Former Iranian hostage buried in Kentucky Veterans Cemetery


RADCLIFF, Ky. — Donald Hohman, who was among the Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days between 1979 and 1981, was buried with his wife at a Kentucky veterans’ cemetery.

The couple, both 79, lived in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and died within days of each other this fall after contracting COVID-19, their daughter-in-law, Jocelyn Hohman, told the Lexington Herald-Leader. They were married for 52 years.

American Legion Station 113 in Hardin County helped arrange for a color guard and a piper to be present for Friday’s services, she said.

Donald Hohman, a retired chief warrant officer two, died Sept. 22, according to an obituary. Anna Hohman died Oct. 1, according to her obituary.

Jocelyn Hohman credited her stepfather’s stubbornness with helping her survive the ordeal. She said he went on hunger strikes and spent time in solitary confinement because of it.

“Instead of being scared there, he was angry,” Jocelyn Hohman said. “He gave them their money’s worth.”

The hostages were released the day President Ronald Reagan took office, January 20, 1981.

Hohman went on to receive the Soldier’s Medal, Purple Heart, Legion of Merit and other military honors, media reported.

In the years following the hostage crisis, Donald Hohman rarely spoke about his time in captivity, his daughter-in-law said.

“He kept it close to his chest, for the most part,” she said. “He had a lot of psychological trauma because of it.”

She described Anna Hohman as “a little powerhouse” who “kept the family together”.

“They were quite a team,” said Jocelyn Hohman, who is married to the couple’s son, Yuri, and lives in Elizabethtown.

Jocelyn Hohman said the family moved to Kentucky in 1998.

After retiring from a 25-year career in the military, Donald Hohman continued to work as a civilian at Fort Knox Hospital in Ireland until 2005, according to his obituary.

Donald Hohman had been vaccinated against the coronavirus, and Anna Hohman was “very careful” in her interactions with others during the pandemic, their daughter-in-law said.

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