Army veteran held hostage for 444 days laid to rest

Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 7:12 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 12, 2021 at 8:14 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Donald Hohman, an Army medic veteran, was laid to rest at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery in Radcliff on Friday as friends, family and even strangers watched on.

Hohman was one of 52 Americans taken hostage in 1979 at the U.S. Embassy in Iran. He was held for 444 days, released after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the president of the United States in 1981.

While held hostage, Hohman was the only medic at the embassy and risked his life to find medicine for a fellow hostage, likely saving their life. Six months following his release, he was awarded The Army’s Soldier Medal for his bravery, the highest honor possible for a soldier without having served in combat.

“You cannot be human, you can not be American if this doesn’t stir you to some degree,” Monica Ruehling, a Hohman family friend said.

Hohman died Sept. 22, 2021 in Elizabethtown. His wife, Anna died eight days after on Oct. 1. They were both 79.

Hohman and his wife were laid to rest at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery on Friday; their acts so heroic, even strangers showed up to pay their respects.

“444 days, I don’t think I would be able to survive that without any kind of help,” David Wallace, National President of the American Heroes Motorcycle Association and a paramedic said. “It takes a great man to be able to do that, and help others while doing that.”

Despite being a highly decorated veteran, Ruehling told WAVE 3 News Hohman was also humble and private, only disclosing certain aspects of what he suffered through while he was held hostage.

“It’s incredible the things that he went through and endured that none of us will probably ever know of, but also how strong his wife Anna was as well to be able to keep it all together,” Ruehling said. “And know that she had those two young boys to raise no matter what the circumstances. It just shows you an example how people are willing to do whatever they need to do for our freedom and for our country.”

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