Janna Hoehn saw it for the first time in 2011, while on vacation in the nation’s capital.
“When we decided to go to Washington, D.C., the first thing on my list to see was the Vietnam Wall,” she said.
The Maui woman was incredibly moved by the wall that bears the names of U.S. military killed in the Vietnam War.
“They’re not just a name on the wall, they are someone’s loved one,” she said.
Hoehn took down one name and searched for a photograph of Air Force Maj. Gregory John Crossman. She found a yearbook picture and sent it to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund for its Wall of Faces website.
“It’s basically how I got started with this project,” she said.
The fund wants to have a photo of every service member killed in Vietnam.
Hoehn began by locating photos of all 42 Vietnam casualties from Maui. She has since found photographs of more than 7,000 troops.
“I have worked on 32 of the states. I have completed 25 of them,” she said.
She’s close to finishing work on service members from Alabama, Illinois and Michigan.
Others are doing what Hoehn does, but she now has a team of volunteers that help her comb the country for photographs.
“We do use a lot of yearbook photos. We use obituary photos, if needed. But we try to get hold of the families first,” she said.
Hoehn is currently trying to find relatives of Francisco Dacanay. She believes the soldier has family on Oahu.
There are more than 58,000 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Hoehn’s efforts have gotten the Memorial Fund closer to finding a photograph for every one of them.
“Today’s number it was 1,060 photos nationwide we still need to find. We’re really getting close to being done,” she said.
By Jim Mendoza / Hawaii News Now; Edited by Davis Pitner
A Maui Woman’s Crusade: put faces to all the names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
If you can help in the search email Janna Hoehn at NeverForgotten2014@gmail.com
One last thing to leave you on this Memorial Day. The beautiful voice of a Navajo Code Talker and Proud US Marine, Thomas H. Begay. Thank you for your service.