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Copyright Valley News & Clarinda Herald-Journal June 2013

t o n l l a h t s x i e S e e w f o r g Volum


2 June 2013

we shall not forget

Sue Anderson Clarinda

Don Allbee Shenandoah

Clarinda’s Anderson served as first female biomedical photographer

Allbee led convoys on dangerous Highway 13 during Vietnam war By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

Known as Thunder Road, Highway 13 was the main supply line north and south through Vietnam. Described as single-lane, dirt, and heavily potholed, it ran parallel to the Ho Chi Mihn trail. A dangerous place to be most times, this is the place Don Allbee spent most of his time during his Vietnam War tour in 1967-68. “I liked the Army and would have liked to have stayed in,� said Allbee, of Shenandoah. Born and raised in and around Southwest Iowa, it was in 1966 when Allbee received his draft papers. At the time he was working and living in Rockford, Ill. “I came to Omaha to get a physical and they kept me. I called her (wife, Lynn) and told her I was about to get on a train to Texas – to Fort Bliss for basic training,� Allbee recalled. Upon completion of basic training, All-

bee was sent to Fort Sill, Okla., for Advanced Individual Training (AIT). He passed with flying colors to be a forward observer. In fact, Allbee said his commanding officer said he was the only person to ever pass the forward observer course without a high school education. After classes at Fort Sill, Allbee was transferred to Fort Hood, Texas, where he received his orders for Vietnam. “I was pretty sure I’d probably go to Vietnam,� Allbee said. “The surprising thing to me was that I didn’t end up being a forward observer there, but instead on a M40 track vehicle.� A M40 track vehicle (tank), Allbee explained, was equipped with massive twinbarrel guns able to blow a hole in anything from miles away. Allbee started out driving the tank, and was eventually promoted to squad leader. “We mainly pulled guard duty on Highway 13; traveled up and down following convoys north and then back south protecting them.� Base camp was at Phu Loi, where Allbee recalled one time a mortar landed about six-feet away from him. When he felt spatter on his back, he was sure shrapnel had hit him. However, fortunately, the shrapnel turned out to be mud from the mortar land see ALLBEE, Page 26

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Although she never saw combat, Sue Anderson of Clarinda helped fight a very important battle during her fouryear military career. While serving in the United States Navy at the end of the Vietnam War, Anderson had to overcome several sexist views regarding the role of women in the military on her way to becoming the first female biomedical photographer. “I wanted to serve in combat, but women were not allowed to. So that was always disappointing for me,� Anderson said. “Still, I’m glad I did it and I would do it again. I am proud of the fact I was in the service because my family had served for so long.� Anderson said the members of her family had three choices of what to do after finishing high school – learn a trade, get married or join the military. Anderson said her grandfather and father each served in the Navy, while her older brother joined the Marines during Vietnam and her younger brother later joined the Coast Guard. “I am a strong believer in national service. If you want to be from the United States, I feel you should serve. I come from a family that has a strong military background and I believe serving makes you more appreciative of what you have,� Anderson said. Born in Los Angeles, Anderson graduated from Ventura High School in 1973. She then attended junior college for one year before making the decision to follow the example of her grandfather and father by enlisting in the Navy. “I wanted to help people and it was dur-

ing Vietnam, so I wanted to be a hospital corpsman. I was always interested in science,� Anderson said. “I wanted to go to hospital corps school, but I had to wait for an opening and was basically in the reserves for six months.� Then, in October 1974, Anderson reported to processing center in Los Angeles. From there she flew to Orlando, Fla., for basic training. Like the men, Anderson said the women participating in basic training learned how to load and shoot a weapon as well as how to swim and put out fires aboard ship. However, she also quickly learned there were differences between how the male and female trainees were perceived. “Things were still kind of sexist, so what I remember most are those differences. It was a co-ed base, but the women had their own washers and dryers and we were given ironing boards. We were expected to do our own laundry, while the men sent theirs out,� Anderson said. Women in the Navy also had a very specific uniform that they were required to wear. “They made us wear girdles and red lipstick as part of our uniform,� Anderson said. There was also a striking difference in the footwear men and women were allowed to wear as part of their uniform. When running the obstacle course men were allowed to wear tennis shoes, but women had wear flat leather shoes with slick bottoms. “We complained about the shoes and after a woman was hurt on the obstacle course we were able to get sneakers to wear,� Anderson said. Following basic training, Anderson attended the Great Lakes Hospital Corps School in Great Lakes, Ill. “I had never seen winter. I got there in January with no winter coat and the wind was blowing in off the lake,� Anderson recalled. While attending the co-ed school, Anderson was trained as a field medic. She said her schooling was similar to the training a Licensed Practical Nurse would receive along with training in triage care. see ANDERSON, Page 26


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we shall not forget

Ken Armstrong Shenandoah

Armstrong was a member of 23rd Infantry in jungles of Vietnam By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

For Ken Armstrong of Essex, Vietnam was no walk in the park, or jungle for that matter. At the age of 20, Armstrong, a father of three and grandfather of 9, was a member of the 23rd Infantry Division (Americal) stationed Chu Lai. “I’m proud I served, but I was only doing what I was told to do,� said Armstrong. A 1969 graduate of Shenandoah High School, Armstrong worked at Oakview Construction and at Imperial Chemical before getting his draft papers in May 1970. “I knew they were coming; I knew the summer after I graduated high school I’d be getting my notice eventually,� Armstrong recalled. Basic training was completed in Fort Lewis, Wash., followed by Advanced Individual Training in the infantry, also at Fort Lewis for four months. Having received his papers to go to Viet-

nam, Armstrong was granted furlough for 30 days and then reported to the replacement center at Oakland, Calif. On Oct. 13, 1970, Armstrong found himself aboard a commercial airliner enroute to Vietnam. He remembered it was pretty quiet on the way over with all those on board preparing for their tour in Southeast Asia. “We landed in Long Bien. I stayed at a replacement depot for a day waiting for my orders,� Armstrong said. “My orders were for the 1st Division, but when I got there they were all getting ready to go home.� Therefore, Armstrong’s orders were changed to the 23rd Infantry Division at Chu Lai. “I was placed on a resupply helicopter and flown into the bush. We met up with a group of guys there, where I was basically pushed off the plane into the middle of nowhere.� Armstrong said he will admit he was scared to death – here he was in a different country, in a war zone, with no body he had ever met before. Fortunately, he wasn’t along and made a lot of good, loyal friends while there. “They helped me out and showed me the way. After I had been there for a while I made sure I did that as well for all the new guys.� see ARMSTRONG, Page 34

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June 2013 3

John Aucker Clarinda

Clarinda’s Aucker trained to use Patriot Missile By KENT DINNEBEIR Staff Writer-Clarinda Herald-Journal

Clarinda veteran John Aucker was one of the first soldiers in the United States to be trained on the most identifiable weapons system of Operation Desert Storm. While stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, in November of 1987, Aucker was a member of the first unit in the Army to be trained on the Patriot Missile System. It took the unit nearly one and one-half years to become certified as a Patriot Unit. “We underwent field training for about a year and then had our certifications,� Aucker said. “It was just awesome to realize how much firepower they had and to see the missiles themselves. It was a very good experience and I learned a lot down there. I received numerous awards for helping to train the unit and was promoted to sergeant.� After completing the training, Aucker was sent to Germany in 1989. That unit was later deployed as part of the first Gulf War in 1991 and Aucker spent six months in Iraq. “When I heard our unit was being deployed, I was scared to say the least. Yet, at the same time, I was excited because I thought I would get a chance to use my military training,� Aucker said. A Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Specialist, Aucker spent much of his time in Iraq training soldiers on the proper actions to take if they came under chemical or biological attack from the Iraqi army. He also helped maintain equipment for the cannon battalion he was serving with and served on perimeter patrols established around the location of his unit. During his time in Iraq, Aucker also had the opportunity to see the Patriot Missiles

he had been trained on perform under combat conditions. “We saw them being fired from a distance. It was nice to see them in action and everyone was kind of in awe of the way they worked,� he said. Born in Williamsport, Pa., Aucker enlisted in the Army in April of 1982. He completed basic training and received his Military Occupational Specialty training as a cannon crewmember at Fort Sill, Okla. Aucker was then sent to Bindlach, Germany. Since the Cold War was still in effect, Aucker said every six months his unit received a 30-day deployment to patrol the border between East Germany and West Germany. “We used to watch the East Germans looking back at us through binoculars and we kind of teased each other,� Aucker said. After spending two years in Germany, Aucker was transferred to Fort Campbell, Ky., in 1984 and spent two years there attending air assault school. As part of that training Aucker learned to repel from helicopters and how to load equipment to the bottom of helicopters for transport in rapid deployment situations. Then, in July of 1986, Aucker was reclassified as a NBC at Fort McClellan, Ala., and was then deployed to the Republic of Korea. He served as the company NBC Non-commissioned Officer with the 2nd Infantry Division, which assisted with guarding the Demilitarized Zone. After completing his one year of service in Korea, Aucker started his training on the Patriot Missile System. Following his six-month deployment in Iraq, he returned to Fort Sill in 1991 and spent seven years there serving with various units. However, in 1998, Aucker returned to Korea for one year with a signal battalion. He served as the Battalion NBC NCO and oversaw the NBC NCO for each company in the battalion. In 1999, Aucker received orders to return to Fort Campbell and was assigned to the 101st Adjutant General Company as the NBC NCO. Then, in February of 2001, he was deployed to Kosovo for six months as see AUCKER, Page 26


we shall not forget

4 June 2013

Frank Bayless Shenandoah

Shenandoah’s Bayless served as a cryptologist aboard the USS Essex By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

When Frank Bayless of Shenandoah talks about his time in the service, he can’t help but smile a little bit. “It was a good experience,� said Bayless. “I recommend it to others depending on their circumstances. If they’re not sure what they want to do with their lives, why, it’ll help them decide what they want to do, and maybe what

they don’t want to do.� A Coin native, Bayless graduated from Coin High School in 1951. He then continued his education at Northwest Missouri State University, where he obtained degrees in history and political science. He graduated with honors from NWMSU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1955. Bayless was drafted and reported to Fort Omaha, where he was given the option of being in the Navy or Army. “I chose the Navy because boot camp was in San Diego, where I’d train at Fort Riley (Kansas) or Fort Leonard Wood (Missouri) if in the Army; it was the middle of winter and I didn’t want to go where it’d be cold,� said Bayless. Following boot camp in San Diego, Bayless was assigned to the USS Essex, an aircraft carrier. see BAYLESS, Page 38

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Ron Bitting Clarinda

Bitting’s time in Army paved way for career By KENT DINNEBEIR Staff Writer-Clarinda Herald-Journal

The two years Ron Bitting of Clarinda spent in the United States Army helped pave the way for his career as a lawyer. Bitting served in the Army from 1967 to 1969 and then used his G.I. Bill to attend law school at Drake University. Since then, he has enjoyed a long and successful law career as a partner of the Clarinda firm Turner, Jones and Bitting. “It is a very good thing for the veterans to be able to utilize the G.I. Bill and any other benefits they have. As a public, we shouldn’t mind paying for any of that because any benefits they receive they’ve earned,� Bitting said. “These guys took an oath to protect and preserve the Constitution. The American people need to remember that.� Originally from Columbus Junction, Bitting graduated from high school in 1963 and then attended the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. He was drafted by the Army approximately one month before graduating from college. Therefore, at the height of the Vietnam

War, Bitting reported to basic training at Fort Campbell, Ky., in July 1967. “I was proud to go and serve my country,� he said. After completing basic training, Bitting spent a year at Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County, Va. During that time he was assigned to the Pentagon and worked in atomic demolition. “Our platoon supervised where atomic material was and where it was going to go. You had to have a top security clearance and it was interesting stuff,� Bitting said. However, in 1968, Bitting was shipped to Vietnam for a one year tour of duty. A foot soldier, Bitting initially patrolled the area near Saigon and later was sent north to Da Nang. He was also in Vietnam during a portion of the Tet Offensive. “When I arrived in Vietnam, I wondered what I was doing there,� Bitting said. “I was never involved in the planning and inside operations of what we were doing there. We just did our jobs.� Looking back on his time in the Army, Bitting said the military made him “grow up in a hurry.� Time has also given him a profound sense of respect for all veterans who have served their country and prompted him to become a member of American Legion Sergy Post 98 in Clarinda. “Helping others through organizations like the American Legion is a responsibility all the veterans have,� Bitting said. “We also need to make sure we keep the military strong. We don’t need to be cutting back because people have no idea what those consequences could be.�


we shall not forget

Paul Boysen Clarinda

Boysen served as Army Intelligence during Vietnam By KENT DINNEBEIR Staff Writer-Clarinda Herald-Journal

Paul Boysen of Clarinda could talk the talk, but he never had to prove that he could walk the walk. A member of the United States Army from 1968 until 1971, Boysen studied Vietnamese at the Defense Language Institute and then served with the 218th Military Intelligence Detachment at Fort Bragg, N.C. He was initially assigned to the interrogation section and was the only Asian language speaker in the section. However, soon after, Boysen was sent to headquarters where he was made a detachment clerk overseeing approximately 80 officers and 24 enlisted soldiers. “What I enjoyed most was working with Army Special Warfare. I had to go there several times to work with the medics and taught them basic Vietnamese,” Boysen said. “I also did a lot of traveling and training with other units, both in terms of interrogation and language skills, but I spent most of my time on the east coast.” Although Boysen was never sent to Vietnam, serving on the east coast was still a long way away from his small hometown of Jesup in northeast Iowa. During his freshman year of high school Boysen moved to Waterloo and graduated from Columbus High School in 1964. He then enrolled at what is now known as the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. A month before he was due to finish his degree, Boysen made the decision to enlist in the Army and was inducted Aug. 6, 1968, at Fort Des Moines. “I knew it was just a matter of time so I figured it was better to go on my own. I checked and the only branch I could get into before I was drafted was the Army,”

Boysen said. “That was the only one where I could sign on the dotted line before I was drafted. They told me I would probably be drafted in July. I had to do an extra year, but I knew what I was going to do.” Or at least he thought he did. Boysen said his dream was to learn Arabic at the Presidio in San Francisco. Instead, after completing his basic training at Fort Polk, La., Boysen was sent to the Defense Language Institute at Fort Bliss, Texas, to study Vietnamese. “That’s what I was trying not to get tangled up in, but it’s the Army and when they tell you to go, you go,” Boysen said. Over the next 47 weeks Boysen was trained in the language by actual Vietnamese speaking instructors and received a language rating of 96. While half of the 60 students in the program were then sent to Vietnam, Boysen was among the soldiers sent to Fort Mead, Md., for interrogation training. After two months of training, approximately half of those 30 students were sent to Vietnam, while Boysen and the rest reported to Fort Holabird in Baltimore, Md. Those soldiers attended the Army Intelligence School and were trained to serve as non-commissioned intelligence officers in Vietnam. “There was a mixture of officers and enlisted men. That was probably the best training I had in the Army. It was very professional and everyone took it really seriously,” Boysen said. While most of the training took place in a classroom setting, Boysen said the soldiers also received practical intelligence training. “We went to Baltimore and learned how to follow people. We stood out like a skunk at a garden party with our short hair and all, but it was always an interesting experience,” he said. Finally, in May 1970, Boysen was one of five soldiers assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C. He remained there until May 31, 1971, when he was discharged from the military. “At that particular time in my life I did not really enjoy my time in the service, but see BOYSEN, Page 26

June 2013 5

Bill Braymen Shenandoah Braymen served in Navy at Glenview NAS By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

Born and raised a farm kid in rural Shenandoah, Bill Braymen loves to be outside working with his hands. Oddly enough, that’s exactly what he did during his three years in the Navy as a station keeper at Glenview Naval Air Station in a suburb of Chicago. Although it was closed down in 1995, it supported Naval Air Reserve and Marine Air Reserve/4th Marine Aircraft Wing units, as well as an active duty Coast Guard Air Station. “It was considered the “Little Washington” of the Naval Reserves even though today it’s gone,” said Brayman. “That station was the head station of 29 stations all over the United States. We had brass everywhere. Usually a base will have one Captain, but we had three, as well as an Admiral, General, Colonel and 300 officers in CIC school.”

Braymen, a Shenandoah High School graduate, first joined the Naval Reserves his senior year and eventually enlisted in the Navy. He served for three years. “It was a good experience,” said Braymen. “ For the most part, Braymen said he worked in public works and housekeeping. “We had all these departments in our station; transportation, a gas station, sanitation. There were about 30 of us in our outfit, which was the smallest department in our station,” he said. Braymen said he enjoyed working there, especially roads and grounds where he ran a snow-go that cleared the runways of snow or in the summer when he mowed down in the runways. “I also ran the street sweepers to keep stones off the runway. I had all the nice toys,” he chuckled. Additionally, they performed maintenance and repairs on 17 houses on the base that were lived in by officers. However, he and his wife, Shirley, lived off base in a mobile home. “Shirley got a job with Encyclopedia Britannica, which was great because she was the bread-winner.” Discharged in June 1958, Braymen remained in the Reserves for five years. In see BRAYMEN, Page 38

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6 June 2013

we shall not forget

Parker Butcher Shenandoah Butcher worked in electronics while in Navy By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

If Parker Butcher of Shenandoah had his way, every youth would have to serve at least one year in the military following high school graduation. He said it would provide youth with discipline, responsibility, and respect. “I think it ought to be mandatory that everybody has to do,” said Butcher of the military. “It makes a person get their act together.” For Butcher, he enlisted in the Navy a year after graduating with the Atlantic High School Class of 1961. He explained he chose the Navy because he had relatives that had served or were serving in the time in that branch. “After school I worked at Safeway for about a year and worked at a print shop for about three months and was going to get drafted so I enlisted in the Navy,” Butcher said. Boot camp was in San Diego, Calif. and was a memorable experience for Butcher because of the weather. “The winter of 62-63 it rained every other day. We all had bronchitis and walking pneumonia and strep throat. I went home on leave for Christmas and finally got the strep throat taken care of,” Butcher recalled. Following boot camp, Butcher went to A School in fire control from March to August of 1963 in Bainbridge, Md. “I learned basic electronics and electricity,” Butcher said. Other schools Butcher completed were Terrier, Tartar, and Test Set maintenance; ATC School, SRSC1 School; ANSPS42, finding radar school. All of that schooling and training allowed Butcher to get a fantastic job at Northwestern Bell after he was discharged. “I went to the top of the pay scale because they didn’t have to train me in electronics or

electricity.” It was then Butcher was assigned to the USS Topeka, a light cruiser. He liked life aboard the ship, even when the ship passed through two typhoons, one that lasted three days. “There was just something about it,” he said. “I loved the ocean.” His second day on the ship, it took off from Long Beach, Calif. to Pearl Harbor. “The first couple days I was a little woozy, but I never got sea sick.” There were roughly 1,100 people on the Topeka where Butcher worked on missile computers, directional equipment, radar and weapons. “I liked what I did.” The first cruise, which hit the ports of Guam, Manila, Subic Bay, Hong Kong, Singapore, Okinawa, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Sasebo, lasted seven months. The second cruise, which followed the same route approximately, was from six months. “Manila was quite a place to go,” Butcher recalled of the ports. “In Manila the white crosses at the cemetery for those that died in World War II was breathtaking.” Additionally, Butcher said he distinctly recalls being surprised the people of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were so kind to Americans, despite the outcome of World War II. One more thought that sticks out in Butcher’s mind were when they sailed up to Washington State. “We were the first Navy ship to go up the Columbia River since World War II and we went to Portland Rose Festival. Portland rolled out the red carpet for us, I do remember that.” After three years and 10 months, Butcher was discharged early from the Navy so he could attend school at Iowa State University. However, college wasn’t the right step for him and eventually, he obtained at position at Northwestern Bell, which was later called US West, where he maintained the central office switching equipment and long distance wire and fiber optic system for 30 years. He retired from 1997. A widower, his beloved wife, Connie, see BUTCHER, Page 34

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

Bud Cooper Shenandoah

Shen’s Cooper served in Navy and Air Force By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

If you were to ask Bud Cooper about his time in the military, he’ll adamantly deny he did anything of importance. However, as an auto mechanic and later, working on the flight line in aircraft equipment, I’m sure others would beg to differ. “I’m not even close to being a hero of any sort,” said Cooper. “The heroes are the guys over in Afghanistan.” Regardless of heroics, Cooper served in the military during the tail end of World War II and again during the Korean Conflict- totaling more than 20 years. “I think all young kids should be in the service for a couple years to straighten their heads out,” said Cooper. Born and raised in Shenandoah, Cooper enlisted in the Navy in late 1945 after receiving his draft notice in the Army. Since they didn’t need enlisted men at the time, he was placed in the Naval Reserves. He completed boot camp in Santi-

ago, Calif., and then was sent to San Francisco where he was assigned to the USS Chenango, an aircraft carrier, headed for Boston to get decommissioned. “To get to Boston, we had to go through the Panama Canal,” recalled Cooper. “The Chenango was a converted oil tanker and was used as a support carrier with oil and airplanes. As we were lowered on the Atlantic side of the canal, the flight deck was too wide and we drug on the canal sides, which bent the anti-aircraft gun mounts on the side of the ship. I remember the ship really shuttered.” When the ship reached Boston, it was decommissioned and Cooper was sent to Minneapolis to be discharged; since by this time World War II was over. However, Cooper’s time in the military was far from over. “I received my draft notice again in 1951, but this time I joined the Air Force,” he said. “January 1, I was sent to Camp Stoneman Calif., for shipment to Korea.” Cooper landed at Higashi, Japan and rode a Japanese train through the town of Nagasaki, where the Atom Bomb was dropped at the end of WWII. “The area was flattened for the most part, but every once in a while you’d see a portion of a building. It didn’t look like they had cleaned up any of it at all.” The group aboard the train traveled see COOPER, Page 27

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we shall not forget

Henry DeLong Shenandoah

DeLong’s served together during cold war in Germany By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

Henry DeLong and his wife, Mary, were a young couple, just married, when he was assigned to Bamberg, Germany, as a member of the 8th Army. However, that experience was not only good for each of them as individuals, but played a part in the couple celebrating 56 years of marriage this year. “We had to learn to depend on each other because that’s all we had,” said Henry. A Thurman native, Henry was working construction in Sheldon when he received his draft papers. By this time, he and Mary had been married for three years. “When we were married, he was 20, I was 16,” said Mary. “We met at a dance in Riverton.” Henry completed basic training at Fort Riley, Kan, followed by Advanced Individual Training (AIT), also at Fort Riley. He then received orders for Germany. “I got to Germany in April 1960,” said Henry. “I was in the weapons platoon, which supported the infantry.” “I came over a few months later,” added Mary. “He called me and said either I come over there, or he was going AWOL and coming home.” Once settled in Germany, the couple lived off base. Henry said most of the time he and the other members of his company trained and went on maneuvers. “This was during the Cold War,” said DeLong. “They built the Berlin Wall while we were over there.” “Even though there wasn’t a war going on, it was still a dangerous time,” said Mary. “There was a lot of turmoil during that time.” Regardless, Henry and Mary said they

liked living in Germany and found the country to be friendly and beautiful. “It was a good experience,” said Mary. The couple was in Germany for nearly two years when Henry received orders to return to the States and be discharged. “Looking back, I wish I would have stayed in,” he said. Before settling in Shenandoah in 1965, the couple lived in Rockford, Ill., for three years. It was when Mary became pregnant with their first child, when they decided to return to Southwest Iowa. “I didn’t want to raise my kids there,” said Henry. “It was too close to Chicago,” added Mary. Henry worked in the heating and air conditioning business and has since retired. He and Mary are parents of two children, Rena and Chris, and spend a lot of time with their five grandchildren, Colin, Ryan, Katy, Steven and Jonathan. “I recommend the service,” said Henry.

