Leader Publications is honoring those who have served with a Salute to Veterans tribute. Additional stories will be added to this gallery in the days leading up to Veterans Day (Nov. 11). Thank you for your service.
Salute to Veterans 2020
Doug Canady of Hillsboro submitted photos of his grandfather, Roy Richter, who was married and the father of four small children when he was drafted into the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Tiffany Marler, 41, of Arnold says her heart was set on “following in my ancestors’ footsteps” when she became the fourth-generation family member to serve in the military. She served as a hospital corpsman with the U.S. Navy from 1996-1998.
Betty Mudd of Arnold sent in a photo of her husband, George R. Mudd Sr., who served with the Navy during World War II. “He joined the service on July 6, 1943,” she says. “His ship, the destroyer S.S. Coghlan, was the first ship to sail around Japan after the H bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. …
Elly Biermann of Arnold sent in a photo of her brother, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Cpl. Joseph Limpert, who was awarded the Silver Star posthumously after he was killed in action during a campaign on Iwo Jima in February 1945.
Debby Campbell of De Soto sent in a photo of her father, Elmo Blum of Herculaneum, who served in the Merchant Marine during World War II. He and his twin brother, the late Elmer Blum, enlisted in the Navy cadet pilot training program, but after two years their entire class was offered a disc…
Meaghan Portell submitted photos of her father, Chris Mangan of Festus, who was drafted into the Army in May 1969.
Rozilyn Daniels of Festus sent in pictures of her grandfather, Gerald “Jerry” Beck of Crystal City, who served with the Air Force in the late 1940s.
Christie Lindsey of Cedar Hill submitted photos of her husband, Jason Lindsey, who served with the Marines in Asia and the Middle East.
Beverly Walker of Festus submitted photos of her father, David L. Blum of Herculaneum, who served with the Air Force from 1948 to 1952.
Ricci Dale Toothaker of Cedar Hill submitted photos of his dad, Marvin Dale Toothaker of Fenton, who served with the Army from March 1944 through April 1946.
Kyle Moreno of De Soto served with the Army from 2007 to 2013.
John Vezeau of Cedar Hill served with the Air Force from 1980 to 1988.
James “Doc” Dischert of Arnold served with the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1971. He spent most of that time in Vietnam as a platoon medic with 196th Infantry, 4/31st Charlie Company. He also performed duties for a med-cap unit, assisting South Vietnamese with hygiene and first aid. He flew on “du…
Rich Jordan of House Springs graduated from Northwest High School, where he played football, in 1969. He then enlisted in the Army and spent much of his two-year hitch in Vietnam.
Jim and Judy Davis of Arnold submitted a program from the retirement ceremony of their son, Marine Corps Master Sgt. James Wesley “Wes” Davis.
Carter Bailey Meder of Festus says she recalls reading somewhere in her grandmother’s notes that her grandfather, Dudley A. Bailey, was happy to see the Statue of Liberty upon his return from serving with the U.S. Army in France during World War I.
Mary Campbell of De Soto submitted a photo of her brother, Charles Leeman Campbell, who served with the U.S. Navy from 1951 to 1955. Their parents agreed to sign for the 17-year-old if he promised to finish high school during his time in the service.
Denise Funston of Festus submitted information about her father, the late Julian C. Steiner, who served with the Air Force in Alaska and in Vietnam in the 1960s.
Wanda Coffey Peters of De Soto submitted a photo of her brother, Donald E. Coffey Jr., who served two years with the Army in Vietnam in 1968-1970. He received three Purple Hearts and three Bronze Stars. In one of the Bronze Star citations, the commanding officer recounts Spec. 4 Coffey’s exe…
Sgt. Major Sam Richards USMC (retired) was photographed in 2016 preparing to celebrate his Marine Corps birthday. Richards was born in March 1945 in Crystal City and spent 23 years serving in the Marine Corps. He retired in 1989 and is currently the mayor of Festus.
Kimberly Weible of Hillsboro submitted photos of Richard, her husband of 29 years, and their son, Ethan.
Pat Freukes of Arnold submitted information about her father, the late Lawrence D. Freukes Sr., who served aboard the USS St. Louis during World War II.
Joe Yount of Cedar Hill was 18 years old when he was stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego in 2008. He served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps and rose to the rank of lance corporal and was a heavy equipment mechanic. In 2019, he was photographed with his wife, Michelle, and twin daugh…
Jane Brunk Kost of Hillsboro sent in a photo of her husband, Gary Kost, who served in the Army during the Vietnam War.
Julie Warden submitted a photo of her late father, helicopter pilot Dan Reifsteck, with his ride. Reifsteck, who lived in Crystal City, served in the Army as a Chief Warrant Officer 2 from 1968-1970. He died in 2016.
Kathleen King of Cedar Hill sent in a photo of her family at the World Bird Sanctuary, where she and husband Dave both volunteer.
