Military Alumni

Military Alumni

Honoring Our Heroes

This area is dedicated to our alumni that have served or are serving in our armed forces!

Lost Class Rings

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Honored Military Alumni

Alan P. Austin
Alan P. Austin Class of 1965
Air Force, 6 Years
Pilot Viet Nam Veteran
Angela Stickels
Angela Stickels Class of 1989
Air Force, 13 Years
Served in Air Force Space Command
Beryl F. Parks
Beryl F. Parks Class of 1934
Army, 20+ Years
Graduated from Afton HS, 1934. Inducted into U.S. Army in February 1941. Beryl served with 1st Infantry Division in the European theater of operations during World War Two, then on the War Crimes Commission. Then he served in the Korean conflict during 1950-51 and received a Bronze Star for service in ground operations against the enemy. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in May 1961. Beryl received East Union's Military Service Recognition in 2014.
Brad A. Kasal
Brad A. Kasal Class of 1985
Marine Corps, 20+ Years
Upon graduation from East Union High School in 1985, Brad immediately enlisted in the US Marine Corps. He rapidly progressed through the levels of enlisted marine combat and combat leadership training. Over the years he served in Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom (Various Countries to include Afghanistan). In November 2004, during the battle for Fallujah, Iraq, First Sergeant Kasal led a mission to rescue fellow marines from an enemy-held house. During the effort he received multiple bullet wounds, nearly lost his lower right leg, and also deliberately absorbed the brunt of an enemy grenade blast with his back in order to protect an injured fellow marine from the blast. He lost massive amounts of blood from these wounds, but was fortunate to survive. He received the Navy Cross for heroism, our nation%u2019s second highest award for valor, for this action. After recovery from his wounds, Brad was assigned as a marine recruiter based in Des Moines for 3 ? years, working in a five state recruiting district. He is now Regimental Sergeant Major in the US Marine Corps School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton, California as of 2011 In 2011 Brad was inducted into the East Union Wall of Fame honorary. He was also recognized on East Union's newly established Military Service Recognition physical display which includes the names of individuals who were killed in combat, were prisoners of war, or earned high military combat recognition medals during their period of military service.
Cecil C. Nichols, Jr.
Cecil C. Nichols, Jr. Class of 1937
Army, 4 Years
Served in the US Army Air Corps 1941-45. Assigned to 509th Composite Air Group, with the grounds support team for the Enola Gay aircraft used to drop the first atom bomb on Hiroshima. Achieved rank of SSgt. Received two Bronze Battle Stars, Army Service Medal, Pacific Service Medal, American Defense Medal, WW II Victory Medal. Selected in 2011 for inclusion on the newly created East Union Military Service Recognition Display, which includes individuals who were killed in combat, Prisoner of War, or earned high military combat recognition medals while serving in the military.
Clifton C Smith
Clifton C Smith Class of 1936
Army, 1 Years
*** East Union MSR 2015 *** Private Clifton C. Smith, from Afton High School Class of 1936, entered the US Army in summer of 1943, during World War II. His 23rd Regiment was deployed to Ireland in October for intensive training in preparation for the invasion of France. On June 8, 1944 (D-Day +2), they landed on Normandy’s Omaha Beach. After 38 days of heavy fighting as the Allied Forces inched steadily forward, Clifton was killed in action on July 16, 1944.
Cody Miller
Cody Miller Class of 2004
Army, 6 Years
Cody is serving in Afghanistan at this time. He has spent the last 3 years in Italy and will hopefully be state side soon.
Crescentia (Grace) Spare Vinson
Crescentia (Grace) Spare Vinson Class of 1972
Army, 20+ Years
Many enjoyable ( and not so enjoyable) experiences both oversees and stateside in the Army for 22 years. Met my wonderful husband of 32 years there, traveled to many exotic places ( sounds like an Army commercial) and never looked back. Would do it all again!
Dale Foreman
Dale Foreman Class of 1976
Navy, 20+ Years
Serviced 6 years in the United States Marine Corp and 16 years in the United States Navy.
Donnel Caggiano
Donnel Caggiano Class of 1984
Marine Corps, 8 Years
4 years active duty - 2531 Field Radio Operator, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, NC. 4 Years Reserve duty, Reserve Support Unit, Unit Diary Clerk, Camp Lejeune, NC. Activated during Operation Desert Storm to reactivate Marines that were coming back onto active duty.
Erik White
Erik White Class of 1993
Navy, 5 Years
Hospital Corpsman with 3rd MARDIV
Gary D. Butts
Gary D. Butts Class of 1965
Air Force, 4 Years
Air Police/Security Police
Greg Foreman
Greg Foreman Class of 1978
Marine Corps, 20+ Years
Was in boot camp 3 days after graduation on May 29, 1978 and retired on June 1, 1998. Did a variety of things, such as jet mechanic on A-6 Intruders, EA-6B Prowlers, Crewchief on T-39 Sabreliners, Aircrew on DC-9's, Water Safety and Survival Trainer qualified, Drill Instructor. Spent 2 1/2 years (3 Separate) Med Cruises. Been to several foreign countries, and wouldn't have done anything different if given a chance. Enjoyed my service and reflect back on it as a great part of my past.
H Malcolm Amos
H Malcolm Amos Class of 1939
Army, 5 Years