June 2013 7

Joe Dinville Shenandoah

Dinville served in France, Germany during World War II By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

Joe Dinville of Shenandoah has a heart of gold and infectious sense of humor. However, that might not have always been the case; especially when trekking across Europe during World War II as a member of the 63rd infantry division. “I was lucky,” said Dinville of his WWII experience. A 1939 graduate of Randolph High School, Dinville farmed following high school. In the fall of 1942, he received his draft papers. “I knew it was coming; everybody was getting one,” Dinville said of his draft papers. While Joe reported for induction, his younger brothers George and Tony harvested his crops for him. “About two months later, they received their draft papers,” Dinville recalled. Basic training was at Fort Blanding, Fla. Dinville said he didn’t mind the weather in Florida, however, he did mind the snakes.

“Snakes were everywhere.” Following training in Florida, Dinville completed additional training in Camp Carson, Colo., for intelligence corps. Training was also conducted in New York City and Mississippi. “I was well-trained, but they put me in a job that demanded a little bit of training.” Members of the intelligence corps, he explained, gathered information and gave it out as needed, such as where an enemy was located. “I enjoyed it.” Dinville received his order for Europe in 1943. He said it took 10 days to cross the ocean. Lucky for him, he didn’t get seasick. “I spent most of the time on deck, where there was fresh air.” The ship landed on the French coast in the town of Marseilles. After gathering their equipment, they started marching through Europe. In the intelligence corps, Dinville said at times they were in front of the infantry troops and other times, behind. “There were five of us that mostly worked together,” he said. While in France, Dinville said he looked up his father’s sister, who lived in Paris. “We had a meal together, said Dinville of the time spent with his aunt. “My dad was from a small town south of Paris. He came over to America, landed in New Orleans see DINVILLE, Page 34

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8 June 2013

Ron Embree Shenandoah

Thurman’s Embree lost his life in Vietnam By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

Ronald Eugene Embree, or Ronnie, as his friends and family called him, was a smart, kind, funny kid, with the world at his fingertips and endless possibilities of leaving his mark on this world. However, 21 days before his 21st birthday, on Jan. 9, 1970, Ronnie died after stepping on a booby trap while in Duc Pho, South Vietnam, as a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, 11th Brigade, American Division. “It was devastating,� said Ronnie’s sister, Beulah Heidvogel. “It was like a bad dream.� Ronnie was born on Jan. 30, 1949 in Moberly, Mo. When he was only eight months old, his parents separated and his mother, Kathleen Embree, moved to Thurman with her children. “Ronnie had a typical happy childhood, even though at times it was difficult for our mother to provide as a single mother,� recalled Beulah. Ronnie, Beulah, and their brother, Lee, all

attended Thurman Grade School and then Fremont-Mills High School, where he excelled in basketball, track, and football. “Ronnie got great grades and was athletic,� said Lee. “He was also very well-liked.� Following Ronnie’s graduation in 1967 he lived with his uncle for a short time in Soda Springs, Idaho, but once he returned, he signed up for classes at Iowa Western Community College in Clarinda. “Ronnie worked at Missouri Beef Packers until he was drafted in February 1969. He completed basic training at Fort Ord, California,� Beulah recalled. “He did well in basic training and had an opportunity to become an officer, but he didn’t want to extend his time in the service. I often wonder if had, would he be here today.� Assigned to Fort Lewis, Wash., by Sept. 9, 1969 Ronnie started his tour in Vietnam. Four months to the day he arrived in Vietnam, Ronnie was killed in the Quang Ngai Province. “When Ronnie was killed, his troop had been taken out of the field to be security for some engineers who were building a road. The platoon officer thought this would be an escape from nightly ambushes and daily patrols in the field. I had received a letter from Ronnie saying they were to have some easy duty in a few weeks and that he was looking forward to it,� said Beulah. see EMBREE, Page 27

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Fred Eno Shenandoah

Eno can’t escape Battle of the Bulge memories By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

Even though it has been 60 years since Fred Eno was at the Battle of the Bulge during World War II, memories of what he encountered still leave him speechless. A member of the 75th Infantry Division, Eno was in Europe for roughly six months as a platoon sergeant of a combat rifle platoon that followed Sherman tanks through Germany, Belgium, France and England. “I’m lucky to be alive,� said Eno, a resident of Shenandoah. “There had to have been a higher power watching over me.� A native of Villisca, Eno graduated Villisca High School in 1943. He attended one year of college and was then drafted into the Army. “We all knew draft papers were coming,� Eno recalled. “I was 18 when I received mine.� Basic training was held at Fort Sheridan, Ill., Camp Carson, Colo., and Fort Hood, Texas for Eno, who was assigned to the Infantry. When training was completed, Eno boarded the Queen Mary headed for England. He said there were roughly 35,000 military personnel on the ship. When the Queen Mary landed in England, Eno said he and other soldiers were loaded into cattle cars on trains, referred to as 40 and 8 for their ability to haul 40 men or eight horses. “We were packed in there pretty tight,� Eno said. The train ended up in Germany along the

Rhine River. “Have you ever heard of the Remagen Bridge? We crossed it into Belgium where the Battle of the Bulge was.� It’s difficult for Eno to talk about what he saw, and heard during the Battle of the Bulge. He recalled the weather was bitter, like an Iowa winter. He also said they once cam across a castle, which they took over for one night. “It was like something out of a storybook. It had a moat and a Coat of Arms. I remember they had large velvet drapes in the windows that we took down and used as blankets.� Eno spent the Christmas of 1944 fighting in WW II and said he was in Europe when he heard Franklin Delano Roosevelt had died. “It came over the news.� Although Europe is quite large in size, there were two times Eno saw people he knew from the United States. Once in Belgium he had a pass to go to Brussels and he went into a nightclub and saw the manager of the grocery store where he worked in high school. He also saw a girl he knew from college who was working for the Red Cross serving coffee and donuts. “It’s a small world.� After two-and-a-half years, Eno was discharged from the Army. In 1948, he married Arlene, who passed away several years ago. Fred ran a successful furniture store in Villisca for numerous years before he and Arlene retired to Arizona. Fred only recently moved to Shenandoah. Fred and Arlene were parents of two sons, Mark and Curt, as well as grandparents and even great-grandparents. However, sadly, Curt passed away not too long ago. An avid reader and golfer, Fred received a Bronze Star, two campaign battle stars and a combat infantry badge during WWII. “The service was a good experience, but I wouldn’t want to do it again; however, it was worthwhile at the time,� Eno said.


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June 2013 9

Andrew Freeman Shenandoah Stephen Fulton Shenandoah Freeman served as aircraft rescuer Fulton was computer program analyst in Air Force while in Army By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

As Andrew Freeman reflects on his time in the Army, he can’t help but chuckle and smile. Despite having a dangerous specialty as an aircraft rescuer and firefighter, Freeman said some of the best days of his life occurred when he was in the service. “I’d do it all again and wouldn’t change a thing,” said Freeman. “It was a very good expe-

rience.” Born and raised in the Omaha, Council Bluffs area, Freeman attended Thomas Jefferson High School. He enlisted in the service in 1978, his junior year and completed boot camp the summer between his junior and senior year at Fort Dix, N.J. Following his graduation from T.J. in 1979, Freeman attended eight weeks of aircraft crash rescue and firefighter school at Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois. He was then assigned to the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell, Ken., in crash rescue and fire fighting. “We were on 24-hours and off 24-hours,” Freeman recalled. “We’d maintain equipment, train, and be on call in case of a crash or fire.” see FREEMAN, Page 38

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As a computer program analyst in the Air Force, Stephen Fulton of Shenandoah said he never regretted one minute of his time in the military. In fact, Fulton said if it were possible, he’d enlist again, today. “I learned discipline, respect and got a great education, for free,” said Fulton. Additionally, Fulton said he met a lot of interesting people and traveled while in the service. “I’d recommend it to everyone,” Fulton said. “I had every intention of being a 30 to 40-year person, as long as they’d let me stay in, because I just loved it.” Born and raised in the Tabor area, Fulton’s family moved to California when he was a freshman in high school. “My father had gone out to California to visit his sister and while there was offered a job. He worked as a supervisor on the production of the missile that took John Glenn into space,” Fulton said. “My dad knew all of the first seven astronauts. He not only built the missiles, but went with them to be delivered.” Fulton graduated from Coronado High School in 1960, but knew he wanted to be in the military before them. Initially he leaned toward joining the Navy, but would end up in the Air Force. “Coronado is where the Naval Air Station is and that’s probably what got me interested in the military.” After one year of college, Fulton enlisted and completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. He then attended eight weeks of computer operator school in Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. His first duty assignment was at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Ariz.,

where he remained for almost five years. “What I was trained on was really wasn’t even a computer, it was an accounting machine. It had a plugboard that had 2,500 holes and we were taught to wire them, and that was how you programmed that thing to print your reports. I spent eight weeks doing that and my first duty assignment they didn’t have an accounting machine, they had an actual computer – so it was on the job training,” Fulton recalled. Wanting an overseas assignment, Fulton said he volunteered for anything, anywhere, including Southeast Asia. “Ultimately, I did get a foreign assignment, I was transferred to Washington D.C.,” he chuckled. By that time, Fulton had been crosstrained to being a computer program analyst. He explained the analyst part designs the software and the programmer writes it. “In the Air Force it was a combination, you designed it and you wrote it.” Fulton’s main assignment in Washington D.C. was as project leader for the rewriting of software for the accounting, finance and payroll. Fulton explained headquarters was going from computers that used a reel of tape to computers with a hard drive for the Air Force. The task was to take 30-months, but he and the seven programmers he worked with got it done in 24 months. For completing the job ahead of schedule, Fulton was awarded an Air Force Commendation. The office they worked in was in the suburbs of our nation’s capital, not on a military base and Fulton said because the Vietnam War wasn’t a popular endeavor; they wore civilian clothes to and from the office each day. He also recalled when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, they were told to go home, lock their doors and not come back to work until they called. “The rioting was all over and it wasn’t safe, especially for military people. I was home for 10 days.” Because of a medical issue with his daughter, Fulton decided to get out of the military. He then went to work for a bank see FULTON, Page 34


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10 June 2013

Kenny Gleason Shenandoah

Ross Garreans Shenandoah

Gleason served in ‘Nam with 497th Engineers

Garreans served in World War II despite disability By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

Despite only having one eye, Ross Garreans of Sidney, served in the Army during World War II. Even more interesting is that Garreans wasn’t the only F4 man in his transportation company with what some might consider a debilitating injury. In fact, Garreans said the entire company was made up of men with one kidney, one eye,

or even one leg. “It was important that I served,� said Garreans. “I’m glad I did.� A native of Thurman, Garreans lost his left eye in a rifle accident in 1937. When his draft papers arrived in 1942, Garreans knew he’d be determined as unfit for the military because of his eye. However, much to his surprise, he was sworn in at Camp Dodge on Aug. 1, 1942. On Aug. 15, Garreans was at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., starting basic training. It was there something odd occurred. “About 24 names were called out, mine being one of them. We were then put on a troop train; in an air-conditioned car, with a black porter to wait on us. We traveled from Leavenworth to Seattle like that; it was real nice,� Garreans said. “It took us four days to get see GARREANS, Page 38

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A member of the WilliamsJobe Gibson Post No. 128 in Sidney since 1965, Kenny Gleason of Essex believes joining the military makes a person better in some ways. “It helps you grow up, in a hurry,� said Gleason. “It also teaches you respect and discipline.� Gleason himself was a member of the 497th Engineering PC (Port Construction) for two years, eight months of that in Vietnam. “The biggest thing over there was you didn’t know who the enemy was,� recalled Gleason. “They had no value for human life what-so-ever.� Born and raised in rural Shenandoah, Gleason was drafted in 1963 at the age of 22. “I originally tried to enlist in the Air Force with Donny Jenkins on the buddy system, but I have a bad eye and flat feet. However, when my draft papers came, the Army only cared that I was warm,� he said. “They checked my eye and my flat foot and it didn’t seem to bother them.� Basic training was completed at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., followed by Military Occupation Specialty as a heavy truck driver. He was then assigned to Fort Belvoir, Vir. “We were there until March of 1965 when we flew from Virginia to Oakland, California and boarded a ship for Vietnam – the whole company, the 497th Engineering PC,� Gleason said. “We went on a troop ship and there was another ship that took all of our equipment over.� The ship docked in Nha Trang, where

Gleason said they remained for a couple months. They then moved to Cam Ranh Bay where the company began building ports, helicopter pads, landing strips and whatever else needed to be built. “We lived in tents, right out on the sand. We worked 18-hours a day, six-and-a-half days a week in shifts.� In addition to building pads, strips and ports, Gleason said they took turns taking guard duty. “I was a Specialist 4th Class by then so I was a duty driver and drive the old guards in and the new guards out.� What Gleason remembers most about Vietnam is how it rained every day from around 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. during the monsoon. “You could set your watch to when it’d start raining. It’d just pour down rain and then quit.� He also said he distinctly remembers the smell of rotting vegetation. “It was terrible and permeates everything. It wasn’t in Cam Ranh Bay, but out by the rock deposits where to bring back to the port.� Lastly, he said it never got real cold; maybe 65 degrees at most. “I don’t remember it ever getting real cold, but when I got home in November, that whole winter I couldn’t get warm.� While serving in Vietnam, Gleason said the camaraderie was fantastic with everyone looking out for one another. “You didn’t dare salute an officer – snipers would tie themselves in trees and if they saw you salute someone, they’d shoot them.� In November 1965, after eight months in Vietnam, Gleason returned to the States and was honorably discharged from the Army in Oakland, Calif. He has been married to his wife, Jackie, for 46 years. The couple has two daughters, Melissa Thomas and Julie Hamilton; as well as two grandchildren, Aleah and Alex. “I’d recommend the service,� said Gleason.


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Josh Haffner Clarinda

Clarinda’s Haffner served aboard USS Carl Vinson By KENT DINNEBEIR Staff Writer-Clarinda Herald-Journal

As a crewmember aboard the USS Carl Vinson, Josh Haffner of Clarinda was among the first people to provide humanitarian aid to Haiti after an earthquake devastated the country in 2010. The USS Carl Vinson departed from Norfolk, Va., Jan. 9, 2010, on a cruise around the southern tip of South America and was then to continue on to San Diego. However, three days after the aircraft carrier left port its mission was changed by the earthquake. “We pulled into Mayport, Fla., to change our supplies for medical supplies. We unloaded about 30 jets and added 10 helos along with medical supplies and medical personnel,” Haffner said. “We left Florida and got to Haiti in about 10 hours. We were hauling and were the first responders there.” Over the next four days, Haffner said helos flew from the carrier from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. transporting supplies including food and water to the people of Haiti. They also provided medical supplies, but the local hospitals were so full that Haffner said many of the injured had to be brought aboard ship for treatment or surgery. “It was especially hard to see the kids that were hurt and in pain. They were all needing water and food. Plus, anyone with cuts or scrapes pretty much got an amputation because there was so much infection going around,” Haffner said. “It felt good to be able to go over there and be able to help out.” A native of Clarinda and a 2003 graduate of Clarinda High School, Haffner had been serving in the United States Navy for nearly three years when he arrived in Haiti.

He had enlisted April 10, 2007, after speaking to a naval recruiter. Haffner completed boot camp at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois and then attended schooling to become an Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Handler. His duties consisted of directing and moving aircraft on the flight deck of a carrier. He also received eight weeks of training as a fire fighter and served on crash and salvage teams that provided fire protection for the flight deck. “We did a lot with the jets. They were always taking off from the catapults and for the first two years I loved watching the jets take off and land,” Haffner said. “But I was always a big fan of the helos. I just like the way they fly. They can do a lot of stuff.” Following his schooling, Haffner was assigned to the USS Harry S. Truman. He spent about a month in Norfolk, Va., before the aircraft carrier was deployed to the Persian Gulf in December of 2007. On the way, Haffner said the USS Harry S. Truman made a stop in Naples, Italy, and had a four day port stop at the Suez Canal before spending five months in the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While in the Persian Gulf, Haffner said the carrier was called to full alert when a speedboat started chasing after the ship. “We got to going about 60 knots and the captain called full bore. All of our 0.50 caliber rifles were manned and we launched two helos. It turned out to just be some local idiot that was trying to find out what the ship was doing out there. He was no threat,” Haffner said. While in the Persian Gulf, Haffner said the carrier also visited Bahrain twice and the city of Dubai, located within the United Arab Emirates, on three occasions. Then, while returning to United States, the ship visited Marcay, France, and Rhodes, Greece. “Rhodes was probably the best place I have ever been to. I have seen a lot of water, but that water was clear blue and the beaches were wonderful,” he said. Once the USS Harry S. Truman reached Florida, the ship hosted a Tiger Cruise see HAFFNER, Page 27

June 2013 11

Hamm Brothers Clarinda

Hamm brothers fought side by side during World War II By KENT DINNEBEIR Staff Writer-Clarinda Herald-Journal

Brothers share a special bond, but that bond grew even stronger for Bob and Kenneth Hamm as they fought side by side in World War II. “We leaned on each other,” Bob said. “It was reassuring to know we were there together and were able to protect each other.” A senior at Clarinda High School, Bob received his draft notice from the United States Army in May 1942. Although the attack on Pearl Harbor had occurred only five months earlier, Hamm said he had not thought about the likelihood that he would be called upon to defend his country. “I didn’t know what to think. I had a life ahead of me and didn’t know what was going to happen,” Hamm said. “But looking back today, I’m glad I got to serve our country.” Hamm received a deferment and was officially inducted into the Army in Janu-

ary 1943 at Camp Dodge in Des Moines. From there, he was shipped to Fort Francis E. Warren in Cheyenne, Wyo., for his basic training. Following basic training, Hamm reported to Offutt Field in Omaha to receive extended training as a mechanic. “Kenneth was also there. He went in at the same time I did and we were together the whole time,” Hamm said. “He had a car when we were in Omaha so we were able to come home on the weekends.” After Bob compled his training as a mechanic, both he and Kenneth were sent to England. While crossing the Atlantic Ocean, Bob said the soldiers had to contend with two threats to their welfare. The first was sea sickness. “A lot of them were sick all the time. I was sick for a few days and I didn’t ever want to be that sick again,” he said. The other threat was a German submarine that chased the ship for most of its journey. “Then, when we got there, they didn’t have a place to put us so we stayed in the harbor for about 10 days,” he said. However, his stay in England was a brief one, and he was soon transferred to Iceland. Although the landscape was pretty barren, Hamm said he enjoyed the opportunity to see what life was like in the arctic. see HAMM, Page 39

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12 June 2013

Stan Harness Clarinda Harness worked in Army intelligence By KENT DINNEBEIR Staff Writer-Clarinda Herald-Journal

When it came to matters of national security, Stan Harness of New Market was the man the commanding officers at Fort Hood, Texas, turned to for their daily updates. Harness served in the United States Army from 1969 until 1972 and was assigned to the Army Chiefs of Staff for Intelligence Special Security Group. “We were a real small group, but every base had one of these officers,” Harness said. “We handled intelligence from all over the world. We would take all the intelligence going on around the world, decrypt the traffic and make a book of it.” A native of New Market, Harness graduated from New Market High School in 1967. He then attended Iowa Western Community College in Clarinda for two years before making the decision to enlist in the United States Army. “Our family has always been in the service. It is kind of a tradition, I guess,” Harness said.

