The Cambrian

Four Cambria veterans to be honored for Korea service

Four Cambria veterans are scheduled to be honored on Veterans Day for their wartime service in Korea.

The “Ambassador for Peace” medals from the South Korean Embassy will be presented during Cambria’s Veterans Day ceremonies starting at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, inside the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St.

Dave Ehlers, 2015 commander of American Legion Post No. 432, said the public is encouraged to attend the annual observance honoring all military members.

Post 2nd Vice Cmdr. Mike Thompson said the Korean War honorees are: Dave Crowther, Army 2nd lieutenant who received a Silver Star and two Purple Hearts; Alan Doctor, Army tank battalion; Joseph Korpiel, Army engineering; and Jerry McKinnon, a Navy man who served in Korean waters.

Thompson said regretfully that Mel McColloch won’t receive a medal because “his service record had been redacted to the point where the Embassy officials felt they couldn’t verify it.” He said McColloch served as an Army Ranger on both sides of the DMZ “and was certainly very active in that war.”

The main speaker will be Bud Hankins of Cambria, a 1954 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who retired as a captain.

Plans for the ceremony still were being finalized at press deadline. Ehlers said it should include the traditional Color Guard presentation, singing of the national anthem, participation by local students and honoring of all vets in attendance.

A barbecue prepared by the Sons of the American Legion will follow.

Wreath laying

McColloch and fellow Post member Ron Waltman are urging those who want to honor veterans to help place holiday wreaths on veterans’ graves at local cemeteries, as well as other cemeteries in the county, state and nation.

Waltman said, “Congress has designated the second Saturday of December to be ‘Wreaths Across America Day,’ and they want all of the 1,000 registered cemeteries to dedicate their wreaths at the same moment,” which will coordinate with the wreath placement at noon at Arlington National Cemetery. So, “we will have a wreath ceremony at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12 with our youth placing the wreaths on the grave markers” at the Cambria and Santa Rosa cemeteries.

Wreath orders, $15 each, must be placed by Nov. 23. Details/orders: email McColloch at, call Waltman at 909-2030, or email