The Vietnam War casualties from Effingham County include James Bush Jr., Charles James Evans, James Darryl Fox, Henry Mouzon Gnann, James Arthur Lanier, John Nathaniel Morris, Roosevelt Wallace, David Windsor Warren Jr. and Frankie Young Jr.
I have always hoped I could to do something for the Vietnam veterans as the way they were treated when they returned — it was disgraceful. Here was my chance.Janna Hoehn
RINCON — Janna Hoehn is working on a wall that should unify people, not divide them.
A Hawaii-based volunteer for the Faces Never Forgotten campaign, Hoehn has been collecting photos of fallen Vietnam War veterans for eight years. She is helping to match a face to each of the 58,318 names on the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The needs 1,078 photos to complete the Wall of Faces, an online memorial. One of the images Hoehn is seeking is of Effingham County’s James Arthur Lanier, who was killed in Vietnam in 1968.
“His home of record was Guyton,” Hoehn said during a May 8 telephone interview. “He’s the last one that I need out of eight (from Effingham County.”
The Vietnam War casualties from Effingham County were James Bush Jr, Charles James Evans, James Darryl Fox, Henry Mouzon Gnann, John Nathaniel Morris, Roosevelt Wallace, David Windsor Warren Jr. and Frankie Young Jr.
The impetus for Hoehn’s photo-collecting efforts was a 2011 visit to the Vietnam War Memorial with her husband. The seemingly endless list of names on the pieces of black granite stirred something inside her.
“Because Vietnam was the war that was going on when I was in high school, the first memorial on my list was the Vietnam War Memorial wall,” Hoehn said.
Hoehn didn’t know any soldiers who died in Vietnam but she took took a piece of paper and placed it over a random name, rubbing a pencil over it. The result of her etching said “Gregory John Crossman,” who was listed as missing in action.
“When I returned home, I decided to research Gregory and try to find his family,” Hoehn said. “In the event they were never able to go to the wall, I would send them the etching, hoping they would share a photo with me of Gregory. Off and on for six months, I researched every way possible and never found any family.
“I was quite disappointed.”
Thanks to a cousin she called “our family historian,” Hoehn received a break a couple later. The cousin found a college photograph of Crossman.
It was about this time that Hoehn learned of Faces Never Forgotten through a TV news report.
Hoehn sent the photo of Crossman to Jan Scruggs, the Faces Never Forgotten founder and president. Scruggs thanked Hoehn for her efforts and asked if she would like to help him find photos of 42 Maui County residents who killed in Vietnam. She immediately accepted.
“I replied, ‘It would be an honor,’” Hoehn said. “I have always hoped I could to do something for the Vietnam veterans as the way they were treated when they returned — it was disgraceful. Here was my chance.”
It took six months of combing through phone books, newspapers and library archives to find all the Maui County names. Once that mission was accomplished, she turned her attention to Vietnam War fatalities from her hometown of Hemet, Calif., which lost five soldiers to the war.
Moving from west to east, Hoehn has since discovered 7,000 photos from multiple states. Georgia is her current focus.
“The response has been amazing,” he said. “... All of these photos will be submitted to the Wall of Faces online memorial with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund website, as well as accompanying the (The Wall That Heals) that travels all over the U.S. 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.
Submit photos or information to Hoehn at email@example.com.
For more information about the Wall of Faces, visit www.vvmf.org/thewall.