“My great-grandfather served in the Civil War. He was captured and escaped from Andersonville Prison Camp. Then, my grandfather served in the Army during World War I and my father served on a B-24 in World War II.” After completing basic training at Fort Polk, LA., Harness reported to Fort Gordon, Ga., for signal school. Although he started in teletype communications, he was soon switched to cryptography and intelligence work. “While I was in school there, these guys in suits came and took 200 of us and interviewed us. Nobody knew who they were, but the next week they came back and interviewed 100 of us. The third time, they took 50 of us and administered lie detector tests,” Harness said. When Harness completed his schooling he was presented with two sets of conflicting orders. The first set of orders said he would be deployed to Vietnam, but then a Corporal gave him another set of orders instructing him to report to the Pentagon. “After speaking to my First Sergeant about the two orders I went to the Pentagon. All of those interviews and the lie detector test had been for the SSG,” Harness said. “I was a little mystified because you didn’t really know what you were getting into. I was amazed that out of 200 and some people, there were only five of us that got into this group.” see HARNESS, Page 34

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Curt Hilding Shenandoah Hilding served aboard USS Enterprise during Vietnam By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

Growing up in Shenandoah, Curt Hilding had never traveled much. However, after he enlisted in the Navy, he traveled the world, stopping in places such as Japan, Singapore, Hawaii, and the Philippines. “I never would have seen any of those places if it weren’t for the Navy,” said Hilding. “I have great memories of the Navy.” A Shenandoah High School graduate in 1965, Hilding worked at various placed in town until March 1966, when he decided to join the Navy on the 90-day delayed enlistment program. “I wanted to see places; I’d never seen anything,” Hilding said. “I wanted to go places and travel to places I otherwise wouldn’t go.” With orders for boot camp in San Diego, Hilding recalled the planes were on strike; meaning he’d have to take a train to the west coast. “As we traveled down the track and stopped at different places, other guys would come on that had joined the Navy. When we got to San Diego on the train, there were quite a few guys on there. It was a fun trip; we had story after story to tell each other for the two days on the train.” The first thing Hilding said he learned in the service was to not lock his knees while standing at attention. “If you do, you’ll pass out. We had one guy go down so that was my first lesson.” Hilding turned 19 while at boot camp and said the experience wasn’t too bad. “We were all friends and all worked together.” When it came time for orders, Hilding said they wanted to have him continue his schooling.

“But I didn’t want it. I said I wanted sea duty, so they gave it to me.” Assigned to the USS Enterprise, which was docked in San Francisco at the time. At first, Hilding said being aboard the huge ship, 13-stories high – was a bit overwhelming. “I was completely lost on that ship for five days I finally got it so I could find my rack, find the mess hall, and find where I was assigned, which was supplies. I ended up in a rotable pool, and they had all the radar parts for the airplanes,” Hilding said. “I was lucky to get in there; I liked what I did.” Hilding was on board the ship nine days when they pulled out headed to Hawaii and eventually replace a carrier off the coast of Vietnam. They trained for a while in Hawaii and then went to Subic Bay, Philippines and then the Gulf of Tonkin, not too far off the shore of Vietnam for flight operations. “I was on that cruise for eight months.” When Hilding returned to San Francisco, he was there for three months before heading out on another cruise. This time they went to Hawaii, Sasebo, Japan, Honk Kong and the Philippines. “Nothing really drastic happened on that cruise, other than we were just doing our jobs.” However, the next cruise had a little more excitement to it, Hilding said. “When they took the Pueblo, we had to hurry up and get over to the shores of Korea. We were over there for a while and then they sent us back.” North Korean forces captured the USS Pueblo on Jan. 23, 1968. North Korea stated the ship was in their territorial waters, but the United States maintains the ship was in international waters. After being in Asia again, the Enterprise headed back to San Francisco and then to Bremerton, Wash. for dry-dock repairs. “We took off right before Christmas, 1969, for Hawaii and we were off the coast there about 70 miles, going through quiet operations; just being ready for anything. see HILDING, Page 35


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Roy Hookham Clarinda

Clarinda’s Hookham served as machinist By KENT DINNEBEIR Staff Writer-Clarinda Herald-Journal

As the war raged in Vietnam, Gary Hookham of Clarinda was putting his education in mechanical technology to good use in England. Hookham was stationed at Lakenheath Air Force Base in Suffolk, England, from 1967 until 1970. A member of the 48th Technical Fighter Wing, Hookham served as a machinist and worked on a wide variety of aircraft including F100 jets during his time in the military. “We provided support to the engine shop and all of the mechanical crews working on F100 jets. Some of our duties were to replace worn bearings on landing gear struts; assisting with replacing broken bolts in the engine diffuser cases; and in some cases making repair parts from raw materials,� Hookham said. A native of Clarinda, Hookham graduated from Clarinda High School in 1964. He then completed the mechanical technology program at Iowa Western Community

College in Clarinda before enlisting in the Air Force. “I had always been interested in airplanes and I didn’t want to go into the Army. I didn’t want to be a ground pounder. I thought the Air Force would have more to offer me in the way of education and training,� Hookham said. Hookham departed Aug. 16, 1966, for basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Although his basic training required a great deal of hard work and discipline, Hookham said he enjoyed the experience. “It made a better person out of you,� Hookham said. “As is the case with all young men who join the military, I think you go in as a boy and come out a man with strong patriotism and good work ethics.� As a result of his mechanical technology background, Hookham had the opportunity to take a machinist bypass test during basic training. He passed the test and as sent to machinist training school at Chanute Air Force Base near Rantoul, Ill. He spent his time assisting the instructors in teaching the various classes and graduated with honors in February 1967. After completing his schooling, Hookham reported to Lakenheath Air Force Base along with his wife, Cathy. “During our time in England we had the opportu see HOOKHAM, Page 35

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June 2013 13

Charles Kerran Clarinda

Clarinda’s Keeran was air freight specialist in ‘Nam By KENT DINNEBEIR Staff Writer-Clarinda Herald-Journal

No matter what the cargo, Charles Keeran of Clarinda was charged with ensuring it reached its destination quickly and safely. Keeran served his country for four years as a member of the United States Air Force. In that time, he spent 18 months in Vietnam as an air freight specialist with the 8th Aerial Port. “My duties were to distribute cargo and work on the flight line as needed,� Keeran said. “I was also sent on some missions up country to move troops and cargo.� In April of 1968, Keeran arrived at Ton Son Nhut Air Base in Saigon. With the Tet Offensive having just finished, Keeran quickly learned the realities of combat conditions in Vietnam. When he arrived at the airport terminal, Keeran said he was met by members of the Military Police who promptly pointed out to his group a 30-foot hole in the roof. They explained the hole had been caused by a

rocket that had recently struck the terminal. “The first words I said were ‘What did I do to get myself into this position?’ That made it clear that when you heard the sirens go off, it was best to find a place to take cover,� Keeran said. “That first night we had a rocket attack and there were several attacks over the next few weeks. There was also fighting on the base and every night we would see some sort of activity on the perimeter since flares were going off as we made contact with the enemy.� Also, before airplanes were allowed to land at night, Keeran said helicopters were sent out to sweep the ends of the runway. The helicopters were used to ensure there were no Viet Cong troops lying in wait to shoot at the inbound planes. Still, Keeran performed his duty and performed it exceptionally well. On one mission, he and his unit were awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for completing the move a battalion in a record time. “We moved a battalion with the 101st Airborne and its equipment to another base in three days. We moved 2,800 men and 2,800 tons of cargo a day better than they had planned,� Keeran said. Three years before he arrived in Vietnam, Keeran graduated from Clarinda High School with the Class of 1965. He then attended Iowa Western Community College see KERRAN, Page 28

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Jeremy Latham Clarinda

Richard Kline Clarinda

National Guard gave Latham values and discipline

Vietnam forever changed Clarinda’s Kline By KENT DINNEBEIR Staff Writer-Clarinda Herald-Journal

Before ever setting foot in Vietnam, Richard Kline of Clarinda realized the world as he knew it would never be the same. “When we first flew into Tan San Nhut Air Base near Saigon the landscape looked like the moon because there were so many bomb crators. I wondered what was going to happen,� Kline said. Kline arrived in Vietnam in April 1970 and was assigned to the 20th Engineer Brigade at Bien Hoa. Although Kline had received advanced training as a combat engineer at Fort Leonard Wood, he was moved to a supply and materials coordinator position because of the degree in business administration he had earned from Mankato State University in 1969. “I basically spent most of my time driving around the countryside with an officer overseeing the distribution of construction materials and supplies to the American engineer units and the (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) units,� Kline said.

Even though his new duties were quite different from building bridges or laying and clearing land mines as he would have done as a combat engineer, Kline said there was still a constant threat of danger. “I was always apprehensive because there were only two of us driving around in the jeep. I had a rifle and had a pistol, so looking back, it would have only taken one guy with an AK to make our day very bad,� Kline said. Kline graduated from Clarinda High School in 1965 after his family moved to the community during his sophomore year of high school. Following graduation, he attended Iowa Western Community College for a year before enrolling at Northwest Missouri State University and later Mankato State University. Since he had already received a draft notice in January 1969, Kline made the decision to enlist in the Army in July 1969. He completed his basic training at Fort Dix, N.J., and then received his advanced training at Fort Leonard Wood as a combat engineer. “I knew I would be going to Vietnam and I felt I would rather take my chances as a combat engineer rather than as a member of the infantry,� Kline said. However, when Kline arrived at Fort Benning, Ga., for Officer Training School, he was moved from armor back to infantry. After having spent seven months in Viet see KLINE, Page 37

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Whether it is serving with the Iowa Army National Guard or as a member of local law enforcement, Jeremy Latham understands the importance of performing his duty to the best of his abilities. “I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for my military service,� Latham said. “It gave me the values and discipline needed to make it in society as well as in combat. It has also made be a better police officer and public servant to my community.� A native of Clarinda, Latham graduated from Clarinda High School in 1996. However, a year earlier, he joined the Iowa Army National Guard because of the college benefits that were available and the armory was still located in Clarinda at the time. Following graduation, Latham attended basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. Then, in 1997, he returned to Fort Benning for Individual Duty Training as a member of the

infantry before going to Fort Drum, N.Y., for air assault training. “I was selected for air assault training based on my physical fitness and military discipline. It was a privilege to be selected as a young enlisted soldier. It motivated me to continue with the Iowa National Guard,� Latham said. While serving in the Iowa Army National Guard, Latham also enrolled at the Clarinda campus of Iowa Western Community College and graduated in 1998. As a result, Latham qualified for enrollment in Officer Candidate School at Camp Dodge. Latham completed his schooling in 1999 and took a commission with Bravo Company 1-168 in Shenandoah in 2000 to serve as an infantry platoon leader. He oversaw a platoon of 36 soldiers who comprised three infantry squads and one weapons squad. In 2002, Latham continued his military training by attending a four-month Infantry Officer’s Basic Course at Fort Benning. The course emphasized infantry operations and field tactics. All of the skills Latham learned as a member of the Iowa Army National Guard were eventually put to use in 2004 when Task Force 168 was activated for a 17-month deployment. After completing his mobilization training at Fort Hood, Texas, Latham spent one year on active duty in see LATHAM, Page 29

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Sandra Liner Clarinda

Clarinda’s Liner was a member of WAC in 60s By KENT DINNEBEIR Staff Writer-Clarinda Herald-Journal

Although she served with the United States Women’s Army Corps, Sandra E. Liner of Clarinda considered herself a military wife rather than a veteran. “I never thought of myself as a veteran until I went to work with the VA. The Women’s Army Corps was kind of forgotten about,� Liner said. “It wasn’t until they asked if I had applied for benefits that I realized I was a veteran.� After graduating from high school in 1958, Liner was living in St. Francisville, La., and spent the summer with family before making the decision to enlist in the military. She was officially inducted into the Women’s Army Corp Feb. 23, 1959. “St. Francisville was a small town that didn’t have much to offer and I had no desire to go to college,� Liner said. “It just hit me one day. I thought why not try the service. Not many women were going into the service at the time I did. I went to New

Orleans and I was the only female out of 12 or 14 people who were inducted into the military that day.� Liner was assigned to a WAC training battalion at Fort McClellan, Ala., and completed eight weeks of basic training. She was then sent to Fort Gordon, Ga., to receive training as a telephone operator. “You didn’t have a too many choices back in 1959. When I went in you joined the medical program, the secretarial program or did something with the signal corps,� Liner said. “I wanted to be a cryptographer, but the school was closed, so they assigned me to be telephone operator.� After finishing her training as a telephone operator on June 25, 1959, Liner was assigned to the Continental Army Command at Fort Monroe, Va., as a telephone operator. She was one of only two WAC operators at Fort Monroe. The rest of the employees in the telephone department were civilians. As a telephone operator at Fort Monroe, Liner said she had the opportunity to speak with people around the world. Besides her duties as a telephone operator, Liner said she also had barracks such as KP and also fill in for the company clerk on her nights off. “One thing that was different from today is the women did not wear fatigues. We had see LINER, Page 29

June 2013 15

Gary McIntyre Shenandoah

McIntyre was nurse with 71st Evac By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

When Gary McIntyre was a young boy, his father told him to go into the medical field because he’d always be able to find a job. And although McIntyre took the advice, he didn’t think it would take him to Vietnam, where he was a registered nurse at a hospital in Pleiku. “I’m glad now that I went in,� said McIntyre. “There were a lot of people my age that found reasons not to. It was something I felt like I had to do.� A 1962 graduate of Farragut High School, McIntyre attended Nebraska Wesleyan for two years. He then heard about a program in the medical field of anesthesia, but first he had to get a degree in nursing from Nebraska Methodist School of Nursing. “I graduated in 1967. There were four men in my class and we figured with our MOS (Military Occupation Specialties) of medical, we’d get a diploma in one hand

and our draft notice in the other,� McIntyre recalled. “They had a program where if you went in your senior year you’d get Private’s pay, but you owed them two years of active duty which we’d have to give them anyway; so we went in as juniors.� Instead of basic training, McIntyre and others in his similar position attended six weeks of officers training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. “It was a bunch of doctors and a bunch of nurses trying to learn how to march – we were a ragged group. Most of them (doctors) had been drafted out of private practice and had a family.� After training, McIntyre was assigned to Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash., where he worked in the emergency room for 10 months. He then received his orders for Vietnam. The unit McIntyre flew out with to Vietnam was for a new hospital in Chu Lai – everybody on the plane was assigned to that hospital. However, once they got in country, officials came to realize that if everybody started their tour at the same time, then everybody would be ending their tour at the same time. To remedy the situation, McIntyre said some of them stayed in Chu Lai but others got to choose where they wanted to be stationed, like him. see MCINTYRE, Page 36

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16 June 2013

Tye Mentzer Shenandoah

Shen’s Mentzer worked with Norden bombsites By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

While serving in the Air Force during World War II, Tye Mentzer of Shenandoah traveled across nine different European countries. Even after Germany’s surrender, Mentzer remained in Europe for the occupation. It wasn’t until almost a year after VJ Day (Victory over Japan) in August 1945 he was allowed to return back to the states. “It was an experience you wouldn’t do for anything, unless you had to,� Mentzer said. Born and raised near Abilene, Kan., Mentzer was one of nine children. In fact, his brothers and sisters either were in the service during WWII, or, in the case of his sisters, worked in a B-24 bomber plant in Kansas. “My brother, Lovell, died in Europe and I had two other brothers that were injured,� Mentzer said. When WWII broke out, Mentzer, like many other men his age, volunteered for the draft, but since there was such an influx of

personnel, he was sent home. Not long after, however, Mentzer received his draft papers. He ended up a member of the 8th Air Force, attended three military-based schools in one year, spent two and a half years overseas, and a total of three and a half years in the service. Basic training was followed by instrument school with the 8th Air Force in Chicago. He was then assigned to San Antonio, followed by automatic pilot and bombsite school in New York. Mentzer was then sent back to San Antonio and then to New York again where he boarded the Queen Elizabeth with roughly 5,000 other soldiers headed for Europe. “We were in the North Sea when we ran into a pack of German submarines and they turned the ship south, opened the waters up until it vibrated like a little ship,� said Mentzer. “We wound up the next morning close to Bermuda, and then we came up the sea shore by Spain and such; went up the Clyde River, into Scotland and unloaded.� Stationed in the high country, near St. Anne’s on the Sea, Mentzer said hundreds of planes were sent out daily on bombing missions, with fighter planes, like P-51s, to protect them. Mentzer worked with Norden bombsite and the automatic pilot. A Norden bombsite, he explained, aided bombing crews in dropping bombs accurately. It contained a mechasee MENTZER, Page 29

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Duane Meyer Clarinda

Meyer’s faith was mainstay while serving in Vietnam By KENT DINNEBEIR Staff Writer-Clarinda Herald-Journal

Confronted with the constant threat of an enemy attack, Duane F. Meyer of Yorktown relied heavily on his faith and the bond he shared with the soldiers in his platoon to survive his tour of duty in Vietnam. “Your faith was a mainstay to keep you going,� Meyer said. “The camaraderie between the people in our platoon was also extremely high. It had to be for all of us to survive and keep going. Everyone believed pretty seriously that God was looking down on us every day to keep us on the go.� A member of the United States Army, Meyer arrived in Vietnam in February 1969 and spent one year in the country. A staff sergeant, Meyer had 44 men in his platoon that was part of the 25th Infantry 1st of the 5th Mechanized. The platoon operated along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in the areas of the Ho Bo Woods, Cu Chi and Saigon. “We operated anti-personnel carriers and

carried out ambushes. We were on 24- hour call for anyone in distress and had to be ready to move in 20 minutes if someone needed help,� Meyer said. When he arrived in Vietnam, Meyer was immediately confronted with the reality of the danger he faced and admitted he had serious concerns about whether or not he would survive the year. “The platoon I joined had just been in combat in the Ho Bo Woods. Only three of the 44 men returned. That gave me quite an indication of what the year had in store for me,� Meyer said. With memories of the Tet Offensive still fresh in everyone’s mind, Meyer said every day of his tour was busy and he never knew when his platoon would come in contact with the enemy. Beyond that possibility, Meyer said the soldiers also had to accept the policing instructions they had to comply with. “We were not allowed to open fire on the enemy until they fired on us. That meant one of us could be dead before we could open fire. That weighted heavily on the things we did. I just thank the good Lord he let me come back,� he said. When Meyer returned to the United States in February 1970, he brought with him four Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star that demonstrated the importance of the see MEYER, Page 38

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Harold Phipps Shenandoah

Phipps wounded at fierce Battle of Iwo Jima By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

Some of the fiercest fighting during the Pacific Campaign of World War II was during the Battle of Iwo Jima, which took place from Feb. 19, 1945 to March 26, 1945. One of the Marines in the 4th Division fighting to help secure the tiny Japanese island was Harold Phipps of Shenandoah. “It was a telling experience,� said Phipps. A 1941 graduate of Farragut High School, Phipps enlisted in the Marine Corps in May 1944. He said he joined the Marines because his brother, Howard (George) was in the Army. Basic training was completed at Camp Pendleton, Calif., followed by orders for Iwo Jima. Aboard ship, Phipps said he was fortunate enough to never get seasick, although plenty of others did. “We stopped in Hawaii for a couple days to gather up more supplies and then Guam on our trek to Iwo Jima. We didn’t stay in Guam long at all.� The island of Iwo Jima, also known as Sulfer Island, sits about 750 miles south of Tokyo and is only about eight-square miles in area. The Japanese, already on the island, had about 11 miles of tunnels underground, as well as bunkers, caves and hidden artillery. The first two days Phipps rode back and forth on a LVTs dropping off 19 to 20 guys at a time to shore. However, after a while, he said they told him to head to shore. “And I got it over with.� About his second day on the shore, Phipps was knicked across the thigh by a bullet, but at the time, didn’t realize it. “I didn’t know it for a couple days. I felt it, but I thought it was just a scratch. Some guys commented I had something on my

pants, and it was blood,� Phipps said. Phipps said somehow he ended up in a machine gun outfit, despite not knowing anything about them. Another Marine, with binoculars, would help direct Phipps where to fire. “He said, ‘Shoot, shoot, shoot’ and so I fired and somebody rolled off the top of the mountain. What the hell, I shot somebody.� The Battle of Iwo Jima is pretty much immortalized by Joe Rosenthan’s photo of five Marines and one Navy Corpsman raising the U.S flag atop Mount Suribachi, which took place on day 35 of the 36 day battle. However, Phipps didn’t get to see it. “I was on the north side of the island and Suribachi is on the south side of the island, so I didn’t get to see it. That was also done after I did my thing.� Phipps was on the island for a little more than a week when he was severely injured by a mortar attack. He and two other Marines were in a foxhole one misty night, with Phipps on the far left. The Marine in the middle told Phipps to trade him places since he was hogging the poncho, which was keeping them warm. “About 15 minutes later, boom. He got hit; his arm was gone and mine was just about gone. I was almost dead and the guy sitting to my right, never got a scratch. The guy to my left was dead; he was hit right above his shoulder; there was no saving him. I can’t even remember that guy’s name that saved my ass.� Phipps’ arm was broke in two places, plus he had a major concussion and shrapnel. A medic came to Phipps’ aide and he was taken to a ship docked in the ocean to be fixed up. “I stayed right where I was until the next day. My captain, he was a prince of a guy, stayed with me. I got sent home after that.� In December 1945, Phipps was discharged from the Marines and returned to the Shenandoah area, where his wife, Arlene, and daughter, Cheryl, were waiting for him. In the years to follow, Harold and Arlene would have three more daughters, Marsha, see PHIPPS, Page 32