Dan and Carolyn Scott of De Soto submitted this photo of Dan’s dad, Marvin Scott Jr., who served in the U.S. Navy 1945-1946. He was a ship’s cook third class aboard the U.S.S. Lindenwald during World War II, traveling to many countries. “He mentioned his trip to Japan as well as circling the…
Carolyn Scott of De Soto submitted the story of her parents, Lilly Huskey of De Soto and the late Don Huskey. Don served with the Army during the Korean War. Lilly Huskey shared these memories with her daughter.
Joe and Diana Porter of Hillsboro sent in a pair of photos. The first is of Master Sgt. Joe Porter Sr. and his friend, John Snead, taken in 1968 in Vietnam. Joe Sr. now lives in Quanah, Texas.
Arnold native Sharon Summers Bemmerzouk is retired from the Air Force after 20 years of service.
Penny Challans of High Ridge honored her husband of more than 50 years, the late Earl Challans, by telling his story.
World War II Army veteran John Waltersam, a resident of Victorian Gardens senior living facility in Eureka, poses with a pair of veteran-themed scarecrows displayed for the recent Eureka Scarecrow Festival.
Nancy Klos of Hillsboro submitted photos of her neighbor and friend, John Acock, who served with the Army for more than 25 years.
Larry Potter, 73, of House Springs, a Fox High School graduate, served with the Navy in Vietnam.
Bob Southard was working as a shipping clerk with Southern Equipment Co. in St. Louis when he received a draft notice from the Army in December 1963. He was sworn in in Vienna, Mo., and took basic training at Fort Leonard Wood.
Christy Gay submitted these photos honoring her good friend and co-worker, the late Russel McKenzie.
Staff Sgt. Tom Bowden served with the Air Force from 1967 to 1970, stationed at Binh Thuy in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam
Melyssa Zoellner of Festus submitted then-and-now photos of her grandfather, Myrl Hook, who served with the Army from 1952-1954.
“About 15 years ago, my husband, Bob, was helping his parents clean out the attic of their Hillsboro home. They found this painting on silk rolled up in tissue paper. My father-in-law had all but forgotten that it existed.”
Cheryl Scott of High Ridge submitted photos for her father, Jerry Tripp, who served in the Army in 1951 and 1952. Mr. Tripp, 92, grew up in Cape Girardeau and lives now in High Ridge.
Alan Hay of Wildwood submitted a photo of his son, Douglas Hay, who served with the Army from 2015 to 2018. Doug graduated from Eureka High in 2015 and served with the Army Infantry in a small weapons repair unit based in Ft. Riley, Kan. He also did a tour in South Korea.
Gabrielle Colleen Green Lopez Crocker of Pevely served in the Army from 1981 through her medical discharge in 1993. She grew up in Horine as Colleen Green, attended Zion Lutheran School and graduated from Herculaneum High School.
Due to a scheduling quirk in this year's high school football season, the Festus Marching Tigers completed their regular-season home schedule for fall 2020 on Friday (Oct. 2) with four performances in the last four weeks. The Tigers' football team takes to the road for the last three weeks o…
It was the annual Homecoming game on Friday (Sept. 18), but with no parade, no halftime coronation of the queen and king, what's a marching band to do? The Festus Marching Tigers broke out by putting motion into the first song in their salute to the music of Motown, with more to come.
The Festus Marching Tigers traditionally take one pre-season practice under the lights at Tiger Stadium, but this year, a scheduling conflict necessitated the band's final run-through on Thursday (Sept. 3) under the bright sunlight of late afternoon. The Marching Tigers perfected their entra…
The Festus High School Marching Tigers band started the new season -- one that will be like no other -- on Friday (Sept. 4) as the Tigers tamed Sullivan in their home opener. While some procedures changed, and some traditions were put on the back burner, the Marching Tigers forged ahead, and…
A humorous meme made the rounds of Facebook in the early days of the pandemic that pictured a marching band with the caption "Band directors could solve COVID. They know about distancing and keeping hands off your face." This summer, in high school marching band camps around the county, band…
There was no pomp and circumstance, but members of the Class of 2020 got a little recognition Friday (May 29) as they assembled for the first time since mid-March (albeit socially distant, in vehicles) and paraded down Main Street before friends and well-wishers.
The last day of school usually comes with some smiles, some tears, some hugs... but in this most different of school years, the last day comes with social distancing, face masks and books and bags passed through car windows. The scene Wednesday (May 27) at Festus Intermediate School and Fest…
Was it Freese's bomb in the 2011 World Series? Was it Gibby dominating the 1967 World Series? Was it Big Mac breaking the Roger Maris home run record?
Ten months after his passing, 7-year-old Jackson Schmitt and his family have made an immense impact in the Jefferson/St. Louis area to raise funds for child cancer research.