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On the 22nd panel of the western portion of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., the names of two Arkansans are etched next to each other.

Danny Baker of Atkins and Hiris Blevins of Little Rock were both killed June 17, 1969 -- Baker in Kontom province and Blevins in Quang Nam.

Their names appear on the black wall in identical, nondescript white type. Baker is on line 62; Blevins is on line 63.

Online, it's a different story.

There's a photograph of Blevins in a foxhole on the virtual "Wall of Faces," maintained by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund on its website. His sister, son and a friend have written tributes that appear below his picture.

Under Baker's name, there's only generic messages written by strangers, and in place of a photograph, a black square with the inscription: "We need your help finding this person's photo."

As of last week, Baker was one of 121 Arkansans for whom no photo appeared, but a Hawaii florist is working to change that.

Janna Hoehn of Maui is one of several volunteers going state by state searching for photos of soldiers killed during the Vietnam War.

She's in a hurry, because at some point the online photo gallery will move into a museum that will be built on the National Mall in Washington. So Hoehn is making the same plea in Arkansas that she's made in more than a dozen other states: Please send photos.

"It just breaks my heart that we have wonderful photos for some and nothing for others," Hoehn said in a phone interview.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has attained approval to build an "interactive learning facility" directly across the street from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial.

Now the foundation is trying to raise the $130 million needed to construct the education center, which will be underground to avoid blocking sight lines across the National Mall. About $42.5 million has been raised, said memorial fund spokesman Heidi Zimmerman.

In addition to the photos of the more than 58,000 people listed on the Vietnam memorial wall, the center will display some of the hundreds of thousands of mementos left at the wall by family members and friends. Using voices of Vietnam veterans, fundraisers hope the center will provide a broad historical account of the war.

Organizers hope the Wall of Faces will include photos of all 595 Arkansans killed in the war. That's more likely than one might think, as volunteers have already found photos for every service member killed from 24 other states, Zimmerman said.

"We have incredible volunteers all across the country who are working on this project," Zimmerman said. "We also collect a photo or two at almost every The Wall That Heals, our mobile replica Wall, stop. To date, we've collected photos for 53,616 service members."

Hoehn helped complete 13 of those states, and she lacks only a handful of photos from Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma.

Her process is the same in each state. She contacts media outlets to try to get the names that are missing faces into the public. Then, she starts with libraries to search old obituaries for the people who still lack portraits.

Each state presents its own set of challenges, Hoehn said. In Louisiana for example, Hurricane Katrina destroyed many of the remaining photos of Louisiana natives killed in action during the Vietnam War.

Many times she has a crew of volunteers in the states. She calls them her "boots on the ground."

She's already begun receiving submissions from Arkansans. Lester King, 70, of Bradford sent Hoehn several photos of his brother, Johnny, after a friend showed him a newspaper clipping with Hoehn's contact information. Johnny King was killed on April 8, 1968.

King said his brother's death "tore up" his family, but he added that the Wall of Faces display is a "very nice" tribute.

When Hoehn first began her efforts, a fundraiser told her it was unrealistic to expect to find photos of every American service member killed in Vietnam. She took that as a challenge, and she has every intention of finding photos of all soldiers like Baker.

Hoehn asks any family members or friends with photos of fallen service members to ensure those photos have been included in the online gallery.

A searchable database can be found at: vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/.

If no photo appears or the photo is poor quality, pictures can be emailed to Hoehn at neverforgotten2014@gmail.com. She said any Arkansans who want to help her locate missing photos also can contact her.

Volunteers are always helpful, she said, especially for locating pictures of the last few casualties from each state.

"This is the most worthwhile work I've done in my life," Hoehn said.

Photographs sought of soldiers killed in Vietnam

This is a list of Arkansans killed in the Vietnam War for whom the Wall of Faces has no photograph. Family members or friends with photos can send them to neverforgotten2014@gmail.com.

Arkansas County

Edward Charles

Benton County

Robert Mitchell

Otis Plants

Archie Whaler

Bradley County

Jerry Ross

Chicot County

Jaye Sharpe

Columbia County

Williard Knippers

Charles Walker

Conway County

William Brooks

Craighead County

James Rone

Britt Tell Jr.

Crittenden County

Gary Cupples

Phillip Hardin

Robert Harris

Henry Johnson

James Lathon

Houston Thomas

Clarence Varnado

Richard Wilson Jr.

Cross County

Chester McDaniel

Desha County

Jerry Everett

Willie McGaughey

Drew County

Fred Craddock Jr.

Franklin County

John Schaffer

Garland County

Joe Hibbler Jr.

James Lloyd

Greene County

Randall Harvey

Hempstead County

James Helton

Hot Spring County

Jerry Dunlap

Clifford Mize

Howard County

Vernon Brown Jr.

Independence County

Gregory Gray

Troy Waters

Jackson County

William Roar

Joe Watson

Jefferson County

John Burnley

Robert Clark

Henry Kertis Jr.

McElree Mays Jr.

Willie Morgan Jr.

Edgar Simmons

Jesse Stribling

Solomon Thompson

Willie Torrence

Johnson County

Leroy Robbins

Lawrence County

Donald Hamilton

Larry Staggs

Lee County

Terry Bates

James Brown Jr.

Ernest May

Lincoln County

Michael Bailey

Sevier Gray Jr.

Charles White

Logan County

David Schluterman

Miller County

Odell Beasley

Horace Burton

Emmit Dansby

James Green

Earnest Hendrix

Mississippi County

William Brown

Joel Crockett

Robert Grant

Monroe County

Odes Jeffers

John Myers

James Northern Jr.

Olen Upshaw

Nevada County

Coney Ellis

Jay Norman

Ouachita County

Alvin Ford

Alvin Gordon Jr.

Perry County

Micheal Richards

Phillips County

Edward Bobo

Jerry Charlton

James Getter

Clarence Robinson

Le Young Jr.

Pike County

Arlis Branscum

Pope County

Danny Baker

James Keim

Prairie County

Charles Humble

Pulaski County

Roosevelt Clark

James Colwye

Billy Cunningham

Carl Downs

John Fudge

Willie Green Jr.

John Greene

Donald Harrell

John Houston

Marvin Houston

James Hughes

Otis Jones Jr.

Leverne McKinley

Willie Pippins Sr.

Robert Pugh

Ben Sheppard Jr.

Clarence Walker

Joel Williams Jr.

Randolph County

James Crawford

St. Francis County

Andrew Mills

Claude Rogers

Plummer Williams

Saline County

Douglas Carpenter

Delmar Crockett Jr.

John Harding

Sebastian County

Ledell Johnson Jr.

Sevier County

Billy McFalls

Sharp County

James Cochran

Union County

Fred Bridges Jr.

Jimmy Golden

Jerry Palmer

Washington County

Roy Lewis

Eugene Riley

Gordon Tefteller

White County

Clark Marsh

Larry Mitchell

Kenneth Russell

Michel Sublett

Woodruff County

Flemmon Freeman

Yell County

Jerry McDonald

Terry Williams

Metro on 10/22/2017

Print Headline: Search's goal is photos of fallen; 121 of state’s not in Vietnam array

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