June 2013 17

Erskine Powles Shenandoah

Powles served in Philippines during WWII By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

Erskine Powles of Sidney might best be known around Fremont County for laying out terraces and tiling in the 1950 and 1960s while a conservation technician with soil conservation. However, long before his days of compiling data and soil, Powles served as a member of the 32 Division, 127th Regimental Combat Team during World War II, serving in the Philippines. A 1934 Thurman High School graduate, Powles was married in 1938 to Thelma Danard, and worked for Thelma’s father, George Danard, who owned the Sinclair station and tank wagon business in Sidney. Powles worked for Danard until he received his draft notice in March 1944. “I knew eventually I’d be called up; they were drafting a lot of young men and my friends had all received their notices,� said Powles. Seventeen weeks of basic training was completed at Camp Robinson, Ark., fol-

lowed by two weeks of bivwack training out in the woods to learn how to fire mortars and bazookas. It was while training Powles broke his foot, which at the time made him miserable, but might have saved his life. “All the guys I was at boot camp with were sent to Okinawa and were killed during Bloody Okinawa. If I wouldn’t have broken my foot, I might have too.� Instead, Powles spent an additional 17 weeks as a handyman at Camp Robinson while his foot healed. When his foot had healed, Powles boarded a train to Fort Ord, Calif., where he stayed for one month before boarding a troop ship in San Francisco, enroute to New Guinea, where their ship joined a convoy of ships to Manila. “When we got to Manila, the Bay was full of sunken ships so we had to land about four or five miles out in the Bay, and were brought to shore on a LSTs (landing ship tank). It is in Manila where Powles joined the 32nd Division, 127th Regimental Combat Team. “They sent us out to the Villa Verde Trail, which was as hazardous as it could be. We were there a month; that’s where I saw most of my combat. My company was headquartered on the side of a mountain and our job was to flush the Japanese out of the caves.� see POWLES, Page 30

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Rob Reed Clarinda

Edwin Ratashak Clarinda

Clarinda’s Reed learned valuable lessons in Army National Guard

Ratashak guarded the Fort McClellan stockade By KENT DINNEBEIR Staff Writer-Clarinda Herald-Journal

Although Edwin Ratashak of Clarinda only spent a short time in the Army, he started an impressive family tradition of service in the United States military. Ratashak was the oldest of six brothers to serve in the military and he also had two sons who enjoyed careers with Army and National Guard. Like his older brother, Clarence was a member of the Army. However, the four remaining brothers – Max, Lyle, George and Lavern – all were members of the Air Force. “They just decided after they got out of high school they were going to join and spend their time. All the boys in the family got involved in the military,” Ratashak said. Originally from Griswold, Ratashak was drafted by the Army in October 1945 at the age of 21. “When they drafted me World War II was just over with and the peace treaty had been

signed,” he said. Ratashak reported to Fort Snelling in Minnesota for his induction and then was sent to Camp Robinson in Arkansas for basic training. He said his time at basic training was an enjoyable learning experience. “I got to visit with guys from all different parts of the United States and learn about their backgrounds,” Ratashak said. Following basic training, Ratashak said his outfit was sent to Japan and he was looking forward to going with them. However, two days before Christmas, as he was finishing up basic training, Ratashak suffered a severely broken left ankle that kept him hospitalized for seven months. “We were out on the rifle range and took a break. It had been raining and was slick. One of the fellows spun me around and I stepped between two rocks and snapped my ankle. They had to screw it back together,” Ratashak said. “I was in the hospital for seven months and had to go through a lot of physical therapy, but it healed well and has been fine every since.” When Ratashak was finally released from the hospital he was transferred to Fort McClellan in Alabama. For the next few months he was responsible for guarding prisoners at the stockade. “These were American soldiers who had see RATASHAK, Page 39

We’re PROUD of our VETERANS who have served their country as well as those currently serving.

By KENT DINNEBEIR Staff Writer-Clarinda Herald-Journal

Rob Reed of Clarinda intended to use the military as a way of furthering his education, but 20 years later he realizes the Iowa Army National Guard has taught him some the most valuable lessons of his life. “I started in the military with the selfish goal of using the military to pay for my education. At that time all I cared about was what I could get out of the military. Now I have served for 20 years and somewhere along the line I realized it was not about what the military could do for me, but what I could do for the military. The brotherhood and bond I have with my fellow soldiers is remarkable. There is a tight nit group of individuals that I will always stay in touch with,” Reed said. A native of Clarinda, Reed graduated from Clarinda High School in 1993. However, he actually joined the Iowa Army National Guard in the summer of 1992 at

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the age of 18 through the delayed entry program. Since most of his family had served in the military, Reed said he felt duty bound to continue that tradition. Originally, Reed intended to enter active duty as a member of the United States Army. However, he said some friends convinced him to take advantage of the tuition assistance program available through the National Guard. Following graduation from high school, Reed reported to Fort Benning, Ga., for his basic and advanced individual training. Since he had already been attending drills for a year, Reed said he was better prepared for basic training than most of the soldiers he served with. “I knew what we were going to be doing and was familiar with the slang. The military is famous for its acronyms. My unit in Clarinda also tried to prepare me for the drill sergeants, but I’m not sure anything can prepare you for that because they are so in your face. Still, it was one of the best experiences of my life,” Reed said. After completing his training at Fort Benning, Reed returned to Clarinda and served from the former Glenn Miller Armory. Along with his weekend drills and annual training, Reed spent three weeks in Germany in 1995 as part of an extended see REED, Page 30

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Ron Richardson Clarinda Richardson’s a better leader because of Army experience By KENT DINNEBEIR Staff Writer-Clarinda Herald-Journal

From a mountaintop perch in Ethiopia, Ron Richardson helped coordinate relief efforts in Biafra, Nigeria, and ushered in the advent of satellite communications during his time with the United States Army Strategic Communications Command. Trained as a communication center specialist, Richardson spent more than two years at Kagnew Station located near the heart of the city of Asmara, the capital of the province of Eritrea in Ethiopia. “Kagnew Station was a very small base. It was only about six city blocks wide and 12 blocks long,� Richardson said. “We were on top of a mountain 7,600 feet above sea level and 15 degrees north of the equator.� A native of Clarinda, Richardson was assigned to Kagnew Station after completeing his advanced individual training at Fort Gordon, Ga. As a communication center specialist he was trained in the handling of classified messages and communications. The station served as a relay station receiving messages from Southeast Asia and retransmitting them to Europe and the United States. Richardson said officials from the Pentagon divided the list of graduates from Fort Gordon into two groups. Everyone listed before Richardson alphabetically was sent to Vietnam, while Richardson and the rest of the class were stationed in Africa. “I was thankful I wasn’t going to Vietnam, but I was uncertain what I was going to see in Africa,� he said. What Richardson saw when he arrived in Asmara was a city about the size of Omaha that was ripe with contradictions. Although

the population of the city was split approximately 70 percent Muslim and 30 percent Coptic Christian, five different languages were spoken in the city. Richardson said the per capita income of the residents was equivalent to approximately $40 per year in American currency with the greatest wealth belonging to a small contingent of Italian residents who had lived in the city since before World War II. “Asmara had modern hotels that stood 20 stories tall and within a mile you had stick huts like those featured in National Geographic,� Richardson said. “One day I was walking close to the international airport and a Bowing 707 was approaching the airport. On the ground below there was an Ethiopian farmer with an ox pulling a plow made from a tree limb trying to cultivate the rocky soil on the mountain. So you had the 20th Century interposed with the historic all in one picture frame.� Meanwhile, to the west in Nigeria, a war was raging after Biafra formed a secessionist state in the southeastern portion of the country. In July 1969 medical supplies were allowed into the country. A cease fire was finally reached in January 1970, but not before more than 1 million people had died in battle or from starvation. “The most important thing that happened while I was there was the crisis in Biafra. The United States helped with humanitarian efforts and I was involved in coordinating those relief efforts,� Richardson said. The reason Richardson was involved was because he was named the non-commissioned officer in charge of the cryptoterminal branch at the station. He was promoted to sergeant and named to the position after serving at the Kagnew Station for six months. Along with supervising as many as 12 enlisted men who operated the branch, he was issued security clearances that ranked higher than top security. “I was amused to get a letter from my parents telling me there had been FBI agents in Clarinda asking about me,� Richardson said. Initially, Richardson said the messages see RICHARDSON, Page 31

June 2013 19

Darwin Rossander Clarinda Rossander served in Air Force during Vietnam By KENT DINNEBEIR Staff Writer-Clarinda Herald-Journal

Simply being discharged does not mean a veteran of the United States military can no longer serve. That was especially true for Darwin L. “Rosy� Rossander. As a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a member of the Ernie Johnson Post of the American Legion in Stanton, the work he did to benefit his community was every bit as valuable as the time he spent on active duty. Rossander was born in Clarinda in 1947, the son of Harry and Dorothy (Nelson) Rossander. He died Feb. 11 at the age of 65 at his home in Stanton. After attending school in Stanton, Rossander served in the United State Air Force during Vietnam. Upon his return from the military, Rossander became involved with both the VFW and the American Legion. He served as commander of the Ernie

Johnson Post of the American Legion for 12 years and had been elected as District 7 Commander of the American Legion in August. A humble man, Past District 7 Commander Alan Schenck of Clarinda said Rossander was dedicated to doing the best job possible for his post as well as the district. “He told me several times this was one of the best honors of his life. He felt so fortunate to be elected by the Legionnaires to be their district commander. He said it was something he would never forget,� Schenck said. At the same time, Schenck said the district was fortunate to have Rossander as its new commander. Schenck said he brought a positive attitude to the position and was not deterred by the challenges of the position. “He was a fun guy to be around and he didn’t let things get to him,� Schenck said. “He didn’t get his feathers ruffled. You have to work through disappointments when you are a commander with the American Legion just like in the military. You have to make decisions that are not always popular, but you have to do what is best for your district and your command.� Rossander also understood that by serv see ROSSANDER, Page 39

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we shall not forget

20 June 2013

Claude Sanders Sidney

Sidney’s Sanders served in 331st infantry during WWII By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

In less than two weeks, Claude Sanders of Sidney will celebrate his 95th birthday. In that amount of time Sanders has seen a lot, including the fall of Germany firsthand in May 1945, while s soldier in the 331st Infantry. “I was one of the first five to leave Fremont County,” he said of his enlistment in 1941. “I’d have to say it was a good experience.” Born along the Missouri River bottom near Percival, Sanders said their family moved to Century, Mo., when he was around the age of one, but the family would return to their roots when he was in the fifth grade. “My dad had bought a place down there (Missouri) and about had it paid for; then hardship hit everybody; they were foreclosing everywhere,” Sanders recalled. Not one to sit idle and admit defeat, by the time Claude was in high school; his family ran a successful dairy in Sidney. “Back then there were three dairies, six fill-

ing stations, and seven grocery stores,” Sanders said. “Now, Sidney has one filling station and one grocery.” It was in January 1941 when Sanders decided to enlist. He said he volunteered for the Army so he could select what he wanted to do. “I had an Indian Motorcycle I had rehauled three times and I put in to ride a motorcycle, hauling supplies.” Inducted in Omaha, Sanders completed basic training at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He jokingly recalled having to clean the barracks top to bottom when they got there, and then the new recruits being told to clean it again. “I was sore after all that cleaning, especially after receiving those shots.” At Leavenworth, the recruits were split into two groups of 300 soldiers right off the bat. The first 300 were told they were going to Texas to be trained for the Infantry. The other group, which Sanders was in, was informed they’d be going to San Diego. “They had issued us WWI clothing. I had an old tech sergeant’s blouse they had taken the chevrons off of it and it was about four shades darker where they had been. “I got a pair of riding britches from a cavalry outfit that had lace legs and then inside it had leather to ride a horse; some of the other guys got wrapped leggings.” In San Diego, Sanders said they were as see SANDERS, Page 31

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Marvin Savage Shenandoah Shen’s Savage was teletype operator in Germany By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

While completing his senior year in high school, Marvin Savage of Shenandoah knew he’d eventually be drafted into the military. The year was 1952 and the Korean Conflict had been going on for roughly two years. Savage was correct in his thinking; in March 1953 he received his draft notice and would spend 18-months in Germany before being discharged in 1955. A Bedford native, Savage graduated from Bedford High School in 1952 and immediately got a job with Cudahay Packing Company in Bedford. “It was a good job. I made 90 cents an hour,” recalled Savage. However, the draft papers he received put an end to his position there. “Those who were drafted were bussed from Bedford up to Omaha where we were sworn in; I believe it was May 19, 1953,” said Savage. “There were about 30 of us.” Then, Savage said they were bussed to Fort Riley, Kan., where they received their uniforms and shots. “We were there for two or three days and then sent to Camp Chaffee, Arkansas for basic training. It was rough for the first couple days, but then you got used to it,” Savage said. Following eight weeks of basic infantry training, Savage said he received an additional eight weeks of medic training. “I enjoyed the medic training; not only did I learn quite a bit, but the food was good and you wore clean, white clothes.”

Upon the completion of medic training, Savage said he was given a 10-day furlough, where he returned to Bedford. He then boarded a bus to Kansas City, where he then got on a train headed to Camp Kilmer, N.J. Savage said he underwent more orientation and then boarded the USNS General RM Blatschford. “A lot of people got sick, especially the first few days, but I never did.” After 10 days crossing the ocean, the ship docked in Bremerhaven, Germany. Savage was assigned to Augsburgs Army Base. Although Savage was trained at Fort Chaffee to be a medic, once in Germany he was reassigned to be a teletype operator. A teletype operator, explained Savage, received and delivered messages; the majority of the messages were from the Red Cross. “It wasn’t bad,” he said of being a teletype operator. “At times we also pulled guard duty, which was just walking the perimeter of the camp.” Savage was stationed in Germany from October 1953 until April 1955. On May 20, 1955 he was discharged from the Army at Camp Kilmer. He returned to Bedford and worked at the packing company again until it closed; followed by construction jobs and attending lineotype school. “I was a linotype operator in Nebraska City from 1961 until 1966 when I came to Shenadoah to work at Farm Master (Gate factory). I was there until November 1977 when I got on at Eaton. I stayed at Eaton until I retired in 1989.” Savage said the Army was a good experience, where he got to see places other than the Midwest. “Germany was a nice place with nice people,” Savage said. WORK... Marvin Savage at the teletype while stationed in Germany.


The Valley News/Herald-Journal

we shall not forget

Larry Schultz Clarinda

Schultz saw the world through the Navy By KENT DINNEBEIR Staff Writer-Clarinda Herald-Journal

Larry Schultz of New Market can attest the recruiting posters were right. By joining the United States Navy he was indeed able to see the world. Born in Beldon, Neb., Schultz enlisted in the Navy in 1963 after he graduated from high school in Limon, Colo. With the draft in full effect due to the developing war in Vietnam, Schultz said he made the decision to enlist in order to choose which branch of the military he would serve in. “Now, 50 years later, when I look back at my military service, I realize it was probably one of the best things I did in my life. I believe every young person should have some kind of military training,” Schultz said. After his induction, Schultz reported to San Diego, Calif., in July for basic training. The San Diego training center had just reopened after an outbreak of spinal meningitis and Schultz was a member of the third company to enter boot camp. In addition to his training, Schultz served in the Drum and Bugle Corps while in San Diego. He was selected for the corps after having played trumpet and tuba for his high school band and had the opportunity to perform with the group in various parades held in the San Diego area. Schultz was still in boot camp on Nov. 22, 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Schultz said the Naval training center was immediately placed on full alert after the assassination. “Our company commander told us the President had been shot and had expired,” Schultz said. “I think I was stunned and didn’t really know what to do, but our senior officers took control. There was still

a lot of tension between the United States and Russia at that time and we didn’t really know what they were going to do.” Finally, after completing his basic training, Schultz was transferred to the USS Yorktown CVS-10 which was in dry dock in Long Beach, Calif. He went aboard the aircraft carrier for the first time on Christmas Day 1963 and was amazed at the size of the ship. “I have never in my life seen a ship that big. It was huge,” Schultz said. “I was assigned to the X Division, or administrative and personnel division, since I knew how to type. I served as a personnelman and was responsible for maintaining Enlisted Service Records, while the yeoman was responsible for the officers’ records.” Besides the size of the USS Yorktown, Schultz said he was also impressed with the wide variety of aircraft that were transported assigned to the ship. “Squadrons stationed in San Diego would fly aboard the aircraft carrier. They would include jets, helicopters and props. For a young man living in eastern Colorado, it was a real treat to see those jets land and take off from the aircraft carrier,” he said. Schultz spent three years aboard the USS Yorktown and during that time embarked on three WestPac Cruises. The cruises lasted approximately nine months. During his first cruise in 1964, Schultz said the USS Yorktown sailed to Hawaii and then continued to its overseas home port of Yokosuka, Japan. However, as tensions grew in Vietnam, he said the aircraft carrier spent time in the Gulf of Tonkin during both its 1965 and 1966 cruises. “In 1964 we were not at war with Vietnam yet. I think the only people we had in country were advisors at that time. Things did not really escalate until 1965 and 1966,” Schultz said. “We left the Philippines heading to Australia in 1966, but did not make it to the equator before we had to turn around and return to the coast of Vietnam due to the tensions with the war.” Still, during his three cruises, Schultz was able to visit such ports as Sasebo and see SCHULTZ, Page 31

June 2013 21

Kirk Shearer Shenandoah

Shearer tracked Russian subs while in the Navy By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

Despite being a successful accountant with Miller, Shearer, Lashier and Co., in Shenandoah for numerous years, Kirk Shearer once spent his days as a lowly deckhand in the Navy. However, the four years Shearer spent in the Navy helped him evolve into the person he is today. “The Navy taught me to get along with people, how to be flexible and a good work ethic,” said Shearer. “I recommend the service, especially for somebody that really doesn’t know what they want to do. Three or four years in the Navy you really grow up a lot and when you get out, you’re ready to go to work and do something.” Shearer’s father, Tom, a Farragut native, was career Navy in machine accounting, having spent 20 years in the service. Although as a child the family moved up and down the east coast, when Shearer was in the eighth grade the family settled in Far-

ragut. In 1967, Shearer graduated from Farragut High School and attended business school for 18-months in Omaha. Just before he graduated, he enlisted in the Navy; knowing as soon as he was done with school, he’d be drafted. “When you graduated you were either drafted or you signed up and went to the military. I went ahead just before I graduated from business school and enlisted on the 120-day delay program,” said Shearer. “As soon as I did graduate, I got a draft notice so I just notified them I’d already signed up for the Navy.” Eight weeks of boot camp was completed in San Diego, followed by a week of leave. “You used to get 14 days of leave following boot camp but they needed troops in Vietnam so they cut it to seven days,” said Shearer. “I got married on the fifth day of a seven day leave. Red Oak to Omaha and then caught the plane the next night in Omaha to San Diego.” When Shearer arrived in San Diego, he was sent to Hawaii where he was supposed to board ship. However the ship wasn’t in Hawaii so he was flown to the Philippines to catch his ship. “The ship wasn’t there so they loaded me on another plane and the next thing that I know, we’re landing in Da Nang, Vietnam. see SHEARER, Page 32

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Eldon Stiverson Clarinda

Kayla Smock Clarinda

Stiverson joined Army to be like dad, uncle

Smock learns secrets of nuclear power in Navy Byâ&#x20AC;&#x2C6;KENT DINNEBEIR Staff Writer-Clarinda Herald-Journal

When Kayla Smock of New Market embarked on her naval career she intended to study medicine. Instead, she went nuclear. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I went to school for two years and was trained as a nuclear electronics technician,â&#x20AC;? Smock said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The nuclear engineering program was a huge opportunity. Not everyone qualifies. You have to have certain marks in math and science. The school is so hard it is ranked with MIT and Harvard Law.â&#x20AC;? Despite the rigorous academic demands, Smock excelled in each of the three sections of the training program offered at Charleston, S.C. She finished the first section with a 3.4 grade point average and followed that up with grade point averages of 3.6 and 3.3 in the final two portions of the schooling. Smock said Dave Seela, who had served as her physics teacher at Clarinda High School, inspired her to pursue the opportunity to join the nuclear electronics technician program.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;He helped prepare me for what I was going to go through because his son also went through the program. I think I even shocked him with how well I did,â&#x20AC;? she said. In September 2005, as Smock was starting her senior year at Clarinda High School, she enlisted in the Navy as part of its delayed entry program. She graduated from high school in the 2006 and was formally inducted into the United States Navy in August. Following her induction, Smock reported to Naval Station Great Lakes for basic training. She graduated from basic training on Oct. 13 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the birthday of the Navy. Smock reported to Charleston, S.C. for her training in the nuclear engineering program. She admitted she knew very little about nuclear energy before starting her training and initially questioned her decision to join the program. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My light bulb moment came during the third stage of my training. We were operating a nuclear plant and that was when it all fit together and I understood how it all worked. That was also when I realized how good I was at it,â&#x20AC;? Smock said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nuclear power is very interesting. Once I started learning about how it works and the systems involved, I realized it is a very useful form of energy. Before I went to school I had no clue what nuclear power really was.â&#x20AC;? After completing her schooling in August see SMOCK, Page 36

