WE HONOR YOU
THE VETERANS from the CLASSES OF 1963
Accola, John V.
Adolphson, David W.
Adolphson, Douglas G
Bane, James D., Jr.
Bishop, Oliver R. II
Brady, David G.
Brown, Jack P.
Bullington, R. Lee
Campbell, Michael L.
Chatfield, Elvin R. Jr.
Cook, Robert M.
Cox, Jarrell P.
Daniels, Dale A.
Danielson, Ronald L.
Flannery, Nick, Jr.
Forrest, Craig A.
Forwalder, Melvin C.
Fox, Gary L.
Gannon, Stephen A.
Gersib, John A.
Godfroy, Joseph L.
Green, William K.
Greenwood, Stanley J.
Hall, Raymond S.
Hardersen, Gerald L. (Gerry)
Harrington, William M. Jr
Howe, Gary R.
BRAVERY - SERVICE
Huffaker, Larry D.
Issacs, David E.
Kinkade, Cheryl A. (Voss)
Marlow, James W., Jr.
McClellan, Ted G.
McDonald, Richard A.
McGuire, Phyllis J.
McKelvey, Gene W.
Miller, Christopher H.
Myers, Jon C.
Nehrling, Richard J. (Rick)
Nonnweiler, Gerald L.
O'Hare, William O., Jr.
Pendry, Stephen R.
Peterson, Donald G.
Rapp, Donald L.
Redd, Ernest S., III
Roxroat, Harold W., Jr.
Ritchie, Richard M.
Runner, Alan J.
Seward, Dennis F.
Smith, Bradley E.
Stoneking, Robert J.
Thomas, Bruce R.
Valentine, Charles D.
Wadden, Steven D.
Wilson, Dennis H.
We will always be indebted to you and your family for your service to us and our country.
Looking in the Rearview Mirror
By Dale Daniels on July 29, 2023
When we look into our rearview mirror, we have witnessed unbelievable advancements in this world in our lifetime!
When you think about our time in history and take a look back, it’s very interesting. We were born at the end of World War II, and that was probably because Uncle Sam had released 12 million GI’s who had been deployed at the end of the war and were heading home.
Then about the time we started kindergarten, the USA was involved in another conflict; the Korean War that involved nearly 2 million American soldiers who served.
Flash forward to the beginning of 1963!
The news coming out of DC in the early part of ’63 was that we did not have any fighting troops in Vietnam, only some advisors but by the end of 1963, the news had changed and there were around 17,000 soldiers in Nam fight what many have said, their civil war! The number of troops there would swell to around 500K by ’67, ’68 and ’69. Finally, our presence in Vietnam ended in ’75 with the fall of Saigon.
Perhaps you have been to DC and touched the black granite wall that carries the names of the 48,310 young men who died and the names of eight young women who were nursing the wounded. Nearly 70% of the names on the wall were just 22 or younger. 8,283 were 19 and 33,103 were 18 years old, 12 were 17 years old, 5 were 16 years young and PFC Dan Bullock was just 15 years young when he died in combat on his very first day. But he wasn’t the only soldier to die on his very first day. There were 996 other soldiers who became eligible to have their names inscribed on that wall.
If you recall, the conflicts were not limited to foreign soil. It was going on right here in the USA in our streets and on our college campuses with the protesters burning buildings, cars, draft cards and even our American flat. The looting and murders carried out in our streets was cause for the activation of our military reserves and the National Guards as they stood strong trying to protect the citizens caught in the crosshair and curtail the violent and destruction without interfering with our right to protest. As a member of Oklahoma’s 745th Military Police, we were activated several times: once for a prison riot at the McAlister Oklahoma State Prison aka Big Mac that lasted ten days. It was the 3rd largest prison riot in the history of our country. At other times, we were there for protests, like the draft card burnings on the campus of the University of Oklahoma in Norman where I have resided for the last 50 plus years. I was even there for a protest which was led by one of our female professors who called on the men to burn their draft cards and women to burn their bras. Never quite sure what that was all about.
I know of a Major General who lived right here in Des Moines who had served our country with great honor.
Let me take a minute to explain how high a Major General (2-Stars) is.
The highest rank we have is a 5-Star General.
Today, we have NONE, and in our history, there have only been five 5-Star Generals:
George Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, Henry Arnold, and Omar Bradley.
Today, we only have 17 4-Star Generals, and 49 Generals with 3 Stars.
What I’m trying to say is a 2 Star General – a Major General - is a very special rank.
Our Major Merrill B. General Evans, a WWII veteran, was a commander of 1,000's of troops statewide.
What did he experience during this time of unrest? How was this highly decorated Two-Star General shown appreciation for nearly 40 years of dedication he had given our country?
He saw his family dog die after someone poisoned him as he, in full dress, and his canine companion flew on their weekly helicopter trip to Fort Snelling in Minnesota from Camp Dodge in West Des Moines.
Then through the front window of their home, right here in Des Moines, they had a live hand grenade tossed into their living room. Fortunately, it did not go off.
You may be thinking, I’ve never heard about this.
You’ve never heard of these attacks because they were never covered by the press – radio, TV or newspaper - because it could expose his family to more crazy actions of others.
Major Evans never even told his son, Jim, who was away at school, about this incident until many years later.
The hatred and unrest was everywhere. Returning troops making their way through airports, train and bus stations were ridiculed, harassed insulted, cussed out and spat upon all because of the uniform they so proudly wore.
At our final event of our 60th Reunion, we had a few of those heroes with us, our classmates, who were kind and brave enough to answer the call. Without these brave men and women who have served our country, the many freedoms we enjoy and take for granted would never be possible.
Those present from our class were recognized and thanks given to those accompanying spouses of graduates:
We will always be indebted to you for your service.
If it were not for the United States Military, there would be no United States.
Caps with a POLAR BEAR on the front and PROUD NHS VET on the back
were given to each vet present and sent to those still living but unable to attend.