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. 

Melanie Kragel

United States Navy


Leo Reiss

United States Navy

1945-1947 Leo grew up in Ryan, Iowa. He joined the Navy in 1945. Upon discharge he attended Loras College. Leo moved to Waterloo to start a small business. He married Rosella Markovetz and they raised 10 children in the Highland Neighborhood. Leo retired from John Deere as an accountant in 1984. Leo and Rosella were lifetime members of St. John’s Catholic Church.

Irvin Peter Weber

United States Army

Irvin was drafted during WW II 02/08/1946 to 11/27/1946. He also served in the Korean War 10/15/1950 to 10/21/1953. He was a POW from May 1951 until August 1953.

Chiquita Denise Loveless

United States Navy

Chiquita Loveless (she/her) is a native of Chicago, Illinois. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Georgia Gwinnett College and a master’s degree in Business Administration from St. Leo University. Loveless serves as the Director for Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice at the University of Northern Iowa. She aims to ensure a safe and welcoming environment that fosters academic success, a sense of belonging, and respect for all people and cultures. In addition, she manages the Center for Multicultural Education (CME), Gender and Sexuality Services, Military and Veteran Student Services, and Thrive Retention and Mentoring for the marginalized population. Loveless served in the U.S. