Hoehn still needs one Selma veteran’s photo

Published 3:41 pm Friday, January 4, 2019

Janna Hoehn’s hunt for the photos of every deceased veteran whose name is etched into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. has garnered incredible support and rendered significant results.

Hoehn, a 28-year resident of Maui, Hawaii, visited the memorial about eight years ago and collected an etching of a random veteran – Gregory John Crossman – and decided to attempt to reach his family upon returning to her home.

After a long search, Hoehn found a photo of Crossman and submitted to the organization Faces Never Forgotten, which aims to attach a photo of each name on the memorial wall.

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The President and Founder of the memorial, Jan Scruggs, contacted Hoehn a few days later and asked her to assist finding the names of all 42 veterans from Maui lost in Vietnam.

“I [had] always hoped I could do something for the Vietnam veterans,” Hoehn said. “This was my chance.”

After a series of phone calls, yearbook and library dives, and eventually a story in the local newspaper, Hoehn was able to find a photo of all 42 veterans – after that, she decided to find the faces of the five soldiers who died in the war from her hometown in Hemet, California.

Fast forward to today and Hoehn has collected more than 6,000 photos from all across the United States and had her effort bolstered by news articles in papers across the country.

Of the 58,315 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, Hoehn and the Faces Never Forgotten organization have collected more than 53,000 photos.

“Putting a face with a name changes the whole dynamic of the wall,” Hoehn said. “It keeps our fallen heroes’ memories alive and will honor them. Our heroes’ stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

There are 11 Vietnam veterans from Dallas County who lost their lives during the war. Early last year, Hoehn was missing three photos from Dallas County – today, that number is down to only one.

“I do not wish for anyone to feel badly that their loved one [or] friend is not listed or forgotten,” Hoehn said. “We will never forget any of them.”

Freddie Lee Johnson was born Oct. 19, 1940 and died in Vietnam Dec. 7, 1966. He was a First Lieutenant in the Army Reserve.

According to Hoehn’s records, Johnson’s home was in Selma and he was married to Joan L. Johnson of Selma. His father and mother, Nelson and Mildred Johnson, were both from Selma and he is buried in Fairlawn Memorial Garden in Selma.

If you have a photo of Johnson, or know any further information about him, please contact Hoehn at neverforgotten2014@gmail.com or contact The Selma Times-Journal.