‘Faces Never Forgotten’ – Search for Vietnam Veteran Photos in Prowers County

Janna Hoehne

Janna Hoehne

Janna Hoehn has spent the past six years searching for photographs of Vietnam Veterans who died in that war.  Her quest began with a visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, DC.  Of the 58,300 soldiers who died, volunteer researchers have found 41,000 usable photos which will be permanently displayed at the Wall.  The project, “Faces Never Forgotten” for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, will put a face with every name that is etched on the Wall in Washington.  “What we plan to do is display everyone’s pictures on their birthday,” she explained, adding, “There’ll be digital pictures displayed in rotation each day in an adjacent facility to honor the fallen.”

Hoehn began her portion of the project in her home state of Hawaii and continued the project in California where she grew up.  She’s also been working to find pictures of Native American Soldiers and various newspapers have helped by running an article about her efforts in other states including Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon.  “I’ve collected 1,300 photos since May 2013.”  All 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 which will be adjacent to the Vietnam Wall.

“The photos don’t have to be military pictures,” she explained, but they do want them to be of good photographic quality, “When they become enlarged for display, we don’t want to lose any of the quality of the photograph, so it appears grainy.”  She has received pictures from high school or college yearbooks, from friends of the deceased or from family members, from some newspaper clippings or just about any source.  Her email request to The Prowers Journal focuses on the intent to honor those local soldiers who gave their lives in Vietnam.

Hoehn is searching for photos of two local soldiers.  They are Valentine Marquez from Wiley who died in 1965 and David L. Vigil of Granada who died in 1970.  Hoehn says she’s found six photos from the total of eight from the county who died in the war and is hoping friends or relatives of the family could provide her with those two pictures.  The other six soldiers who died in the war were all from Lamar and are:  Russell Shields, Lavoy McVey, Ralph Hirschler Jr, Frederick Manly, John Chavarria and George Harrington.  The website can be accessed through www.vvmf.org/thewall.  Click on ‘advanced search’ to the right of the regular search box and enter only Prowers County and Colorado and hit submit.  Any county in any state can be searched in this manner.  Specific names of soldiers can also provide information on the simple form.

Janna Hoehn would appreciate a response for the photos of Marquez and Vigil at her email at neverforgotten2014@gmail.com.  Additional information about the Education Center or to make a donation to help build the Center is available on the first website.  She said she’s also looking for a local volunteer to do some legwork in the county to help find these remaining photos.  She added, “We will never forget any of them.”

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: communityCountyEducationFeaturedGranadaHistoryHollyLamarProwers CountyWileyYouth


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