**** East Union MSR **** Afton H S, 1939 Served during WW II, High rank SSgt. POW, Bronze Star Harold Malcolm Amos joined the US Army in 1940 after graduating from Afton High School in 1939. He became a medic and was stationed in the Philippines. Captured by Japanese in 1942; he was forced to participate in, but survived, the Bataan Death March. A Prisoner of War in Camp Cabantuan; he was one of 512 rescued during the Great Raid in January 1945. Back stateside in 1945, he married Loraine Marie Nielsen in San Francisco; they returned to Afton, bought and ran a grocery store, and raised a family. Malcolm was Afton fire chief for 35 years, and served approximately 10 years each as a City Council member, mayor and Union County supervisor. He was also a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans, and a member of the American Legion. In 2011 he was recognized on the newly created East Union Military Service Recognition physical display. It honors military service with nameplates for East Union area high school attendees who served in our uniformed military and were killed in action, became prisoners of war or earned high military combat recognition.
H. Miner Eckels, Jr
H. Miner Eckels, Jr Class of 1949
Army, 2 Years
Junior Eckels was born January 3, 1931 and grew up on a farm south of Thayer, Iowa. He graduated from Thayer High School in 1949. Drafted into the U.S. Army upon reaching draft age, he made the rank of PFC and was assigned to the 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division during the Korean conflict. He was killed in action when he stepped on a Korean land mine on October 12, 1952. Junior was selected for Military Service Recognition by East Union Community School District in 2014.
H. Wayne Reece
H. Wayne Reece Class of 1964
Marine Corps, 1 Years
**** East Union M S R **** East Union H S, 1964, Served in Viet Nam, Rank Lance Corporal, Killed in Action. After graduating from East Union Afton Center, Howard Wayne Reece attended Creston Community College. Wayne then enlisted in the U S Marine Corps in 1966, attending basic training at Camp Pendleton, California. Lance Corporal Reece was attached to Service Company, Seventh Engineer Battalion, First Marine Division in Viet Nam. He was killed in action near Da Nang by a sniper, while on assignment as personal driver for the Battalion Commander. In 2011 Wayne was recognized on the newly created East Union Military Service Recognition physical display. It honors military service with nameplates for East Union area high school attendees who served in our uniformed military and were killed in action, became prisoners of war or earned high military combat recognition.
James I. McGrath
James I. McGrath Class of 1933
Army, 8 Years
**** East Union MSR **** James I. McGrath joined the U S Army after graduation from Afton High School in 1933 and was in the Army Cavalry, stationed mostly in Iowa during this enlistment. Jim was recalled into the Army after World War II began. He requested assignment to the Ninth Armored Division and after training was sent to Europe. During the Battle of the Bulge Jim was captured by the German Army and became a Prisoner of War. After a month in a POW camp, his remaining captivity was spent on the march while the Germans attempted to avoid the Allied forces. Liberated after a total of four months in captivity, he was returned to the United States. Jim was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, European Theater Ribbon with two Battle Stars, and the Bronze Star Medal for his exceptional service to his country. Jim returned to Afton where he and his wife Doris raised their three sons. He was a rural mail carrier and operated a horse and tack business. In 2011 Jim was recognized on the newly created East Union Military Service Recognition physical display. It honors military service with nameplates for East Union area high school attendees who served in the uniformed military and were killed in action, became prisoners of war or earned high military combat recognition.
Jay Shannon
Jay Shannon Class of 1981
Navy, 20+ Years
Aviation Structural mechanic. Retired as AMCS (E8), would have stayed in but I was offerd a job, I was sick of riding ships and I needed to stay home with my teenage son to keep him from acting like I did. Stationed at NAS Whidbey Island in several electronic warfare squadrons, one tour at Air Test and Evaluation in China Lake, deployed on East and West Coast carriers, Aviano, Italy, Prince Sultan Air base Saudi Arabia, and many bases in the US that I cannot remember.
Jeff Wolfram
Jeff Wolfram Class of 1978
Air Force, 20+ Years
munitions systems specialist. did 16 yrs active duty then 6 yrs in the air national guard.
John B. Parks
John B. Parks Class of 1937
Navy, 3 Years
After graduating from Afton High School in 1937, John Parks worked for Abbott Laboratories in Waukegon, Ill until rumors of war led him to enlist in the US Navy in October 1940. John served on the cruiser Pensacola in the United States Pacific fleet, achieving the rank of Machinist Mate 2nd Class. On November 29, 1941, the Pensacola sailed from Pearl Harbor for Manila, as a convoy escort, and thus escaped the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In 1942 John and the Pensacola were involved in the battles of Midway, Santa Cruz Island, and Tassafaronga before John was killed in action when the Pensacola was torpedoed near Guadalcanal in November 1942. John was posthumously awarded the American Defense Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and Purple Heart for his service. The Afton, Iowa V.F.W. Post # 8882 is named after him as the first Afton area person killed in action during World War II. In 2012 John was recognized on East Union's Military Service Recognition display which includes the names of individuals who were killed in combat, were prisoners of war, or earned high military combat medals during their period of military service.

Classmates Spotlight

East Union High School Classmates

Donnel Foreman
Class of '84

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