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Eldon Stiverson of Clarinda grew up idolizing his father and uncle, so it only seemed logical to follow in their footsteps. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I looked up to my dad and I had an uncle, Gary Calfee, who I looked up to. They had both served in the Army during Vietnam, so I decided to enlist in the Army after graduation,â&#x20AC;? Stiverson said. After receiving his diploma from Clarinda High School in 1979, Stiverson reported to basic training in June at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Despite the strenuous nature of basic training, Stiverson said he enjoyed working side by side with his fellow soldiers. He said one of his most memorable experiences from basic training came during a nighttime firing exercise. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They were going to be using live ammunition and shooting tracers just over our heads to show us what a real war is like. Our company was marching along

when they used flares to light up the area and then released tear gas,â&#x20AC;? Stiverson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our whole company just stopped, turned around and started walking the other way.â&#x20AC;? Following basic training, Stiverson remained at Fort Leonard Wood for his Advanced Individual Training as a combat engineer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We learned how to make bridges for the troops to cross. Then, once they were over, we would be responsible for blowing up the bridge so the enemy could not cross,â&#x20AC;? he said. Once his AIT was completed, Stiverson was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas, and served at the base for the final two years of his military career. While at Fort Hood, Stiverson often assisted with the assignment of replacement supplies including weapons, ammunition, uniforms and office supplies to the soldiers at the base. Although he enjoyed the opportunity to serve his country, Stiverson admitted it was scary to be away from home and on his own for the first time. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in the service, the military makes a lot of your decisions for you. But it still prepares you for everything else in life,â&#x20AC;? he said. Stiverson said two of the greatest lessons he learned while in the Army were responsibility and how to communicate with other see STIVERSON, Page 39

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we shall not forget

Jim Sutton Shenandoah

Shenandoah’s Sutton earned Purple Heart during Vietnam By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

While serving with the Army in Vietnam, Jim Sutton of Shenandoah got something not too many service men and women want; a Purple Heart. Only four months into his tour of duty, Sutton’s life was forever changed within mere seconds. “It was a bad day,” said Sutton. “We loggered up in the same spot that we did the night before and that was a no, no. Once you moved out, they (Viet Cong) plant mines so our Captain was asking for trouble.” A native of West Plains, Mo., Sutton came to Shenandoah at the age of 18 to work at Mount Arbor Nursery. He didn’t think much about it when his draft papers eventually showed up back home. “I was young and stupid back then,” said Sutton. “Boot camp was at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and then OJT (On the Job Training) for mechanics at Fort Knox, Kentucky for one year.” After that, he found himself enroute on a commercial flight to Vietnam. Sutton said he doesn’t recall much of the flight, with the exception that everyone was pretty quiet on the way over. “I don’t remember where we landed, but it was real hot, dry, and real dusty. I was stationed at Hawkeye as a field mechanic.” As a field mechanic, Sutton explained he was out in the field with everyone else, riding around in ACAVS (Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle) or amored personnel carrier. He added in each ACAV was a driver, two 40s and a 50 mm guns. “We had them and Sheridans (light tanks) with us; they had the big guns on them.” As a field mechanic, Sutton would repair the ACAVS if it were something minor, like

change a starter or generator. “You were out in the field one month at a time and it happened maybe six or seven times while you were out there,” Sutton said. On Dec. 7, 1970 Sutton’s life changed forever; it’s a day he remembers very clearly. “We were all circling in for the night when we hit a mine, which blew us off the track, but that wasn’t the one that hurt me. A guy up a ways stepped on another mine that killed three and wounded 15 of us.” When the ACAV hit the mine, the four people on board just went flying, but were relatively unharmed. The second mine explosion occurred about 15 to 20 seconds after the first. “You were just starting to get your bearings and just started thinking about what had happened when the second mine went off,” Sutton said. Sutton was hit with shrapnel in the upper front portion of his head, but said he didn’t know it for a while. Remaining conscience, he remembers the entire ordeal. “I didn’t fall; I started going down, but didn’t. I remember everything was really quiet; there were no sounds. Everything was in slow motion.” Sutton said since everything was in slow motion, it’s hard to tell how fast help arrived, but in the meantime, he was helping those wounded worse than he was. “My arm hurt worse than anything, where I had also been hit. I didn’t realize I’d been hit in the head until I was lying on my back in the chopper. I could feel the wind hit my head and it felt cool.” Taken to a field hospital at first, Sutton was transferred to a different hospital more equipped to handle his injury. “The scrap metal went through my head and ended up behind my eyeball; it just shatters your bones so they have to remove it.” Sutton had a bifrontal craniotomy operation to repair his moderate brain damage. He was flown to a hospital in Japan for a short layover of three days, and then to see SUTTON, Page 40

June 2013 23

Roger VanNess Clarinda

VanNess served in Germany in 1960s By JOHN VAN NOSTRAND Executive Editor-Clarinda Herald-Journal & The Valley News

With each step Roger Van Ness took in his three-plus years in the Army, he either learned more or met more people. The New Market native married in July 1967 and was soon told by the Selective Service board of his eminent draft. He was able to delay his draft. He enlisted in January 1968 and reported to Ft. Lewis, Wash., for basic training. It wasn’t a good start. “I spent six weeks in the hospital for pneumonia,” he said. In April 1968 he was shipped to Huntsville, Ala., for advanced infantry training for 13 weeks. After that he was send to the Aberdeen proving grounds in Maryland for another 13 weeks to learn about fire control computer repair. The computers calibrated the information needed for larger cannons, “like powder charge, elevation, the whole ball of wax.”

“At the same time we learned to then check the computer to make sure it was doing what it was supposed to do,” he said. In July that year, he was sent to Ft. Benning, Ga. “When I got there, they looked at my credentials and said they don’t have any of this. They sent me to the field optical repair shop. I repaired all sighting equipment like binoculars and sights on weapons,” he said. He eventually worked in the arms room where he kept inventory of weapons. While in Ft. Benning, he was informed of an upcominginspection. “Everything from A to Z,” he said. The company commander made a bet with Van Ness. “He asked what kind of score we’d get on the inspection. He said for every point we got above 95, he’d give me a day off. For every point below 95, I would owe him a day,” he said. Van Ness had an effective bit of information – he knew a person on the inspection team, somebody he met earlier in his service. “We were told to expect a surprise visit for the inspection. One morning, at about 5 a.m., I got a phone call. All the person said was it was ‘today and goodbye,’” he said. Van Ness prepared for the inspection even though others in the office were suspi see VANNESS, Page 32


24 June 2013

we shall not forget

Myron Varley Clarinda

Varley served aboard USS Hailey during Korean Conflict By JOHN VAN NOSTRAND Executive Editor-Clarinda Herald-Journal & The Valley News

Myron Varley saw action during his time in the Navy during the Korean War but the ship he was on seemed to have its own form of protection for the sailors. Varley, 81, was born on a farm near College Springs. His family also lived in other places around Page County and Varley graduated from Coin in 1949. “I worked at a restaurant in Coin with my mom that we leased,” he said. “The Korean War was underway and it looked like the draft was inevitable.” The Korean War started in June 1950. His older brothers served in the Army in World War II and those stories reinforced Varley’s desire to be in the Navy. “Two friends from high school and I decided to join the Navy. We went to Fort Omaha to enlist,” he said. Varley said he was the smallest and frailest of the three so he had concerns about his

physical entrance exam. “The others were football-player types. We did the physical and I was the only one who passed. My friends were later drafted, so they were not in that bad of shape.” Varley started his service in January 1951. After training in Great Lakes, Ill., he was off to San Diego to the “mothball fleet.” He was assigned to the U.S.S. Hailey which was used in World War II but was idle since. “We started working on the Hailey and they moved us from the barracks to floating barracks on the water. Then we were able to move into the Hailey once it was back in service and started training on the ship,” he said. Varley asked to be in quartermaster to help with ship signals and navigation. “Some went to school for that, but we had on-the-job training,” he said. After some additional training in Newport, R.I., it was off to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. While in Cuba, the sailors learned how to protect aircraft carriers and battleships from submarine and air attacks. “We did a lot of anti-submarine training in Cuba. We would meet with the people in the submarine. The submarine people would go on the ship and the ship people would go on the submarine to get the experience on both sides of the coin,” he said. Training would include dropping a see VARLEY, Page 36

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Bob Wallace Shenandoah

Wallace served as Navy radarman By TESS GRUBER-NELSON Managing Editor-The Valley News

Bob Wallace of Shenandoah said he learned a lot about the world and himself while in the Navy. On top of that, he recommends any branch of the military to everyone, regardless of gender. Not only does he say a person learns responsibility, but structure and about diversity and different cultures. “It was a good experience; one I’d do again,” said Wallace. A Tarkio High School graduate of 1964, Wallace first thought about joining the military when he was a sophomore in high school. “It was a way to see the world,” Wallace said. In May 1964 Wallace enlisted in the Navy and headed to San Diego for boot camp the following month. After completion of boot camp, Wallace was given the routine 15-day furlough, where he returned to the area and married his sweetheart, Royce Anne Broermann. Assigned to Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, Calif., and attached to Air Squadron BA127, Wallace worked in the personnel office. “After eight months, I was sent to Class A School in San Diego to be a postal clerk,” Wallace recalled. Schooling was eight weeks long and following graduation, he was assigned to a ship, the USS Arnold J Isbell, DD-869, a destroyer. “We were stationed out of Long Beach,” Wallace said. Wallace’s first cruise aboard the ship was to Vietnam in July 1965. However, before they reached Southeast Asia, they went to Hawaii, where Wallace received some ex-

citing news. “I got a message Royce had our first child, Kelley. She was six months old before I got to see her.” In addition to stopping in Hawaii, the ship stopped at the Wake Islands, Guam and the Philippines before reaching the coast of Vietnam. “Our job was plane guarding aircraft carriers and search and rescue of a plane if it went down. We also offered gunfire support for troops on land.” It was while in that cruise Wallace switched from being a postal clerk to being a radarman. As a radarman, Wallace, a target plotter, was in direct contact with a Marine commander wanting gunfire support. Since the gun range on the ship was 26 miles, it wasn’t a problem. However, there was one occasion that took Wallace by surprise. “One time I was in contact with this Marine and he was telling me coordinates when I suddenly heard machinegun fire, and then, nothing.” The first cruise lasted six months, allowing Wallace to be home for seven months. The ship, with Wallace aboard, then took off for a second cruise, also to Vietnam to assist, and also taking the same route as before to get there. “While at Wake Island, I couldn’t help but think of my uncle Harvey Hayes who was killed there in 1943 during World War II.” While on the cruise, Wallace was able to meet up with his brother-in-law, Gordon Broermann, who was stationed as a radioman in Japan. The second cruise lasted seven months and it was on the way home from the second cruise Wallace was notified Royce has given birth to their son, Kevin. “Kevin was six weeks old before I got to see him.” Wallace was home for six months before heading out on a third cruise to the same area as before, utilizing the same route. “I was a Radarman Third Class by this see WALLACE, Page 36


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we shall not forget

June 2013 25

Dave Whipp Clarinda

Clarinda’s Whipp operated M48 tanks in ‘Nam By KENT DINNEBEIR Staff Writer-Clarinda Herald-Journal

Throughout his tour of duty in Vietnam, Dave Whipp of Clarinda carried a special lucky charm to remind him that someday he would be reunited with his family. Whipp was given the charm, a pair of praying hands, by his mother the day he flew from Kansas City, Mo., to Oakland, Calif., to board a transport plane bound for Vietnam. “I went up the steps to board the plane and my mom yelled at me to come back. She gave me an envelope and told me to open it later. It was a card with a good luck charm that she asked me to keep with me the whole year, which I did,” Whipp said. “When I got on the plane there were a lot of other military boys sitting together. I was bawling like a baby. I was the only one crying on the plane, but nobody said a word. Pretty soon they started talking about where they were going and I was the only one of the military

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ALLBEE Continued from Page 2

ing in an already formed large hole. “There were a lot of times I was lucky when somebody else wasn’t. I once saw this kid, with three days left on his tour, get blown up by a mine. He saw a piece of metal in the road (Highway 13) that wasn’t supposed to be there, so he took his bayonet and flipped it off – once the bayonet touched the metal, the kids disappeared.” After that, Allbee said he didn’t want to go back on that road. After pleading with his commanding officer, he was allowed to spend his last 35 days in Vietnam constructing an Enlisted Men’s (EM) Club. “It wasn’t much, but it was better than nothing.” Allbee spent three months on the front lines before making Sergeant. He also pulled guard duty on the DMZ on several occasions.

BOYSEN Continued from Page 5

some distance away from the military made things look a lot better. Overall, it was a good experience for me. It made me grow up, allowed me to see other parts of the country and taught me how to work with people,” Boysen said. After being discharged from the military, Boysen

we shall not forget “I made Sergeant within my first six months there.” In September 1968, Allbee got to return to the states, where he was honorably discharged. He returned to Rockford where his wife, Lynn was waiting for him. Allbee worked at a couple factories in the Rockford area for eight years. The couple and their son, Tim, then moved to Shenandoah in 1973. Don worked with his father at Allbee Heating and Air Conditioning and then in 1993 purchased the business. However, in 2001, he was forced to retire early due to heart issues. Don and Lynn have two grandchildren, Cody and Shelby; and one greatgrandchild, Maeci, who was born in July. “The Army provides a kid with self-confidence, independence, structure and appreciation for freedom and this country,” said Allbee. “For me, the Army was great.” returned to Iowa. He and his wife, Kathy, who had served as a teacher at Osceola, moved to Clarinda in 1999. Following the move, Boysen spent 10 years as the curriculum coordinator for Bedford and six other schools before retiring in 2010. He now serves as a substitute teacher for Bedford, Clarinda and Clarinda Academy as well as a substitute bus driver for the Clarinda Community School District.

AUCKER Continued from Page 3

part of a peacekeeping force. Upon returning to Fort Campbell, Aucker was selected for promotion to Sergeant First Class and was assigned to the staff of the commanding general. Aucker was then named Rear Detachment Commander in August of 2001 as part of the second Gulf War. Operating from Fort Campbell, he

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was responsible for all the soldiers at the base that had not deployed as well as shipping supplies to Iraq. Finally, Aucker retired from the Army in November of 2004 after more than 22 years of service. After his retirement, Aucker moved to Clarinda and worked for Eaton Corporation for six months before joining the staff at the Clarinda Post Office where he is still employed. Looking back on his career, Aucker said the Army taught him about discipline and the importance of dedica-

tion. “It definitely shaped who I am as a person. I wouldn’t be who I am today without my service,” Aucker said. “Now, my son, Zachary, wants to join the Marine Corps and I’m excited about that. I encourage everyone I know that has even thought about it to join the military because it taught me so much and made me stronger.” Cutline: SERVICE... John Aucker of Clarinda served in the Army.

patients receiving various medical procedures; and eventually was allowed into the operating room to take photographs documenting the procedures being performed. Anderson said the favorite part of her job was taking forensic photographs and working with medical examiners to determine the cause of a person’s death. During her time as a photographer she assisted with the deaths of pilots who were unintentionally ejected from their planes, drowning victims and even assisted in murder cases. “I always liked science and anatomy. I was fascinated by the way the human body worked and it was like trying to solve a puzzle to determine what happened to this person when we did not know the cause of death or it was suspicious,” Anderson said. Still, despite all the gruesome ways in which she saw people had died Anderson said the most difficult part of her job actually involved living patients. “One thing I didn’t like was that I had to document child abuse. I would get called in the middle of the night to take documentation photos of kids that had been beaten, burned or suf-

fered broken limbs. I was then called upon in court to testify about taking the photos,” Anderson said. As the first female biomedical photographer, Anderson said it was also difficult to gain the respect of men working in the same field. “I went to a conference once and was the only woman there. They thought I was there to serve coffee,” Anderson said. Anderson completed her four year enlistment in 1978 and made the decision to leave the Navy. “At that time the understanding was that if you wanted a family it was best not to be in the military,” she said. Putting her GI Bill to use, Anderson enrolled at Des Moines Area Community College in Boone and earned an associate’s degree. She then attended the University of Kentucky and received a bachelor’s degree in art studio. “I recommend young people consider going into the service because you will be able to get an education and learn a skill that you are interested in,” Anderson said. Anderson and her husband, Mark, moved to Clarinda in 1999. She is also a member of American Legion Sergy Post 98 in Clarinda.

ANDERSON Continued from Page 2

“When we got our orders all of the men were sent to Vietnam, but the ladies were also stationed state side. We could not be in a supportive role because we were women and women were not allowed to be in combat. I had hoped to receive a billet for a hospital ship, but there were no openings available so I went to San Diego and worked at the Bob Wilson Naval Hospital,” Anderson said. Despite being only 19-years-old, Anderson was assigned to the medical floor and cared for terminally ill and fatally wounded patients at the hospital. “Our floor was where everybody came to die. I was there to make them comfortable and see what I could do for them. I guess I was good at it because they assigned me to the patients that were expected to die soon,” she said. However, in 1976 after having spent approximately one year on the medical floor, Anderson received an opportunity to work in the biomedical photography lab in the hospital. Anderson had been involved in photography during high school and initially worked in the film processing room before being trained as a medical photographer. “I was the first woman to serve as a biomedical photographer. They have a school for that, but because I was a woman I could not go,” Anderson said. Instead, Anderson was trained by her male peers at the hospital. During her two and one-half years as a biomedical photographer she was responsible for taking specimen photos; took before and after photographs of


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we shall not forget HAFFNER Continued from Page 11

EMBREE Continued from Page 8

Lee was the first person in the family to receive word of Ronnie’s death. “I was at home, in Thurman when they came to the house. They then went to tell my mom at the Glenwood State Hospital, where she worked,” said Lee. “I had just gotten out of the Army myself and felt that it should have been me instead of him; he had a bright future ahead of him.” “I was in Omaha and had just had my first child in November, when I learned Ronnie had died,” added Beulah. “It took me a long time to accept that he was really gone.” Military services were held at the Thurman Methodist Church on Jan. 24, 1969 with internment in the Sidney Cemetery. A former classmate, Gary Gladwin, who was serving in Vietnam, accompanied Ronnie’s body home. “The funeral was packed, even the basement,” recalled Lee. “None of us saw the body, but the funeral director, who knew Ronnie, said it was him.” In 2009, Beulah said Ronnie’s platoon leader, Gary

Bray, contacted the family about a book he had written, After My Lai, about his experiences in Vietnam, and dedicated to four men in his platoon, one of which was Ronnie. His first impression when meeting his platoon for the first time was how young they looked,” said Beulah. “He also said that after all these years he still misses them, as he would a brother. He also said Ronnie could have been voted most popular in his high school class back in Iowa and that he had a good sense of humor. “He was one of the most well liked men in the platoon,” Beulah added. “After meeting Gary and his wife, it was comforting and helpful in the healing process.” However, both Beulah and Lee think and miss their brother daily. In fact, Beulah said for her, it gets worse as time goes by. “I can’t help but think what his life would have been like if he had lived. What would he have done for a living? Where would he live?” “I think about him all the time,” added Lee. “I think about all the things he would have done.”

where family members could join the crew for the final leg of the cruise to Norfolk, Va. Haffner said his father, Don Haffner of Clarinda, joined him for the Tiger Cruise and spent four days and three nights aboard the aircraft carrier. “I was never so excited to see my dad,” Haffner said. “I really liked having my dad on board. Seeing someone you know from home after being out to sea for seven months is awesome and he had a blast.” In 2009, Haffner was transferred to the USS Carl Vinson and served about that ship for the remainder of his naval career. After spending four days in Haiti in January of 2010 assisting with the earthquake, Haffner said the carrier continued on its cruise along South America on the way to San Diego. “We had air shows all the time when we were going around South America so I got to see the pilots show off their talents,” Haffner said.

