Saturday, December 02, 2023

Veterans' stories, photos sought

Hagadone News Network | October 26, 2023 1:00 AM

The stories of service are as varied as they are memorable.

• In the Evans family, three family members — Major Gen. A.J. Evans, Col. Philip Brooks, and Col. Richard G. Evans — served a combined 95 years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force.

Major General A.J. Evans entered the Army Air Corps in 1942 after graduation from West Point, flying fighters during World War II; Philip Brooks, who flew P-51s out of Great Britain, was in a dogfight with the first German jet ever spotted; and Richard G. Evans entered the Air Force and served in Vietnam.

• George Dong, 95, was one of only a handful of Chinese-American soldiers to receive the Congressional Gold Medal for his service. He served in the 411th Field Artillery in the European Theater, stationed in England and Germany. 

• Alexander Russell served three tours in Vietnam during his 20 years in the U.S. Army, earning two Purple Heart awards.

• Cpl. Elden Koon joined the U.S. Marine Corps at 16 years of age and served in Korea. Koon was wounded twice and awarded two Purple Heart medals.

• Victor Charles Underwood served in the Army from 1958 through 1978, including in the Special Forces from 1962 to 1978. For his actions, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart.

• Sgt. James C. Hagler served with the 56th Special Operations Wing, NKP, 1974-75, Delta Squad, Knife 13. He would later write poems and short stories capturing his service and honoring those who fought.

• SF1 Madoc Kenyon Irish was killed in action on April 16, 1945, aboard the USS Laffey DD-724. Thirty-two sailors, including Irish, were killed in the attack.

• Herbert F. Johnson earned the Bronze Star for surviving the infamous Bataan Death March in 1941. He also survived four years in a Japanese prison camp.

• William (Bill) Hunt spent three tours of duty in Vietnam in 1962, 1964, and his final tour in 1966. On his third tour in the Republic of Vietnam in 1966, he was declared missing in action.

• Ray Calhoun was a young Marine in South Vietnam in April 1967. He and his platoon were charged with leading an assault on Hill 881 South. Forty-two years later, Calhoun would be presented with the Silver Star.

To honor our veterans, we are asking for the public's help in honoring these men and women by sharing their photos, stories, and service. If known, please share any awards and recognitions they earned, including the Purple Heart, Silver Star, Distinguished Service Cross, and Congressional Medal of Honor, to name a few.

We wanted to share these stories and honor our servicemen and women before the tales are lost.

In addition, we are gathering information on local service and military groups, veterans services, and resources available to veterans and their families.

Our goal is to pay special tribute to our servicemen and servicewomen, paying special honor to those who have earned this country's highest honors.

The publication will include photos of our veterans. All are invited to send a service photo of those who served in their family, as well as information on the branch of service, years of service, and location of service. Stories and tales of their time in service are also welcomed and encouraged.

It will be published in the Nov. 9 issue of the Daily Bee.

Please send your photos and information by Oct. 31 to

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