Veterans Way Honorees

Digital Tour

Banners honoring Veterans and members of the military proudly hang along 4th Street in downtown Waterloo from Memorial Day in the spring to Veterans Day in late fall.  Banners are sponsored annually by family members, friends, businesses and organizations and are presented to them at the end of the season, making room for a new group of honorees.   Find the location of each banner here. 

George William Lorenz, Jr.

United States Army

George William Lorenz, Jr. was born in Tama County Iowa in 1922. When he graduated from Gladbrook High in 1940, he moved to San Diego, where he did war work for McDonnell aircraft before joining the United States Army as a private. After WW II, he married Dotta Jean Randall and they remained Waterloo residents for the next 32 years. During that time, they established and operated restaurants in Waterloo and Cedar Falls, including: Hummel’s Smoke Shop lunch counter, Porky and Pete’s, Porky’s Pink Elephant Drive-In, Porky’s Ranch House, Porky’s Red Carpet, Porky’s Chuck Wagon, Porky’s at the Clayton House and Porky’s Red Carpet Club and Golf Course. Porky died at the age of 85 in Phoenix, Arizona. He loved greeting customers, hard work, playing cards, flashy clothes, big cars, diamonds and his family.

Fred H. Becker

United States Army

Fred Becker graduated from Waterloo East High School in 1914. From there, Becker went on to play football for the University of Iowa. In his only season as a sophomore in 1916, Becker was a standout on the Iowa squad. In Iowa’s 19-16 victory over Iowa State, he became the first known Hawkeye to block two opposing punts. Becker enlisted in the United States Army on March 16, 1917 making the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. He was killed in action on July 18 1918 at the battle of Chateau-Thieruy. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Belgian War Cross, and Croix de Guerre. An elementary school in his home town of Waterloo, Iowa is named in his honor.

Elmer Lorenz

United States Navy

Elmer Lorenz served in the United States Navy during World War II as Yeoman 2nd Class (E5) from 1944-1946 and during the Korean War 1951-1952 as Teleman 2nd Class (E5). Elmer was a local restaurateur of note operating the Meadows Café, then head cook at his brother’s (George “Porky” Lorenz) restaurant Porky’s Supper Club, before opening Elmer’s Supper Club in Lincoln, Iowa. Elmer had one daughter, Mica Lorenz, by his first wife, and sons Randy, Dan and John, and daughter, Annette, by his second wife Ardys Lorenz. He was well known for his distinctive laugh.

Don Lee Christrensen

United States Army

Don Lee Christrensen served in the United States Army for 20 years.

Dan Harris

United States Army

Dan was born in Waterloo on August 19, 1947. He graduated from East High School in 1965. While in school he participated in football, baseball and wrestling. He joined the Army after high school and was a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne, Screaming Eagles during the Vietnam War. While in the Army Dan received the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Service Medal, Bronze Star with V Device, Parachutist Badge and Marksman pin. Dan was honorably discharged in 1968. Dan married Cindy Gates in 1965. They had two daughters, Terrill (1969) and Toni (1970). Dan was a machinist at John Deere for over 30 years. He was a member of UAW Local 838 and the Waterloo Softball Hall Fame class of 1999. Dan and Cindy eventually divorced. Dan later married Sandy Jacobs in 2018. On April 20, 2022 Dan unexpectedly passed away in his home. At that time he had two daughters, four grandchildren, three great grandchildren, four step daughters and three step grandchildren.

Clair J. Weigel

United States Army

Clair J. Weigel served in the United States Army from 1942 to 1946.

Chris Thomas Jr.

United States Marines Corp

Chris Thomas Jr. served in the United States Marine Corp for one year during World War II. He participated in action against the enemy at the following: Midway, June 3,1942 to JUNE 6,1942; Buin-Tonolai Raid October 5.1942; the capture and defense of Guadalcanal October1 6,1942 to October 25, 1942: and Santa Cruz Islands October 26,1942.  American defense service medal, Asiatic-Pacific campaign medal, Victory medal of World war II were awarded posthumously. 

Charles Wesley “Carl” Chapman, Jr.

United States Army

Charles Wesley “Carl” Chapman, Jr. was born in Dubuque, Iowa on 28 December 1895. Carl attended West Waterloo, Iowa High School. On February 21, 1918, Carl was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the Army Aviation Signal Corp during World War I. Carl was shot down near Toule France on May 3, 1918 . He was  awarded the posthumously France’s Croix de Guerre, with Palm, and  Distinguished Service Cross, and the Croix de Guerre. His remains are entombed at the Lafeyette Escadrille Memorial located near Paris France.
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