“We also stopped in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and a lot of us went to see the Statue of Christ. Then, at the tip of South America, we saw a lot of sea life including whales.” After rounding the tip of South America, Haffner said the ship visited Lima, Peru, before eventually arriving in San Diego in March after 93 days at sea. Then, in December of 2010, Haffner was again deployed to the Persian Gulf. During that journey he was able to visit Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. At that time, problems with the Somali pirates were developing and the USS Carl Vinson received a mayday call from a barge that was under attack. “The captain called for full bore. We launched two helos, manned up all the 0.50 cals, cleared the flight deck and launched two F-18s after that. That was when I thought, ‘wow, this is serious.’ Two little ships had been sent out from a mother ship to take over the barge, but the USS Bunker Hill cut off the pirate ships from the barge. Then we bombed the two smaller ships,” Haffner said. After the incident with the Somali

COOPER Continued from Page 6

across Japan to an air base where they board a C54 for Korea. “As we circled our base in Korea, they (North Koreans) shot flares at us. It was completely dark aboard the plane so they couldn’t tell where we were,” Cooper said. “They had just pushed the North Koreans our of our base and as we stepped off the runway, in the dark, we walked into a tank that was totally destroyed. They then put us in a Quonset hut for the rest of the night to sleep and as we just got settled, we had an air raid. I remember thinking, ‘What have I gotten myself into?’” As an auto mechanic at the Korean base, Cooper said all they had was a tent; no shop. “We’d pull our vehicles in the tent to get them started in the cold weather,” he recalled. After one year, Cooper was reassigned to Castle Air Force Base in Merced, Calif., where he was joined by his wife, Doris, and soon, their daughter Debra, born in 1955. From there he was assigned to Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, where the couple welcomed a son, Michael, in 1957. “In 1958, my family got to accompany me to Elmendorf, Alaska, where I had been assigned. Once there I changed my AFSC to ground power on aircraft equipment, working in and around the flight line.” Since the Cold War was on, Cooper said they were sent to radar sights often in order to keep their equipment up to

June 2013 27 pirates, the ship continued to Busan, South Korea, and then reached the Persian Gulf. Haffner remained aboard for approximately three months before flying back to San Diego and being discharged from the Navy April 10, 2011. Following his military service, Haffner returned to Clarinda and is now employed by PeopleService as a maintenance technician. He also serves as a member of the Clarinda Volunteer Fire Department. Looking back on his military career, Haffner said the experience provided him with a sense of structure and showed him that he can accomplish his goals if he dedicates himself. During his four years of service, Haffner sailed around the world and said there are times he misses the military. “Those were some of the best times I’ve ever had. I miss seeing nothing but the blue water and the sunrises and sunsets on the ocean are amazing. That is probably what I miss the most, along with the sea life. We would always have dolphins jumping along our boat,” Haffner said.

date. In 1961, Cooper was sent to Lincoln Air Force Base and then in 1966, reassigned to Kincheloe Air Force Base in the upper peninsula of Michigan. “From there, in March 1966, I was sent to Ubon Air Force Base Thailand, where our bombers and fighters raided Vietnam. What I remember most about Thailand was how hot and rainy it was. It rained 23-inches in 21 days.” Reassigned to Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz., Cooper was happy to have his family around him again. “We stayed in Tucson for a little over a year, but then I volunteer to go back to Alaska, especially since they were sending a lot of guys over to Vietnam. After three years, I retired from the Air Force.” The Cooper family moved to Shenandoah, where Bud worked for Mac Malloy Motors for four years as a mechanic. He then got on at Eaton Corporation, where he stayed for 18 years; retiring in 1988. Bud and Doris will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary on Aug. 10. “She has endured all of the hardship of moving almost every year and the kids changing school often. I couldn’t have done any of it without her.” Debra and her husband, Joel Wilson, reside in Des Moines; their two sons, Zack and Drew, reside in Omaha. Son, Michael resides in Denver. “If nothing else, the military made me appreciate being an American,” said Cooper. SERVICE... Raymond “Bud” Cooper of Shenandoah served in the Navy and the Air Force. Pictured is Cooper in 1952 while in the Air Force.


we shall not forget

28 June 2013

KEERAN Continued from Page 13

for one year before making the decision to enlist in the Air Force. “During that time frame it was either be drafted into the Army or, if you wanted to get into another branch, enlist. The main reason I joined the Air Force is because I thought I would learn a skill or trade that I could use after I got out,” Keeran said. Utilizing the delayed enlistment program, Keeran and his friend, Keith Huseman, reported to Lackland

Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, in January of 1967 for basic training. He then went to Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, to receive his training as an air freight specialist. Following his schooling, Keenan was stationed at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif., and assigned to the 60th Aerial Port. During that time he worked primarily with retrograde cargo that was coming back from the war and was being sent out of refurbishing. “Shortly after I got there

they told me that within a year I would be in Vietnam and they were correct,” Keeran said. After completing his 18 months of service in Vietnam, Keeran returned to the United States and was stationed at McCord Air Force Base in Tacoma, Wash. “I worked with hazardous and dangerous cargo. If there was anything that was flammable, explosive or radioactive, we took care of it,” he said. Keeran was discharged from the Air Force in January of 1971 and returned to Clarinda. He returned to

IWCC to complete his college education and was also actively involved in the College Vets Club. Looking back on his military service, Keeran said the four years he spent in the Air Force was a valuable learning experience. He said he learned organizational skills as wells as the importance of teamwork and following through with a job or assignment. “It also gave me a great sense of pride to be part of our nation’s military forces. I was glad to go and serve my country, and I am thankful for all the great oppor-

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tunities this country has provided everyone,” Keeran said. In fact, Keeran said his military service was so important to him that in 2010 he joined American Legion Sergy Post 98 in Clarinda. “The American Legion has done a lot of different things for the community through the activities they support as well the Color Guard and Honor Guard,” Keeran said. “They have also helped local veterans in many ways such as completing their papers for the VA hospital. I wanted to be more a part of the community and saw this as a way to give back. This is a very good little community and in some small way I wanted to be able to give back and help my fellow veterans.” However, as Keeran began to regularly attend meetings, he learned the post was running short on funds. Having helped organize the Van Fosson Relay For Life Golf Tournament for the last five years, Keer-

an proposed the post hold its own charitable golf tournament. The tournament supported the Wounded Warrior program as well as established a scholarship fund to assist the sons, daughters or grandchildren of local veterans with their education. During the inaugural year of the tournament, the American Legion raised $4,500 to support the Wounded Warrior program and also placed $1,000 into the scholarship fund. “When we saw the success of that event, we immediately decided to have our second golf event in August of 2012,” Keeran said. The tournament will be held Thursday, Aug. 23, at the Clarinda Country Club. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Wounded Warrior program as well as the local post. “For the second year, the 1st of the 168th Battalion of the Iowa National Guard will be one of our sponsors,” he said.


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LATHAM Continued from Page 14

Afghanistan. Latham served as a force protection platoon leader in Qalat, Afghanistan, The 56 soldiers in the platoon provided convoy security, personnel security and sight security in support of civil affairs operations. This included rebuilding the infrastructure of the local government and providing essential services like water, electricity and healthcare services to local residents. In addition, the platoon worked to gain the trust of local nationals who in turn assisted the soldiers with identifying weapons caches. The soldiers also supported the Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit with the removal of explosive ordinance that had been left by the Russians and ammunition that was being used for attacks against coalition forces. “At that time the Iraq War was the focus

MENTZER Continued from Page 16

computer that calculated a bomb’s trajectory based on current flight conditions as well as a link to the bomber’s autopilot, which allowed it to react quickly when the wind changed directions or so forth. “You had to be very careful when working with them because they could easily blow up. It wasn’t easy to work with them. I calibrated them and took them in and out of planes.” It wasn’t until about two weeks after DDay, Mentzer found himself on the beaches of Normandy, France as part of a supply group. “They (Germans) mowed our men down as soon as they got off the boats. I lost three of my buddies that day,” said Mentzer. “The bombing was over by the time I got there and they threw you into whichever outfit needed people. They’d call you out by name and you immediately became a soldier, even though you might be a trained technician, like I was.” Working in supplies on the march across Europe, Mentzer said he went through nine different counties. “I went all the way to Czechoslovakia, the Elbe River towards Russia, and I had to wear an armband that said I was an American to keep the Russians from shooting us; Germany, Switzerland; most of all the countries except for Swedish counties up north like Denmark. I saw a lot of country.” When Germany surrendered in May 1945, Mentzer was south of Berlin in Frankfurt, Germany.

we shall not forget and there was not much in the media about Afghanistan. But things were happening every day and I was surprised that there was more going on than I anticipated,” Latham said. “Our mission was successful in my eyes because many of the local nationals really showed their appreciation for our sacrifice and efforts.” Despite the danger that existed throughout the year he spent in Afghanistan, Latham said the aspect of the deployment that was hardest on him was being separated from his family. “My biggest challenge was remaining in contact with my family and maintaining a stable home environment. If problems ar ose for my loved ones I often felt helpless because I was stuck over there,” Latham said. Following his year of service in Afghanistan, Latham returned to the United States and resumed his career with the Clarinda Police Department. He had joined the de“They blew that town up I’ll tell you; there wasn’t much left of it,” he recalled. “It was quite an experience to see the occupation.” Although the war in Europe was over, Mentzer spent 10 to 12 months in Germany for the occupation. He recalled hearing about German caves where there were jet motors had been developed. “They shipped the motors, and about three German engineers and their families to Wright Field in Ohio because we had yet to develop a jet engine like that.” When V-J day arrived the day Japan surrendered in August 1945, Mentzer said they celebrated at the Eiffel Tower, 120-feet off the ground. With the surrender of Germany and Japan, Mentzer remained in Europe until April of 1946 when he returned to the United States. He and his wife, Lorraine, who were married in 1937, became parents to two daughters, Jan and Pat. For 40 years, Mentzer worked for JC Penney, but has been retired for 40 years. Following the death of Lorraine in 1980, he married again in 1990, but she also sadly passed away. Mentzer spent most of his adult life in Newton, but moved to Shenandoah in June, where he resides at Windsor Manor. He will turn 100 years old on Nov. 20, 2012. A grandparent to one grandson, Gabe, Mentzer can sum up war pretty simply “Freedom isn’t free,” Mentzer said. “The world can be a scary place.”

partment in 1998. “The military and law enforcement correlate well since they have similar values in regard to public service. Doing one job makes me better at the other,” Latham said. In 2006, Latham left the Clarinda Police Department and worked for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department until 2008. However, in May 2008, he went to work for the Department of State as a contractor with DynCorp International. He was sent to Iraq for one year as an International Police Advisor. During that time Latham was part of the police transition team in Tikrit, Iraq, and supported stability operations in the country. He was attached to military units and acted as a liaison with the Iraqi police. “Most of my job dealt with the day to day activities of the local Iraqi police department including operations, administration, logistics and investigations,” Latham said. “One of our biggest challenges was working through the corruption in the government.

LINER Continued from Page 15

to wear dresses, even when we were doing our physical training. We were in dresses all the time,” Liner said. Initially Liner had enlisted in the military for three years. However, she and her ex-husband were married Jan. 31, 1961, and she was discharged from the military Feb. 28, 1961, after two years of service. “If you got married you had the option to stay or get out. I had the choice to of getting out or going to Camp Zama, Japan. My ex-husband was getting out of the military so I did too” she said. However, in 1964, Liner said her exhusband rejoined the military and was stationed at Fort Greely, Alaska. Therefore, Liner started a career in federal service as a telephone operator for the Army. She later served in that capacity at Fort Clayton in the Panama Canal Zone as well as McChord Air Force Base and Fort Lewis in Washington. “Panama was like a big country club. The weather was perfect and it was one of the best duty stations we ever had. We lived in what was called tropical housing, which was very unique. There were no glass windows. They were all screens and

June 2013 29 But I did see a great deal of improvement from when I arrived until the time I left.” Although his specific duties were very different, Latham said his prior experience in Afghanistan also made it easier for him to work with the United States military and officials with the Iraqi police. As a result, Latham said he was able to forge many strong bonds with his fellow members of law enforcement. “I found there were a lot of good police officers in Iraq and made friends with a lot of the officers there,” Latham said. After a brief stint with the Page County Sheriff’s Department, Latham returned to the Clarinda Police Department in 2009. Meanwhile, Latham currently holds the rank of captain with the Iowa Army National Guard and serves as battalion personnel officer for Headquarters 1-168 in Council Bluffs. He has a total of 16 years of service and plans to retire from the military after completing the necessary 20 years of enlistment. the houses were up off the ground,” Liner said. “I don’t regret one minute of my time in the military or the 23 years with my exhusband. I got to see a lot of the world that I wouldn’t have gotten to see otherwise and it provided me with a lot of opportunities.” Liner concluded her career as a telephone operator while stations at Fort Lewis. She then entered the medical field and spent 37 years in federal service. For the final 16 years of her medical career Liner worked with Veteran Affairs before retiring Oct. 31, 2006. Following her retirement, Liner moved to Clarinda. She is a member of both American Legion Sergy Post 98 and the American Legion Auxiliary. She also volunteers one day a week at the VA Clinic in Shenandoah. Liner said the time she spent in the military and as a military wife helped shape her into the person she is today. Now, through her involvement in the American Legion and Legion Auxiliary, she is able to continue sharing her love of country. “There is a special comradeship that exists no matter what branch you served in,” Liner said. “It also reminds you how fragile our freedom can be. You see other countries around the world and realize how lucky we are to be living in the United States.”


REED Continued from Page 18

training program with an airborne unit from Italy and tanker unit from Great Britain. Then in 1998, Reed volunteered to go to Kuwait on a peacekeeping mission. After extensive training, he was sent to Kuwait in January 2001 and served in country for six months. During that time Reed served as a team leader providing site security for a Patriot missile battery. “I had been in the military for six years and had not used the skills I had learned for anything real. I really wanted to go because I wanted to prove to myself that those skills weren’t being wasted,” Reed said. Reed was stationed at Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait. Along with providing site security, Reed had the opportunity to train with a Special Forces unit at Udairi Training Range for three days. During that time he learned about field expedient explosive devices. Over the course of his six months in Kuwait, Reed said he would be on active duty for four days and then had four days off. During his days off he had the opportunity to visit local flea markets and enrolled in a

POWLES Continued from Page 17

“There were 35 of us that were sent up to the front and about 25 to 30 of them were killed or wounded – there was blood all over. “Death became nothing because it was everywhere.” Sleeping in foxholes at night, and not being allowed to smoke (because it would give their position away) the month on the front seemed like it lasted a lot longer. In addition to the Japanese posing a threat, Powles said sometimes their fellow soldiers were even more of a threat. “There was one guy in the outfit who tried to be sent home. First he fell down the side of a mountain, then purposely stuck his foot under the tire of a vehicle, and finally, ended up shooting himself in the leg, which finally got him sent home.” Additionally, dysentery was a huge problem in Manila. Each man was only allowed two canteens of water a day – one in the morning and one at night. Eventually, Powles said the outfit moved to Baguio on the island of Luzon. He said the area was full of large termite mounds and cobras, but the fighting was less fierce. As the outfit moved north of Baguio, they

we shall not forget SCUBA diving program offered by a British dive service. Reed earned his dive certification in the Persian Gulf. As enjoyable as that experience was, Reed said what he remembers most of his time in Kuwait was the extreme heat. “I remember getting off the airplane. It was so hot and the air was so thick it was brutal. If you have ever opened an oven and felt that wave of heat, that is what it felt like. It about knocked you off your feet,” Reed said. “But what were even stranger were the nights. It would be 120 degrees during the day, but the sand doesn’t hold any heat. So when the sun would go down it would drop to 90 degrees and it would be freezing cold in the middle of the night.” A year after returning from Kuwait, Reed joined the Clarinda Police Department. Reed said he had wanted to serve as a police officer since he was a young child. “I have to credit my dad (Mike Reed). He was in the fire service. I saw how much my dad enjoyed being fire chief and working for the city, so I thought joining the police department would be a good way for me to give something back to my city,” Reed said. Reed said his military training and law enforcement training went hand in hand and helped make him better in both regards. encountered their last combat, as the Philippine campaign came to an end. “We were then supposed to invade Japan, but the atomic bomb was dropped.” Instead, the outfit moved back to Clark Field in Manila, and the dispersed either back to the States or to Japan for the occupation. Powles volunteered to become a supply sergeant and was assigned to Kanoilya Air Base. He recalled flying on a C46 with all of his supplies to Japan. After one year in Japan, Powles was sent back to the States and discharged from the Army. He served from June 1944 to May 1946, and three of those months were spent on in combat. In 1947, he got a job with soil conservation and laid out most of the terraces and the majority of the tiling in Fremont County. He retired in January 1980. Erskine and the late Thelma, have one son, Dennis; two grandchildren, Jon and Jill; and three great-grandchildren, Rachel, Blake, and Colin. “The Army was an invaluable experience,” Powles said.

Then in 2003, Reed said his National Guard Unit received word it may be deployed to Iraq. Although another unit was selected to go to Iraq, the unit received a mobilization order in 2004 for a mission to Afghanistan. Reed said the unit reported to Fort Hood, Texas, in February 2004 for three months of training before deploying to Afghanistan. “I was more anxious than anything. I wanted to get over there and get started. You are always apprehensive of the unknown, but that is not something you can dwell on. I knew we had the best training available and you have to trust that training,” Reed said. During the one year deployment the National Guard Unit was stationed at Gardez, Afghanistan. Reed said the six months he had previously spent in Kuwait helped him quickly acclimate to the conditions in Afghanistan and he was able to pass that experience on to the eight soldiers under his charge. The unit was charged with providing convoy security for civil affairs and human intelligence teams as well as providing base security. Reed also assisted with providing security at several voting sites in Afghanistan as the country participated in its first democratic election.

The Valley News/Herald-Journal In order to track the voters at the polling places, Reed said local citizens would have their finger dipped in dye. He said the voters would proudly display their finger after voting and, for Reed, that simple act justified why the United States military was in Afghanistan. “It was really neat to be a part of that,” Reed said. “At the level I was at, you never really understand the purpose of an engagement until you see something like that. It made the journey worth it to see those people make decisions for themselves rather than being dictated to.” Reed said he was also pleased to learn the American people understood the importance of mission the United States was undertaking in Afghanistan. He realized just how much support the military had when he returned home on leave in February 2005. “It was absolutely overwhelming,” Reed said. “When we landed in Dallas and got off the plane the entire terminal stood up and started clapping and cheering for us. People were patting us on the back and thanking us. I was not prepared for that, but it was very heartwarming. Three of us then flew on to Eppley Airfield and some people in first class gave up their seats for us.”

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we shall not forget

RICHARDSON Continued from Page 19

being relayed by the station were received on paper tape that had to be sent through a reader to be deciphered and then prepared for transmission to Europe or the United States. He said most of the equipment was old and unreliable. However, during his time at Kagnew Station, Richardson said the use of satellite communications was developed. “That made a huge difference in the quality of communications. Several times I called home via radio and it was extremely difficult to hear or be heard. But a few times I was able to use satellite channels and it was like being right next to the people in Clarinda,” he said. After graduating from Clarinda High School in 1964, Richardson attended college for four years before being drafted by the Army. He was inducted Sept. 5, 1968, and sent to Fort Lewis, Wash., for basic training. “It was the height of the Vietnam War so I wasn’t terribly surprised it happened. My parents were extremely upset, but I was curious about what was going on over there,” Richardson said. The wet weather conditions in Washington nearly delayed Richardson’s ability to complete basic training. During a 14-mile march near the end of basic training he suffered extreme blistering that caused him to lose most of the skin on his right foot. After the march, rather than receiving care for the foot, Richardson said he borrowed a size 12 boot from a fellow soldier and stood guard duty. His officer in charge discovered what he had done and reprimanded him for not reporting to sick bay. However, the bigger issue facing Richardson was he also set to take his physical training test to complete basic training. He was faced with the choice of taking the test with the injured foot or delaying the completion of his basic training and possibly missing his schooling as a communication center specialist.

SCHULTZ Continued from Page 21

Tokyo in Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and Hong Kong. “The only difference between mainland China and Hong Kong was a fence in the middle of a race patty field that separated the two,” Schultz said. After spending three years aboard the USS Yorktown, Schultz was transferred in August 1966 to the Naval Communications Training Center in Pensacola, Fla. A choice duty station for a personnelman, Schultz said the posting allowed him to travel up and down the coast of Florida as well as visit Mobile, Ala., and attend Mardi Gras. Although Schultz enjoyed the two years he spent at the Naval Communications Training Center, he said he always had a desire to visit Europe. Therefore, he agreed to reenlist in the Navy in October 1968 if he received orders to Naples, Italy; Rota, Spain; or San Juan, Puerto Rico.

June 2013 31

“I went through with the PT test. The toughest part was the 150-yard man carry where you have to carry a person at least your own weight 150 yards. I carried George Hetherington, who was also from Clarinda. He outweighed me by at least 50 pounds. It wasn’t fun, but I made it,” Richardson said. Initially, after completing his advanced individual training, Richardson was scheduled to spend 18 months in Asmara before returning to the United States. However, when he was notified his new duty station would be at Fort Benning, Ga., he approached his commanding officer about the possibility of extending his tour of duty at Asmara for the remainder of his time in the Army. Richardson was given a 30 day leave in July 1970 so he could go home to get married. He and his new wife, Susan, then returned to Asmara by Aug. 3. The couple lived in Asmara for approximately 13 months and their daughter was born there. The couple lived in a duplex outside the base. Due to the crime and political climate in the city, Richardson said a guard lived in the basement of the duplex and stood watch at the gate each night. The walls of the duplex were also topped with broken glass and the windows were fortified with metal barriers that could be rolled down for added security. As local rebels moved closer to the city, Richardson said the threat of a civil war grew. On one occasion he said an intelligence report was received indicating the base was subject to rocket mortar attack and the base was placed on high alert. “Fortunately it never happened, but I spent the night in a fox hole with another soldier that was just as jumpy as I was. It was serious enough that we had live ammunition and the base was fortified to the best extent it could be. We only had one machine gun, but we had light arms and were prepared for an attack,” Richardson said. Meanwhile, on two different occasions, Richardson said Haile Selassie visited the base. Known as the “Lion of Ju-

dah,” Selassie served as the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. “The second time Selassie came to the base was much different. The first time we had rifles, but no ammunition. The second time we had live ammunition and were locked and loaded,” Richardson said. “After I got back, Selassie was placed under house arrest by the rebels. The communists took power and the whole city broke into civil war.” Twice during his stay at Kagnew Station, Richardson was able to visit the recreational base at Massawa on the Red Sea. He made his first trip to Massawa before getting married. It involved a 72-mile ride down the mountain in a Volkswagen microbus that was frequently delayed by camels and goats on the roadway. The second time he was joined by his wife. Richardson said the couple made the 22 mile flight on an ancient Ethiopian Airlines DC-3. “The plane was loaded with Ethiopian passengers and one of them had tied his prized goat in the luggage area at the back of the plan. It was a bumpy ride, but worth it to swim in the Red Sea and tour an oceangoing research vessel which was in port,” he said. Richards was discharged from the Army in September 1971, but shortly before he and his family left Asmara, a currier on his way to Massawa from Kagnew Station was killed by rebels. “That made it apparent that the U.S. was going to have to do something different. The process was started to shift our operations at Kagnew Station to the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean,” Richardson said. Although Richardson said being drafted was initially something he did not want to have happen, he has since realized that his military service has made him a better leader as well as being more decisive and analytical. “It was an experience of a lifetime,” Richardson said.

