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Searching for the fallen

Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 12:44 pm

Janna Hoehn is a 28 year resident of Maui, Hawaii. Eight years ago she and her husband made their first trip to Washington DC. Because Vietnam was the war that was going on while she was in high school, the first memorial on their list was the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Even though she never knew anyone killed in Vietnam, she wanted a rubbing of one of the names. She approached the Wall and chose a name…Gregory John Crossman… an MIA. When she returned home she decided to research Gregory and try to find his family, in the event they were never able to go to the Wall, she would send them the etching, hoping they would share a photo of Gregory.

Off and on for six months she researched every way possible and never found any family. She was quite disappointed, however, she had one more possibility – a cousin, the family historian – six weeks later she found a college photo of Gregory. Two years later Hoehn saw a story on her 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. She immediately sent in the photo she had of Gregory Crossman. Five days later she received an email from Jan Scruggs, the Founder and President of the Vietnam Wall. He thanked her for sending the photo, it was the first for this hero and asked if she could help him find the photos for the 42 Maui County Fallen that were killed in Vietnam. She said it would be an honor. She had always hoped to do something for the Vietnam Veterans as the way they were treated when they returned was disgraceful to her. Here was her chance.

What she thought would be a very easy project with Maui being so small was anything but. She combed the phone books calling every like name of each soldier and found about 10, then off to archived yearbooks for every high school on Maui where she found a few more; then to the library to look for obituaries and found three more. She went to the Maui News and they printed a front page article about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and the Education Center.

For the full article, pick up the latest Northumberland Echo 8/14/19

A recently discovered photo of United States Marine Paul Elden Jones of Kinsale.