Quilts honor Conway Springs veterans

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Lynn Koch is presented his Quilt of Valor during Friday’s ceremony at Conway Springs High School. Picture by Faith Stuhlsatz, Cardinal Times.

On Friday, Nov. 11, veterans from Conway Springs were honored at an all-school assembly held at the high school Auditorium. Opening remarks were made by Clay Murphy, superintendent of USD 356. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Cardinalaires sang the national anthem.
Members of the South-Central Kansas Quilters chapter of the Quilts of Valor Foundation then presented quilts to each of the veterans. Each veteran was asked, in advance, to complete a questionnaire, which provided information and highlights regarding their time in the military.
Veterans honored included Eddie D. Allen, William (Bill) A. Roth, Duane L. Smith, William Charles Schooley, and Lynn Alan Koch.
Allen served in the United States Army from June 1953 until June 1955. He received his basic training at Camp Polk, La.
Allen stated that, “During the Korean Conflict, and after attending Kansas University, I was drafted into the U.S. Army.” He also stated that he “was proud to honor our country by serving in the 112th Medical Battalion, 37th Infantry Division.”
During his time in the Army, Allen received advanced medical training for the ambulance company. Allen said that he was most proud to serve in the Medical Corps. The most valuable lesson during his time in the service was learning discipline.
His advice to young people considering serving our country is this: “Freedom is being constantly challenged and must be protected.”
Roth served in the United States Army from January 1956 until December 1957. He received his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
When asked about what inspired him to serve our country, Roth recalled a personal story about friendship.
“At that time, the Korean War was over, but men were still being drafted around the ages of 23 to 26 years old. I didn’t want to go when I was that old. There were four of us that wanted to go in together. We went to the draft board to volunteer for the draft, and that would not happen. They, (the military) had a quota that spread over a year or more. We enlisted in the Reserves, that way we (went) in together,” he said.
After schooling, he was sent to Chinon, France. There he worked in an office tracking equipment, supplying all of U.S. bases in Europe with equipment. The base was one of several across Europe. They were part of Com Z, (or) Communications Zone.
When asked about an event of which he was proud, Roth said he was proud to have listened to other people, listening to their advice and learning about their way of doing things.
Smith served in the United States Army from January 1957 until January 1960. He received his basic training at Fort Benning, Ga.
When asked what inspired him to serve our country, Smith remarked that it was a sense of patriotism that caused him to serve. He received specialized training as an M33 Radar Mechanic.
The event that Smith said he was most proud of was his overseas duty assignment. He spent one year isolation at the North Pole, in Thule, Greenland. When asked about what he learned in the service, Duane said that learning a good work ethic was the most valuable to him in his life.
Schooley served in the United States Air Force from June 1968 until December 1990. He received his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, in San Antonio, Texas.
When asked what inspired him to serve our country, Schooley said, “My father was a Pearl Harbor survivor. He was also military career oriented and I grew up as a military brat. This was my motivation to make a career out of the military. I believe in preserving peace and freedom for our nation. It was important to me to fulfill my obligation to my country and respect the sacrifice that other military men gave for our country.”
When describing his training, and duties during his service, Schooley talked about a variety of duties spanning his career.
“During my younger days, I was a weapons armament specialist for over 11 years. Then, I was cross-trained into the personnel field and served as a career advisor for younger airmen, and then performed First Sergeant duties until retirement,” he said.
When asked to describe the events of which he was most proud, Schooley said, “I am proud to have been able to fulfill my commitment to my country, with privilege and honor, and to be honorably discharged. I served my country for 22.5 years, which included two tours in Vietnam. I also had the very high honor to be selected to go on a Kansas Honor Flight.”
Koch served in the United States Marine Corps from June 1984 until April 1988. He received his basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, in San Diego, Calif.
When asked what inspired him to serve our country, Koch said, “I knew that I wasn’t going to go to any college, and I didn’t have any other future plans. So, (during) my junior year of high school, I made the decision to enlist in the Marines. No other person in my immediate family had ever been in the military. I knew the military would teach me life skills and a trade. I originally planned it to be my lifelong career, but things didn’t work out for that to happen.”
His training included aviation structure mechanic safety equipment school, OB-10 aircraft escape and environmental school. He worked on the UH-1N Huey helicopters and the AH-1T Cobra Helicopters. His duty was as an aircraft safety equipment mechanic.
When asked about an event of which he is most proud, Lynn said this, “The thing that I’m proud of the most is that I was able to do it, and just did it. Not everyone is that lucky. I am proud and honored to have served my country.”
He had this advice to any young person considering serving our country:
“I think everyone should experience serving in the military, because you have an opportunity to see and do things that most people don’t get to experience in their lifetime. I got to see and visit a lot of different places around the world. I got to meet and build friendships with a lot of interesting people from all walks of life. I probably would not have gotten to experience these things without my time serving in the military.”

William Roth of Conway Springs was among the veterans honored Friday at the Quilts of Valor ceremony. Picture by Faith Stuhlsatz, Cardinal Times.