Schultz was assigned to the U.S. Naval Station at San Juan, Puerto Rico. He said the duty station counted as sea time despite being on land and afforded him the opportunity to visit St. Thomas and St. Croix in the United State Virgin Islands. In addition, Schultz said he had the opportunity to go deep sea fishing during his time in Puerto Rico. The Special Services Department arranged a monthly charter with the captain of a local fishing boat. “The captain of the charter would help us filet the fish we caught. Then, whatever the servicemen did not want from the catch, he would donate to an orphanage in San Juan,” Schultz said. “I was in the Navy for eight years and the only time I really got sick was when we went deep sea fishing.” Finally, in September 1971, Schultz made the decision to leave the Navy. He was officially discharged from the military Oct. 1, 1971, and returned to Colorado. However, when he returned to the United States, he was confronted with a shocking realization about the state of political af-

fairs in the world. “I was really surprised at what was going on in the country with regards to Vietnam. Being down in Puerto Rico for three years, I did not see what was going on stateside and realize how many people hated the servicemen associated with Vietnam. It was a real rude awakening after the sheltered life I had been living in the military,” Schultz said. After returning home, Schultz went to work for Monfort of Colorado, Inc. in Greeley, Colo., for 24 years. Then, in May 1996, he joined R.R. Donnelley and worked for the printing company until his retirement in April 2011. Following his retirement, Schultz and his wife, Sharon, moved to New Market to be closer to her family living in the area. After the move, in January 2012, Schultz joined American Legion Sergy Post 98 in Clarinda. “I joined the American Legion because of the things it does for the community. I also feel privileged to be a member of the Honor Guard and to be able to help recognize our fallen veterans,” Schultz said.


we shall not forget

32 June 2013

SHEARER Continued from Page 21

The ship was in Da Nang harbor in Vietnam.” While stationed in Vietnam aboard the USS Patapsco, a small gas tanker, Shearer said they ran fuel from the big tankers in the Da Nang harbor up the coast to the DMZ and offloaded it at a Marine base called Qua Viet. “Luckily I was only there for about two months. The ship that was supposed to take our place broke down in the Philippines so we were there a couple extra months and then we went back to Hawaii,” Shearer said. “I’m glad I got to Vietnam to see it because I understand it, but I wouldn’t want to be there long-term.” Once in Hawaii, it was decided to decommission the ship. When Shearer first signed up for the Navy, he was going to be sent to electrician school, but that would be a six-year commitment. Instead, wanting a four-year commitment instead, Shearer said that’s how he ended up in Vietnam. When it was determined Shearer’s ship would be decommissioned, he needed new orders so he tried to apply to go to data processing school. “They said ‘No, we can’t authorize anybody off the ship to go to school.’” However, after Navy officials received a let-

ter from Shearer’s mother on how her husband had been in the Navy for 20 years, yet her son had been mistreated, orders for Shearer to go to school came through. “I’m sitting in Hawaii and I know nothing about my mother’s letter and the Captain calls me into his office, which is unusual.” Needless to say, Shearer received a letter off the ship and was authorized to go to data processing school. It was a couple days later Shearer received a letter from his mother telling him about the letter she had written. “When you go from station to station they give you this file with your orders and here clearly marked in great big red letters across the front of my file was, “Political Influence.” So nobody messed with you ever again.” After a two or three month wait aboard the USS Ponchatoula, Shearer began data processing school in San Diego. ‘The first computers I operated had 16K of memory which is nothing, your telephone has probably 400 times more.” Shearer was transferred to Norfolk, Vir., when he completed data processing school, where he spent a year on the destroyer. Basically what they did, he explained, was go up and down the east coast repairing destroyers. “We were a supply ship and a repair ship for destroyers. They got me up to about two years of

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sea duty so after that I got shore duty.” Assigned in Norfolk at the Operations Command Center, Shearer tracked Russian submarines up and down the east coast. “There were listening devices in the ocean that were tied to islands by cable and they would record the data on these island recorders and then transfer the information to Norfolk. We’d combine all the information and you could pinpoint where the Russian submarine was.” It was during this time Shearer was promoted to E5, or Data Processing Technician Second Class. After two-and-a-half to three years in Norfolk, Shearer was discharged from the Navy. He and Sherry returned to the Farragut area and Kirk obtained a job with Chuck Oxenford as an accountant. Later, Shearer went to work for Dale Matthews in his accounting office, where he’s been for roughly 30 years. “Dale sold the business to Terry (Miller) and I and Terry and ran it for a year and then brought Dave (Lashier) in and then ran it a few more years and brought in a few more partners.” Kirk and his wife, Sherry, have two children, Staci and Jay. Staci resides in Farragut with her husband, Mike, and two children, Riley and Miranda. Jay resides with his wife, Nicole in Davenport with their son, Ty.

VANNESS Continued from Page 23

cious of Van Ness. “They asked how I knew it was today and I didn’t tell them my source,” he said. The inspector arrived, which was the person Van Ness knew, and 98 was put on the review sheet. “They always have to find something wrong. At the end of the day, I was proud and popping my buttons. I got the days off,” he smiled. In spring 1969 Van Ness transferred to Germany. There were too many servicemen at a processing station in Frankfort, so he was sent to Worms. He was offered one of two positions. One was to do the fire control computer repair, but that would mean a cycle of three weeks in the field followed by one week off. The other was to return to Frankfort for a computer operator job. “I didn’t think it was much of an answer. I started work in Frankfort,” he said.

PHIPPS Continued from Page 17

Glenda, and Vicki. Phipps joked having four girls in the house with only one bathroom was almost as bad as Iwo Jima. “I would say it was just about equal,” he laughed. In addition to four children, Phipps has grandchildren, greatgrandchildren, and greatgreat-grandchildren.

The job included preparing checks and other forms of information for the finance office. He trained others which could take up to six months to complete. “It was not something you could just jump into,” he said. While in Germany, he was able to work with civilian employees from other countries. One man was from India who had a brother in London. Van Ness traveled with the man by car and toured Germany and France and saw some World War II sites. “I loved doing that. It was great,” he said. Seeing the end of his service, Van Ness considered re-enlisting, but couldn’t find a position he wanted to have or could secure. He returned to his New Market home on Christmas Eve 1970. After his service, Van Ness, 68, worked at Livingston Clothing on Clarinda’s square, spent some time at the Clarinda Company and worked with livestock feed. He found a job at NSK in 1978 and retired 30 years later.

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WHIPP Continued from Page 25

and was able to return to New Market to spend Christmas and New Year’s with his family. “I was supposed to report to Oakland in early January 1970, but I stayed home a couple of extra days. As a result I reported late and got an Article 15,” Whipp said. “The last night I was home, I went out with my friends. It was pretty late when I came home and I drove around New Market looking the town over one last time. When I finally drove home and pulled in the driveway, Diana Ross’ song ‘Someday’ came on the radio. I sat in the car and listened to that song before I turned off the radio and went in the house to go to bed.” The next morning Whipp and his family drove to Kansas City for his flight to Oakland. From there, Whipp was flown a reception point southern Vietnam. Soon after he was flown to Da Nang and eventually arrived in Dong Ha, the capital of Quang Tri province, located near the Demilitarized Zone. He was assigned to the Third Platoon C Troop of the 3rd/5th U.S. Calvary. Soon after his arrival, the platoon sergeant informed Whipp and another soldier trained in tank operations there was only one tank opening and one of them would have to serve on an armored personnel carrier. Whipp won a coin flip and was assigned to assist with the transition from M48 tanks to the new Sheridan tanks. As part of the transition, the soldiers received two weeks of training on the Sheridan tanks and then participated in a competition to demonstrate their knowledge and skill. Whipp was selected to serve as a loader for his tank crew and responsible for preparing the shells for firing. “Sergeant Cross for some reason did not like me. He was a yeller and a screamer. He really wanted to win the competition, but he didn’t think I was fast enough. So right before the competition he went to the platoon sergeant and said he did not want me on his tank,” Whipp said. The platoon sergeant agreed to switch loaders and Whipp joined the tank crew directed by his platoon sergeant. The switch paid off as Whipp met one of his best friends in the military and helped round out the winning team for the competition. “Dean Moretti was our gunner and he couldn’t miss. We ended up winning the competition and some officer presented each of us a bottle of whiskey as our prize,” Whipp said. As their friendship grew, Whipp said

we shall not forget he told Moretti the story of his final night at home in New Market and listening to “Someday” on the radio. Since Moretti also liked the song, they selected “Someday” as the name of their tank and painted the title on the gun tube. Along with serving as the loader on the tank, Whipp was also responsible for setting trip flares to protect the nighttime position of the tank. It was the placement of those flares that helped protect Whipp’s platoon when it came under direct attack in August 1970 at Falcon Flats. While placing the trip flares, Whipp said he went beyond some hedge rows and bushes and saw a young boy hiding in the bushes. When Whipp attempted to approach him, the boy started running. Whipp followed him for a short distance until he got an uneasy feeling and stopped. “I did not go any further. I turned around to go back and then told my platoon sergeant what had happened. He told everybody to be on alert,” Whipp said. “That night we spotted some water buffalo and they acted like somebody was driving them toward us. We feared they would get into the trip flares so we sent an M79 grenade to scare them back, but something spooked them back toward us.” Later, Whipp said the trip flares went off and everyone started firing their weapons into the dark night. Once the firing stopped, infrared lights on the tanks were used to scope the area for enemy soldiers. “Dean was scoping and I was on top of the tank when Dean spotted something. We fired a canister round and started shooting as everything broke loose,” Whipp said. “I tried to jump off the tank and fell, but I was able to make my way to a fox hole. The next morning we found 17 dead (North Vietnamese Army) soldiers, but none of our guys were hurt.” Although that was the only time Whipp and his tank crew came under enemy fire, they did encounter a land mine on another occasion. The tank was assuming its nighttime position when the mine detonated. “Dean was driving and I was on the bustle rack. We and had just crossed a creek and was going up the bank when, kaboom, we hit a mine. I remember going up in the air and flying head first off the back of the tank. I went down behind the tank into the mud and water, and started scurrying out of the way because I thought the tank might roll back on top of me. I was the only one blown off the tank. No one was hurt, but my ears sure rang for a day or two,” Whipp said. After spending 11 months in Vietnam, Whipp received an early release and re-

turned to the United States in December of 1970. “As soon as that plane lifted off the ground, everyone started cheering, he recalled. The plane landed at Fort Lewis, Wash., and from there Whipp was able to take a commercial flight to Kansas City. During his time in the Army Whipp had been sending money home to his parents in order to buy a new car when he was discharged. His parents picked him up at the airport in his new 1970 Monte Carlo. “I saw my parents and started crying right away. It was kind of emotional, but

June 2013 33 they were happy tears,” Whipp said. “I went home on leave and was officially discharged in May 1971. I was released early in order to help my family with our farm.” Looking back on his military career, Whipp said he is proud of having served in the Army. He said the experience enabled him to grow from a boy to a man and made him a better person. “Once I got in there it wasn’t so bad. I was always lucky to be around some good guys. I’m proud of the guys I served with and never met any bad ones,” Whipp said.

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34 June 2013

ARMSTRONG Continued from Page 3

In the 23rd, Armstrong said they mostly hung out during the day and pull night ambushes in the dark for weeks at a time, far away from the base camp. “We did a lot of combat search and destroy missions.” During Armstrong’s first mission, he said the guy standing three people in front of him stepped on a mine ��� he knew right then it was going to be a long, dangerous year. Everyone in a while, to relax in between missions, Armstrong said they were sent to

DINVILLE Continued from Page 7

and worked his way up the river. When he got to Randolph, he fell in love with a gal and got married.” After France, the division headed into Germany. “We did a lot of traveling.” During the well-known Battle of the Bulge, Dinville said they were right on the edge, being held back in reserves. His division was just west of Berlin, when they received word the Germans had surrendered through word of mouth. “Word travels pretty fast along the front lines.” With the war over, Dinville said he returned to Marseilles, only this time he hitched a ride on a truck. He had been in Europe for a couple years.

BUTCHER Continued from Page 6

passed away 3 years ago, Butcher likes to restore old cars, woodwork, make wine and beer. He also likes to spend time with his children, Amy, Shannon, Tracy, and Mike; 9 grandchildren, dance partner Jeanne Bredensteiner;

Chu Lai for a stand down. However, a couple days of relaxing between missions didn’t calm Armstrong’s nerves. “At one point in time, I was convinced I was going to die there.” As Armstrong’s time clicked slowly toward the end of his tour, he became increasingly afraid he’d never make it back home. “I was scared to death,” he said. After talking to his commanding officer about his fears, Armstrong was assigned to bunker guard duty for his last few weeks in Vietnam. With his tour complete, Armstrong flew

“I just did what I was told to do,” he said Dinville said after a few days in France, he boarded a ship and sailed home. The ship docked in New York City. “I was discharged from the Army and headed home. I took the train from New York City to Omaha and then caught a ride to Randolph from a trucker - the guy’s name was Weldon.” The day after Dinville returned to Randolph, he said he took the day easy. The day after that, he went back to farming, which is what he did the next few decades. In addition to farming, Dinville also married Eileen Thomas, a Shenandoah native. The Army, said Dinville, was a good experience; one where he learned a lot. “I learned a lot in the Army, but I’m not sure I’d do it again; if under the same circumstances...” Dinville said. and his dogs, Sammy and Chloe. “I learned that the United States is the police of the world, and still are. I also learned to be appreciative that I lived in the United States,” Butcher said. “It was a good experience and I’d recommend it to anyone.”

out of Cam Rahn Bay to Seattle, where he was welcomed home by fellow American citizens throwing things at him and calling him a “baby killer.” And although Shenandoah is a far cry from Seattle, Armstrong said when a soldier came home, he didn’t talk about where he had been and he certainly didn’t wear his uniform in public. “I actually had a couple people come up to me and ask where I’d been the past year. When he first came home, Armstrong said it would tough. At the sound of a car backfiring he’d hit the ground and it was hard for him to sleep in a bed, after sleeping

The Valley News/Herald-Journal on the ground for 12 months. “In less than 24 hours I went from being in Vietnam to being home. It was surreal.” He added when he got home from a war zone, shooting and being shot, he was unable to buy a beer in Iowa. “I found that a little odd,” he chuckled. Discharged from the Army in November 1971, Armstrong got a job at Eaton Corporation in July 1973 and stayed there until his retirement after 40 years of service. He married his wife, Shelly in December 1972, and the couple have three children, Jason, Nikki, and Jamie; as well as grandchildren.

FULTON Continued from Page 9

in Phoenix rewriting their computer programs. Eventually, he became a commercial banker and remained in the banking business for 38 years. Fulton worked in the banking business in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington State until he retired, and after 50 years he returned to southwest Iowa. Stephen and his wife, Sandy, purchased a home in Shenandoah. They have a daughter, Brenda and a son, Scott. They also have a granddaughter, Allie and two great-grandchildren, Jaxen and Delanee. Stephen is a very active American Legion Post

No. 88 member, serving in the Color Guard and as adjutant, volunteers at the Ambassador in Sidney and types up the bulletin for his church. “I’ve got to say the Air

HARNESS Continued from Page 12

After being assigned to the SSG, Harness was transferred to Fort Hood. For the next two years Harness delivered daily intelligence briefings to the First Armored Division, the Second Armored Division and First Air Calvary. Due to the importance of the information Harness was handling on a daily basis, his office was located in an underground bunker that was bombproof, and protected by a vault door and a highly sophisticated alarm system. Meanwhile, his First Sergeant at Fort Hood had served with General George S. Patton and was a member of the Green Berets for approximately 20 years. “It was an honor to have that type of job and work with some of the greatest guys you could ever ask to serve with,”

Force gave me a million dollars worth of education. They sent me to every school in the world I wanted to go to and some I wasn’t particularly fond of going to that I went to any-

way,” said Fulton. “There are a lot of opportunities in the military and I have to say I enjoyed every single minute of my military life.”

Harness said. “I also realized just how big and impressive the American military really was because we had the largest concentration of armor in the world down there at Fort Hood.” In addition, Harness said on various occasions he had the privilege of presenting intelligence briefings to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. “He would visit Fort Hood and I would brief him. He always had Secret Service hanging around him and it was pretty impressive,” he said. After being discharged from the Army in the spring of 1972, Harness returned to New Market. He served on the Clarinda Police Department for one year before starting a 24year career at Eaton Corporation. He later went into farming before retiring. “I think it’s an honor to serve and I would gladly do it again,” Harness said. “It made me respect the country more and gave me a lot of discipline. It really caused me to grow up.”


HILDING Continued from Page 12

I worked 7 at night until 7 in the morning and on January 14, I had just climbed in my buck and the guy came over the loudspeaker and said, ‘This is not a drill’ and about that time you could feel something going on. We had a fire on the flight deck.” An apparatus that was plugged into a jet to help start it had overheated and caught fire. From there, the fire spread to highly flammable jet fuel. “There were three great big holes in the flight deck. I think we lost 17 planes, 27 were killed, and 314 men were injured. We got back to Pearl Harbor, unloaded all the aircraft we had, and all my radar parts, and I

HOOKHAM Continued from Page 13

nity to tour Europe, which is something we would not have been able to do without being stationed there,” he said. The couple’s oldest son, Jeff, was also born at the base during their three years in England. The couple also had two other sons after returning to the United States. Their middle son, Mark, was born at Scott Air Force Base where Hookham served for sixth months prior to his discharge. Then, their youngest son, Joel, was born in Clarinda. “Joel also joined the Air Force and was stationed at Lakenheath Air Force Base. He lived in the same barracks I lived in when I first got there and worked in the OB ward of the hospital where his oldest brother was born,” Hookham said. During his time at Lakenheath Air Force, Hookham also had a small brush with history. “One of the most memorable occasions was when Martin Luther King was assassinated. They captured James Earl Ray in England and brought him to our base to be held, which put us on very high alert,” Hookham said. Meanwhile, when Hookham was off duty, he also played on the base football team at

we shall not forget went to Barber’s Point, a naval base.” Hilding stayed at Barber’s Point for a couple months while the ship was repaired. He said they then took off for the coast of Vietnam for flight operations again. “We did our tour and then came back.” In March 1970, Hilding was discharged after four years in the service. He returned to the Shenandoah area, where he eventually obtained a job with Eaton Corporation. He retired from Eaton after 29 years. He has two children, Chris and Stephanie, as well as five grandchildren. He and his wife, Sandy have been married for more than 30 years. “I learned a lot and it was a lot of fun,” said Hilding of the Navy. “It was a good experience.” Lakenheath. A tackle for the Clarinda Cardinals in high school, Hookham tried out for the team and was selected to the squad. “I had always wondered if I could play college football and a lot of the members of the team had played college football before joining the military,” Hookham said. “It only took me three games to figure out this was not something I wanted to do. They were so much quicker and faster than I was. We went to Spain and the first string tackle suffered a broken leg, so they put me in to finish the game. When we got back to England I turned in my uniform.” After spending three years at Lakenheath Air Force Base, Hookham was transferred to Scott Air Force Base in Illinois in 1970. He spent six months at the base as a machinist working on military transport planes used to bring wounded soldiers home from Vietnam. Hookham was discharged from the Air Force on Sept. 17, 1970, and returned with his family to Clarinda. He immediately went to work at Lisle Corporation and eventually retired from the company with 40 years of service. “I loved the work I did in the Air Force and my prior education really helped me when I got out of the service. I worked in the engineering field at Lisle Corporation for 16 years before going into sales,” Hookham said.

June 2013 35

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36 June 2013

MCINTYRE Continued from Page 15

“There was a guy I went to Officers Training with that had stopped in Tacoma on his way home to see me and he had been in Pleiku, in the Central Highlands at the 71st Evac, and he says, ‘If you go and you have a chance, that’s where you want to go because it’s cool – the weather’s nice.’” A good friend of his Hugh Hyberger, who McIntyre had met at Officers Training, and who happened to be a native of Beatrice, Neb., decided to go there as well. The two would be hooch-mates while there. The hospital in Pleiku was located in the middle of the base. The Air Force Base was to the south, the engineer base to the north and the 4th Division’s Main Base to the west. When the NVA or VC tried to hit these bases with mortars, if they were short, or long, they fell in the hospital compound. “The first time was a little bit terrifying, but after that you just went to your bunker and waited it out.”

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2008, Smock was stationed aboard the USS John C. Stennis. The nuclear powered aircraft carrier calls Bremerton, Wash., its home port. Smock spent her first two years on board learning about the ship and completing her qualifications on its systems. Her first deployment came in January 2009 as the USS John C. Stennis spent seven months on patrol in the Far East as a show of naval presence. During the deployment Smock was able to visit foreign ports in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Honk Kong, China. “Singapore was one of my favorite ports. It was a lot of fun. I really liked the architecture and we also went and saw the Merlion. South Korea was also one of my favorite ports. There was so much culture and it was an eye opening experience,” she said. In the summer of 2010 Smock joined the reactor training division aboard the USS John C. Stennis. Over the next year she helped oversee the training of new arrivals on the basic systems

Of the registered nurses at the base, McIntyre was one of four male nurses. There were also three CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) and the rest were women. “The women stuck right there with us – no matter what was going on. They were tough.” McIntyre was assigned to work in the surgical intensive care unit taking care of patients. He worked 12-hour shifts, six days a week. “Some of the things we saw – after I was there for a week I came to realize just how much the human body can be blown apart and still survive.” As for the hospital itself, McIntyre said it was more than adequate and well supplied. Working in the surgical intensive unit was supposed to be a six-month rotation, but since there were so many personnel leaving, he was asked by the Captain to stay longer to help orientate the new people coming in. He ended up working in intensive care for 11 months.

of the ship. Then, in June 2011, she was named a work center supervisor. “I was in charge of the maintenance and upkeep of one of the two plants on the carrier. It was our job to keep the system safe by coordinating the maintenance and assigning people to perform that maintenance,” Smock said. In fact, Smock was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal for her efforts to supervise and coordinate the immediate maintenance of one of the nuclear power plants on the carrier while the ship was deployed to the Persian Gulf from July 2011 until March 2012. She was also twice awarded the Good Conduct Medal during her career. While deployed in the Persian Gulf, Smock had the opportunity to visit Bahrain and Dubai. “Dubai was not what I expected. It is a very rich city and I was able to visit a mosque and learn about the Muslim culture,” she said. During the deployment, the planes on the USS John C. Stennis provided air cover for United States troops as they were withdrawn from the Persian Gulf region.

