‘Wall of Faces’ project seeks photos of two area soldiers killed in Vietnam

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, May 15, 2019

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A woman in Maui, Hawaii is part of a nationwide effort to find photos of the American soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Vietnam War. One soldier is from Crisp County; another is from Wilcox County.

For nearly a decade, Janna Hoehn has volunteered with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s “Faces Never Forgotten” project. The goal is to collect at least one photo for each soldier listed on the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C.

“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, and our heroes’ stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

Hoehn says the project lacks photos of just two soldiers from the Dispatch’s readership area: Marvin Dowdell (1946-1966) of Cordele and Thomas W. Staley, Jr. (1952-1972) of Abbeville. She’s reaching out through the Dispatch in the hope that a relative, former classmate, or an old friend – anyone, really – may have a photograph of either Staley or Dowdell.

“My plea is this:” she writes.

“If anyone is related, a friend, or a classmate to any of the young men on the list I would very much appreciate hearing from you. Even if you don’t have a photo but know which school any of these young men attended, it would be so helpful. We need to obtain a photo of every single fallen hero whose names are etched on the Wall, all 58,315 of them. To date we have collected over 53,000 photos.

“Please submit any photos or information to Janna Hoehn at neverforgotten2014@gmail.com.”

A total of six Dooly County men, eight Crisp County men, and three Wilcox County men are currently featured on the online Wall of Faces. Adding Staley and Dowdell’s photos will complete the list for the three counties. For more information about the Wall of Faces or to find photos of your loved ones, visit www.vvmf.org/thewall online.