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Voices of Maui By Norm Bezane
May 3, 2012 - Mark Vieth
Honoring Maui’s fallen in Vietnam: Kenneth Kaaihue
Some 50 years ago, 42 members of the armed forces from Maui lost their lives in the jungles of Vietnam. Until now, these Maui heroes, along with more than 58,000 fallen comrades, never got the recognition they deserved. Janna Hoehn is among scores of people around the country embarked on a massive project to find photographs of every Vietnam War solider killed in combat. Hoehn’s mission is finding photos of the Maui soldiers to be posted on a virtual Internet Wall and in Washington, D.C. Here is Janna’s report on one of these soldiers. For the complete story of this inspiring initiative, see my column in this week’s Lahaina News. This is Janna’s report on one such soldier, the first in a series to be posted here. “Kenneth Kaaihue (29). Kenneth is the one of the ‘4’ we had such a hard time finding relatives for. I spoke to several relations; however, they just didn’t have any photos and were unable to give me any further information. I decided to call Doreen one more time to see if she could think of anyone else who may have a photo… she called her sister on Oahu, who was never able to find one. Meanwhile, Jeanne found that Kenneth attended Lahainaluna High School. I contacted the yearbook teacher, and that day we had two photos of Kenneth. As a junior, he did not graduate Lahainaluna. It was stated that he also attended Honolulu Vocational School. Jeanne contacted them, and they provided us with a wonderful photo of Kenneth. He was in a carpentry program, was active in volleyball, student council and other sports.” Postscript: “When I took my display to St. Theresa Catholic Church for a presentation, a young woman came up to the display, put one hand on her heart, one over her mouth and said, ‘Oh my word, you found him…’ with tears in her eyes. She was one of the relatives that we had contacted that really tried to help us and just couldn’t find anyone who had a photo She wanted to know where we found it, as he was the baby of the family and so many of the older siblings had passed already. Her comment was, ‘He was so beautiful,” pointing him out to her young boys... Follow Norm’s blog at http://voicesofmaui.wordpress.com/.
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