-1968, Jose Davila of the Chapman Ranch, 1949-1968, Mario P. De Leon of Robstown, 1949-1969, Donald J. Krussow of Corpus Christi, 1947-1968, Encarnacio Ledesma of Corpus Christi, 1948-1970, Ken A. McCartney of Corpus Christi, 1944-1969, Espiridion Perez of Corpus Christi, 1939-1969, and John C. Sims Jr. of Corpus Christi, 1950- 1969.
Please submit any photos or information to Janna Hoehn at email@example.com
For more information about the Education Center or make a donation to help build the Center go to: www.vvmf.org/thewall