A salute to World War II veterans
by Clarke Davis
The annual Veterans Day observance at Valley Falls Monday was marked by a special recognition for those veterans who served during World War II.
School Superintendent Loren Feldkamp took the microphone to cite the “Greatest Generation” and pay special tribute to five residents who served the nation during that conflict — now almost 70 years since it ended.
Brought to the front of the auditorium were Frank Shrimplin, Ted Montgomery, Gordon Lowry, Clifford Lobb, and Daryl Ford.
VFW Commander Jerry Tullis presented each one with a cap denoting their WWII service with a salute.
Feldkamp, who had previously honored each of the veterans in the school newspaper, told of their service.
Ford, a retired postmaster, served with the Navy aboard the destroyer tender, USS Sierra, as a Fireman 1st Class in the Pacific Theater.
Lobb, a farmer who also had a career with a lumberyard, was an Army medical technician and served in Europe 31 months.
Lowry, an attorney, was a Navy lieutenant who participated in two island invasions in the Pacific Theater. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
Montgomery, a retired mailman, was a radio technician who flew bombing missions over Europe with the Air Force.
Shrimplin, retired pharmacist, entered the Naval Reserve out of high school in 1945 and was soon on the troop ship USS M.L. Hershey headed for Japan. He was transferred to the USS Horace A. Bass and was trained as the gyro compass technician. He was discharged as an overseas veteran at the age of 19.
All of the veterans who attended the observance were recognized and thanked for their service. The smallest children, the preschoolers, led the Pledge of Allegiance, kindergarten and first-graders formed an avenue of flags to welcome veterans, and the high school choir and band provided patriotic music. Teacher Chris Hansford sang and teacher Jeff Schneider, a Marine veteran, led a flag folding ceremony.
Members of the Kansas Army National Guard posted the colors.
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