Photos of GarCo Vietnam vets are found

Jim Smith
Picasa |

The virtual Vietnam Wall of Faces is two steps closer to completion after Janna Hoehn put out the call for pictures from Garfield County.

Hoehn’s hunt for photos of those who died in Vietnam has been featured in newspapers around the state, and her call for two missing men in Garfield County bore fruit.

Doris Farris Moser recognized Jim Smith as a classmate of her old sister at Roaring Fork High School. Although she didn’t know him well, she was able to locate his yearbook photo and submit it.

Phyllis Wittet was just 12 years old when Charles Adkins, a family friend who had lived with them for a few years, died in combat. The loss prompted her brother, Michael Gonzales, to enlist. He died in Bien Hoa little more than a year later.

“They say time heals, but that’s not true. The emotions are still all there as if it just happened.”Phyllis Wittet

“I remember getting the news about Chuck and trying to cope with that. Then, a year later, the serviceman came to the house for my brother,” Wittet said. “They died way too young.”

Wittet had tried to send in photos of the pair before without success, leaving Adkins’ entry blank and Gonzales’ with a scanned yearbook photo. She provided Hoehn with pictures of each in uniform, and they’re already online.

Like Hoehn, Wittet believes the photographs add a much-needed dimension to the memorial.

“It’s really kind of nice that you can put a face with that name. It helps other people see that these people were real, and they gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The way they were treated when they came home was uncalled for,” she said. “They say time heals, but that’s not true. The emotions are still all there as if it just happened.”

Although Garfield County is now officially complete, other locals may have enlisted elsewhere. In Colorado, 227 veterans remain without photos, including William L. Sandersen and Danny G. Schwartz in Pitkin County, as well as David C. Johnson, Philip D. Miller and Gary L. Trujillo in Mesa County.

To submit a photo, or to volunteer to assist in the search, email

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