Lewis Griswold

Vietnam Wall photo hunt nears completion for Fresno fallen

Janna Hoehn of Kihei, Hawaii looks at photos of the fallen from the Vietnam War.
Janna Hoehn of Kihei, Hawaii looks at photos of the fallen from the Vietnam War. Special to the Chronicle

The Maui florist who made it her personal mission to help collect photos of all 58,286 men and women named on “The Wall” in Washington, D.C., now needs only two from Fresno County.

They are:

▪ Robert L. Hudson, 1952-1970, Fresno (Army)

▪ Frank D. Williams, 1921-1964, San Joaquin (Army)

“The Vietnam veterans were treated so badly coming home,” Janna Hoehn said. “They deserve to be honored and remembered. I have always wanted to do something for Vietnam veterans; now I have my chance.​”

As photos come in from families, friends and supporters of the cause, she adds them to the Wall of Faces at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund website.

Five years ago, Hoehn threw herself into the photo project.

She started her quest in Hawaii and expanded to Montana, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho and South Dakota, which are complete, and Utah (one to go), Alaska (3), Colorado (6) and Washington (9). She also is working on California, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Two years ago, The Fresno Bee wrote a story about Hoehn collecting photos of the fallen from Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Madera and Merced counties.

At the time, she needed 146 photos of those not already on the Wall of Faces (296 men from the central San Joaquin Valley died in the war).

The photos started coming in. Kings, Tulare, Madera and Merced counties are complete.

Local volunteers helped her, especially military veteran Denis Jahn of Visalia.

Now only photos of the two Fresno County soldiers remain to be found.

Anyone who knows where to find them – in a high school yearbook, for instance – should contact Hoehn at neverforgotten2014@gmail.com.

K-9 KAYO: A retired K-9 named Kayo, who served with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department from 2006-12, has died, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said Friday.

Deputy Doug Burch at Visalia headquarters patrol was Kayo’s handler.

“Our hearts go out to Deputy Burch and all the K-9 handlers who worked with him and Kayo,” Boudreaux said.

Kayo was the first K-9 purchased with a Sence Foundation donation, and he was named for Sence President Kim Oviatt, thus Kayo.

Kayo, a Belgian Malinois, terrified suspects into surrendering.

“He had a bark and a growl that was extremely aggressive,” Burch said.

In one incident, a man wanted for a third-strike offense reportedly was prepared to put up a fight. Burch lowered the squad car windows and Kayo started barking.

“The suspect gave up and put his hands in the air,” Burch said. “I had more surrenders than bites with Kayo.”

At competitions, he routinely won the Agitators Choice award for being the hardest-hitting dog.

But at home, he was a gentle giant. Once, when Burch went to the backyard to get him ready for work, Kayo was lying in the grass as Burch’s daughter, 4, was finger painting on him.

The department is raising money to replace two K-9s who recently retired.

Donations can be sent to the Tulare County Deputy Sheriff’s Benevolent Association (“Tulare County K-9” written in the subject line) at 704 W. Main St., Visalia, CA 93291.

Lewis Griswold: 559-441-6104, @fb_LewGriswold