For his last month, he was assigned to the emergency room. “The first night I took night call, there was myself and a corpsman and he got a call on the phone that they were brining in two Chinook helicopters with walking and litter wounded. I told him, call the officer of the day and tell him, ‘McIntyre needs help.’” While in-country, McIntyre said he developed the greatest of respect for the doctors and fellow nurses he worked with; certainly the medics, but that the most unsung heroes of any war are the rapid rescue people – the chopper pilots, the combat medics. “I think those people deserve more recognition, if not as much as the combat soldiers themselves. The Vietnamese, the VC, the NVA could never understand why when a GI got shot, someone would try to go out and get him. If one of them got shot, they were left and on their own.” When his one-year tour was completed, McIntyre came home and was discharged. He said it was a good feeling to be home, but that his mother said he looked, ‘like

Then, in January, the USS Kidd liberated an Iranian fishing boat that had been commandeered by pirates. “We had a jail on our ship so we housed the pirates,” Smock said. After completing the deployment to the Persian Gulf, Smock was discharged from the Navy in August. She returned to New Market and plans to enroll in college to finish her degree. From there, she is considering a career in nuclear medicine. “I basically went to college backward. I took all the hard courses first and now I just have to complete my basic courses,” Smock said. Besides the opportunity receive a quality education and travel the world during her six years in the Navy, Smock said her experiences helped her grow up as a person. “My time in the Navy has given me a lot of confidence and leadership abilities. I have realized you can’t change things. You just have to deal with what’s happening, but the Navy has given me the skills to help ensure a positive outcome,” Smock said. Bud Cooper

The Valley News/Herald-Journal hell.’ After taking a month off, McIntyre got a job at Methodist Hospital in the emergency room. Nine months later he quit and started classes at Creighton in anesthesia school. When he was done with school, (18 months at that time) he was asked to stay at Creighton and instruct. However, his friends he had graduated with were making a lot more money than he was, so he accepted a position with the hospital in Denison. After 17 years in Denison, he was an anesthetist at the Shenandoah Memorial Hospital for 17 years. He’s been the anesthetist at the hospital in Fairfax, Mo. since 2008. A father of three, Troy, Heather, and Trent; Gary is also a grandfather of five, with one more to arrive in May. “I liken my time over there with MASH the movie. When I came back, MASH the movie came out so I went to see it and the characters in the movie reminded me of the people I met over there – that was just my life for a year,” McIntyre said. “It was fun at times and complete terror at other times.”


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nam, Kline was selected to be among the first group of soldiers allowed to fly back to the continental United States on leave. Until that time soldiers had only been allowed to take leave in Australia, Bangkok, Hawaii, Hong Kong or Japan. “I came back for the birth of my son. He was scheduled to be born Dec. 3, but he was late and was not born until Dec. 23 after I had returned to Vietnam,” Kline said. However, Kline still had a very memorable

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grenade and color dye in the water to show where the grenade was dropped. The submarine would then let out air to create bubbles to show its location and how close it was to the grenade. For anti-aircraft training, a plane would tow a target for the ship’s guns to shoot. The target was far enough behind the airplane to not threaten the pilot. The Hailey then sailed the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, Midway Islands and Japan before going to Ansan, South Korea, in October 1953. “There were several battleships and aircraft carriers there for us to support,” he said. One night Varley and the crew had to use their anti-submarine tactics, but they never knew if they had a hit. The ship also had to watch the land as Ansan was a popular city in South Korea for railroads and rivers emptied into the ocean. The rivers were used as transportation from other parts of the country. “The Marines were on some islands in the area to watch the transportation. We were told to fire on targets,” he said. Some of those targets were in the mountains surrounding Ansan as North Korea and China hid weapons. Enemy mines were discovered in the ocean. While in the bay outside Ansan, Varley said

we shall not forget experience on the flight. His plane was met in San Francisco by a group of dignitaries that included Jimmy Stewart. Kline said he had the opportunity to shake hands with the famous actor who had served as a pilot with the Army Air Corps during World War II. Among his many film roles, Stewart also portrayed Clarinda’s famous native son, Glenn Miller, in the 1954 movie ‘The Glenn Miller Story’ and attended the grand opening of the movie in Clarinda. Then, after returning to Vietnam, Kline said he was able to attend a Christmas USO Show featuring Bob Hope in Long Bihn. “On they retrieved an American pilot whose plane was shot but had to crash in the ocean because he couldn’t make it to a carrier. Despite all the threat of enemy action, Varley said the Hailey was known to have never had a casualty even going back to World War II. “And it was assigned the number 13, so it’s not always an unlucky number,” he said. Varley’s time in the Navy finished in October 1954. “I liked the Navy and thought about staying in. But if I didn’t get out and go to college, I would have always wondered if I should have. So, I got out,” he said. Varley got a degree at Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Mo. After graduation, he taught Clarinda junior high grades. He added to his education by learning student guidance and counseling from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo. He took those classes during the summers. He split his time for 21 years at Clarinda schools between teaching and guidance/counseling work. Varley left teaching and with his wife, Alice, they operated a Sears catalog store in Clarinda for 10 years. They married in 1963. He heard on the news Sears was planning closing all of its catalog stores. “We were already in the process of finding a buyer. Sears was good to us. It turned out for the best,” he said.

Christmas Day I also received a call from the Red Cross that my son, Aaron, had been born,” he said. Kline finished his tour of duty in Vietnam in March 1971 and returned to the United States. He was assigned to Fort Gordon in Augusta, Ga., and worked in supply acquisition until being discharged from the Army in January 1972. A few months after returning to Clarinda, Kline joined an insurance agency in Villisca. He and his wife, Gloria, lived in Villisca until 2008 when they moved back to Clarinda. Today, Kline Insurance has offices in both

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time,” he said. When finally home from the third cruise, Wallace transferred to the USS Decatur, which was on its way to Australia. “I was gone and extra two weeks because of that.” When home once again, Wallace decided it was too hard to be away from his family and decided to not reenlist. Once out of the military, he got a job in Rock Port at the Missouri Beef Packers and later Cooper Nuclear Station. In 1972,

Parker Butcher

June 2013 37 communities and Kline also serves as a broker with Crawford Real Estate in Clarinda. Kline is also a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and an annual member of the American Legion posts in Villisca. “I am very proud that I was in the service,” Kline said. “The military provides you with a sense of responsibility and patriotism. It also teaches you to be able to relate to other people by giving you a broader view of the world and the country.”

he obtained a position with Eaton Corporation, where he was one of the first to start the assembly line. In 1995, the couple moved to Shenandoah from Tarkio, and after 30 years and three months with Eaton, Wallace retired. For the past 10 years, Wallace has been employed with the Shenandoah Hy-Vee Food Store. In addition to Kerrey and Kevin, Bob and Royce had two more children, Kurt and Kris. The Wallace’s also have 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


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“I liked being aboard the carrier, it was exciting,” he recalled. Bayless worked in cryptology, which he also found to be exciting. While on the USS Essex, he also published the CVA9 News while they were overseas. “That was fun,” Bayless said. “I’d get the news off the teletype and type up what was going on.” Although not involved in any skirmishes, Bayless did say while he was on the Essex,

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The 101st, Freeman said, was mainly comprised of helicopters, which at times had issues with power lines, fuel spills and hot starts when the helicopter is not started properly. “I liked what I did,” said Freeman. After a year and a half, Freeman was reassigned to Fort Richardson, Alaska with the 125th Airborne. Fort Richardson isn’t too far from Anchorage, Freeman explained. The tasks in Alaska weren’t much different than those in Kentucky, Freeman said, although in Alaska they had wildfires. “About every summer there’d be a wildfire,” Freeman said. Although Freeman said Alaska is beautiful, he did

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1958, he also started farming and still farms today out by Norwich. “I think they made a mistake with they took the draft,” Braymen said. “The

they were called out on a couple special occasions. Once, he said they were off the coast of China in 1956 when an American reconnaissance plane went down. “We were sent searching for that, which was interesting.” Also in 1957, Bayless said they were called to the scene of an Israeli/Egyptian Conflict that took place. “Eisenhower ordered the Essex to go to the Middle East, but they stopped the war before it really got started so we didn’t have to do anything.” After serving on the Essex, Bayless

prefer the assignment in Kentucky; mainly because of the cold weather. Six months after arriving in Alaska, Freeman was discharged early due to a medical emergency with is daughter, Elizabeth. “The Army taught me respect, responsibility, discipline and how to follow directions,” Freeman said. Additionally, Freeman said he met numerous wonderful people in Kentucky and Alaska and had a lot of fun in the firehouses playing practical jokes on one another. A resident of Shenandoah, Freeman was a volunteer firefighter for more than 20 years and worked in computers following the Army. In addition to his daughter, Elizabeth, Freeman has a son-in-law, Scott Larson and two grandchildren, Taylor and Ray Lynn.

service doesn’t hurt anybody and there’s a lot of young kids around here that I feel could benefit from it.” Married to Shirley since 1954, the couple has three sons, Russell, Glen, and Walter; nine grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren with 2 on the way.

served at the Naval Communications Station in Guam from 1956 to 57. “Guam will still pretty remote when I served there,” he said. “It wasn’t long after World War II. We were kind of out in the boonies. Although they worked long, hard hours in Guam, Bayless said he enjoyed the work. “I will admit I got homesick because I hadn’t been home for a couple years.” Bayless was discharged in 1957 and moved to Denver, where he worked at a sales representative for Carter Oil, now Exxon, from 1957-61.

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from one place to another.” Aboard the train car with Garreans in October 1942, were other men with disabilities. Once the train got to Seattle, the men were told to board a ship, headed to Juneau, Alaska. “We made up a transportation company loading and unloading huge ships. I was there for about six months. Then, we were transferred to the middle of nowhere; an Eskimo Indian village, where we helped construct a new dock.” In 1944, Garreans returned to Seattle and was transferred to Boston, where he again took a train to Belfast, Maine, where

MEYER Continued from Page 16

service he provided. Although those honors became more important to him following his military career, Meyer said the medals initially held little meaning for me. “At the time, we said of medals that you couldn’t buy a cup of coffee with them, so we didn’t worry about them too much. The main thing was to keep everyone alive,” Meyer said. A 1965 graduate of Clarinda High School, Meyer was drafted by the Army in 1968. “I figured it was coming. I had never really been very far away. It was an all new experience,” he said. Meyer reported to Fort Lewis, Wash., for his basic training and advanced individual training. He was then sent to Fort Benning, Ga., as a cadet with the Non-Commissioned Officer Corps. After finishing his NCO schooling, Meyer returned to Fort Lewis to serve one cycle as a teacher before deploying to Vietnam. Then, after returning to the United States, Meyer received an early discharge. Meyer returned to the Clarinda area, married Barbara (Holste) Meyer and went

The Valley News/Herald-Journal He then attended the University of Wyoming School of Law from 1962 until 1965 when he received his Juris Doctor Degree. Bayless served as an attorney for the US Atomic Energy Commission, Idaho Nuclear Corporation, was a Prosecuting Attorney for Laramie County, Wyo., for six years, as well as was a partner in law firms in Cheyenne. Three years ago, Bayless moved to Shenandoah to live closer to his siblings. His son, Steven, resides in Washington, D.C.

he worked at a dock that was a main ammunition depot. He remained there until 1946, when he was honorably discharged from the service. “I loved it in Alaska and Maine; it’s beautiful country.” Garreans said it would do everybody a world of good if they were in the service for at least six months. “They’d learn responsibility, respect and discipline.” A champion bowler, Garreans has a son, Michael, who resides in Florida; as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren. “I could have gotten out of the service, but I didn’t want to. It was my duty to serve my country in any way I could,” said Garreans.

to work for Crain Construction. However, a disabled veteran, Meyer said he also had to deal with the impact his military service took on him mentally and physically. He said he was haunted by wounds he suffered as well as losing a portion of his hearing and dealing with the after effects of being exposed to Agent Orange. “They used Agent Orange to kill the foliage so we could see the enemy, but they did not tell us at the time that it would have after effects. It has come back to haunt me and many of the other soldiers,” Meyer said. As a result, Meyer has been a member of the Disabled American Veterans for several years. “I would encourage all veterans, if they are eligible, to use their veteran affiliates. The VA hospitals and clinics are very good and are highly needed,” he said. Meyer is also a member of American Legion Sergy Post 98 in Clarinda. He said combat veterans have a special camaraderie because of the shared experiences they have and he also has great admiration for the soldiers today that serve their country. “The experience I had was probably worth a million dollars, but I wouldn’t take a million dollars to go back. I still feel for the people who didn’t get back and for their families,” Meyer said.

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STIVERSON Continued from Page 22

people. After being discharged in 1982, Stiverson spent a few months with his parents in Keokuk before returning to Clarinda. For the past 18 years Stiverson has served as the animal control officer for the city of

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been placed in the stockade as prisoners. You didn’t know what those guys were going to do,” Ratashak said. Then, Ratashak was sent to Fort Bragg and was discharged from the Army in December 1946. After being released from the military, he returned to Griswold and started farming. Ratashak married his wife, Eloise, on May 18, 1947, and in February of 1959 they purchased a farm near Clarinda where they still live today. The couple had seven children – Ed Jr., Karen, Kathleen, Larry, Barbara, Dennis

we shall not forget Clarinda and also serves as a member of the Public Works Department. In addition, since Calfee was a member of the Veteran of Foreign Wars post in Clarinda, Stiverson would often assist the organization with its various activities. “By helping with their projects I get to work with the public and show what the service is all about,” Stiverson said. “I especially like assisting with the poppy sales

and Kenneth. Ratashak said he was very proud his two youngest sons, Dennis and Kenneth, decided to pursue careers in military after being members of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps in college. Dennis served in the Army and National Guard for 21 years before retiring as a Lt. Colonel, while Kenneth retired from the Army as a Lt. Colonel after a 20 year career. “I thought they needed to do something for their country. I am really proud of those two boys for spending that time in the military and going through all that stuff,” Ratashak said.

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ing in organizations like the American Legion and VFW, he was lending a helping hand to all current and future veterans by ensuring they receive the benefits they deserve. “Many veterans ask what the American Legion can do for them, but the more important question is what you can do for the Legion to help other veterans like you in the future. We tell them we need you as a member to do that because you are aware of what is needed now,” Schenck said. Beyond their involvement with the American Legion, Schenck and Rossander had known each other for several years through high school athletics. Schenck serves as a high school basketball official and said he first met Rossander when he was serving as scorekeeper for Stanton.

on Veteran’s Day. It makes me really happy when people buy poppies and I am able to tell them how the money goes to help the VFW.” Although his father and uncle inspired him to join the Army, Stiverson said the most important reason someone should consider joining the military is the opportunity to serve their country. “If I was younger I would certainly re-en-

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“I didn’t get to see much of the country, but I enjoyed seeing what it was like up there,” Hamm said. “It was night all day long for a while and then it was light all day long for a while. It was also pretty cold up there.” Finally, late in 1944, Hamm was sent to France and spent the final year of his military career serving in the transportation department. He was responsible for arranging transportation for the units as well as wounded soldiers who were being shipped home. “It was tough at first, but once I got used to it, it was alright,” Hamm said. “I didn’t see any fighting, but we were close enough that we could hear them shooting at each other.” Kenneth was the first of the two brothers to be discharged from the Army in 1945. He returned to Clarinda and pursued a career in farming. He passed away in 1998. A month after Kenneth was discharged, Bob returned to the United States. Although Bob did not suffer from sea sickness on his trip home, he said his ship did encounter a

Therefore, Schenck was naturally shocked to learn of the unexpected death of his friend. “I called his house number. I just couldn’t believe he was gone. His brother answered and filled me in on the details. He was not only a great asset to the American Legion and District 7, but he was also a good friend, confidant and mentor to a lot of us,” he said. Funeral services for Rossander were held Feb. 16 at Mamrelund Lutheran Church in Stanton. Burial with Military Honors were held at Mission Covenant Cemetery near Stanton. Since Rossander played a critical role in the establishment of the Veterans’ Memorial in Stanton, Schenck said a wreath was placed at the site in his honor and the flags were flown at half mast. During his involvement with the American Legion, Rossander also served as the instructor for the American Legion Shooting Sports program offered through 4-H. He also served as chair of the Department of Iowa Youth Shooting

June 2013 39 list and I would tell anyone who is considering joining the service to go for it. There are plenty of opportunities for jobs and getting a good education,” Stiverson said. “I know there is a war going on, but when you raise your hand to be sworn in for the service, you are not going in for your mom or dad. You are going in for your country and you should be proud of that.”

storm on the journey. After docking in New Jersey, Bob traveled by train to Shenandoah where he was met by his parents. “It was nice to see them. They hadn’t changed much,” he said. Initially, Hamm went to work at the Hull and Nelson gas station in Clarinda. He later worked for the telephone office in Shambaugh and the Miller-Tomlinson implement dealership before farming.

Sports program for at least six year, Schenck said. “That was one of his passions. He was able to get the kids involved in something he thought was important because it got them outside and taught them how to think and concentrate,” Schenck said. “Supporting our local youth is one of the four pillars of the American Legion and he thought it was important to steer children in the correct direction for later in life.” Rossander further impacted the children of Stanton by serving as a 4-H leader and was a Southwest Iowa Booster Club member. He was also an avid ambassador of all Stanton activities and was recognized by the community in 2008 as the recipient of the “Ole Award.” “He was an advocate for Stanton youth in every aspect,” Schenck said. “He was also a tremendous community servant in Stanton. He did a lot of things behind the scenes that not a lot of people knew about.”


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signed to protect the city. He helped man the 16-inch guns with barrels 68-feet long. “It took 300 pounds of power to shoot them and the casing was one ton of steel.” “I had been in the Army 11 months with the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Before that happened, I thought I’d be in the Army, get my time in, and go home and run the dairy for my dad, but instead they kept me in.” Sanders and his outfit stayed in San Diego until Army officials found out where the Japanese fleet was. “They then shut us down and transferred us to Texas for Infantry training.” When training in Texas had been completed, Sanders said they boarded an English ship to go overseas. “Our main meals on the ship were potatoes and hard-boiled eggs, but then after dinner, the

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Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Colorado. “I stayed there for probably a month. You have no pain when you’re hit in the head bad enough, my arm hurt a lot worse.” He was honorably discharged from the service in 1971. A year after his bifrontal craniotomy, an acrylic plastic plate was put in Sutton’s head. However, in 1991 it has to be replaced due to staph infection. Regardless of his injuries, Sutton said he recommends the service, especially for young kids unsure of what they want to do following high school. “I learned quite a bit,” said Sutton of the service. Sutton worked at Shenandoah’s Eaton Corporation from 1974 until 2004. He is a father of three children, Brenda, Tony, and Della; and a grandfather of five, Nate, Tyler, Cory, Jacob, and Hope. He has been married to his wife, Karen, for 41 years.

we shall not forget cooks would come around with sandwiches for $5. Originally, the ship was to dock in LeHavre, France but the Germans had sunk three ships and therefore their ship couldn’t make it to shore. Instead, they headed toward Glasgow, Scotland. “We were on our way to Scotland when the Battle of the Bulge was going on. We were to replacements, but because we couldn’t land in France and had to go around, we missed it.” When the ship finally docked, Sanders said they boarded a troop train for Germany. Hamburg and Muenster, Germany were two towns Sanders recalled stopping in. “I was a squad leader by then,” he said. “We were shot at in Muenster, but none of us hit.” After Muenster, the outfit continued onto Kosslarn. “Then the war was over.” With the fighting over, Sanders and his outfit were sent to Sulzbach, Germany, where

there were 8,000 SS soldiers in a prison camp, which was once an airplane factory. “We guarded them. Every other Sunday we had to count them all; they’d be in rows of eight.” Once when Sanders was not on guard duty, he said a couple of the important German SS officers escaped. “We had to scour the whole countryside looking for them; they were never found.” During the occupation, Sanders said he was able to go to Adolf Hitler’s eagle’s nest “I heard that Adolf only went there a couple times because he was afraid of heights,” said Sanders. “There was one lane road that went up the side of this mountain, but in the middle of the mountain, you could turn in and take an Otis elevator to the top. They said the elevator held 30 people at a time.” The older German people, said Sanders, were kind. However, some of the Hitler youth wouldn’t think twice of killing an American

The Valley News/Herald-Journal soldier, even after Germany’s surrender. He added Germany is a beautiful country and that he had some good times over there. “I was in Germany for a year and a half. I was there during the Nuremburg trials, but was about 10 miles away.” Nine days short from being in the service for five years, Sanders was discharged at Camp Granite, Ill. He returned to the Sidney area and started farming. Despite being in his 90s, Sanders still tries to keep active in farming. “I like to work,” he said. “I love farming; being outside, working with your hands.” In addition to farming, Sanders raised livestock and sold Asgrow Seed for several years. He and his wife, Alice, who passed away after 64 years of marriage, have two daughters, Claudette and Claudia, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Their son, CN, passed away more than 20 years ago from cancer.“


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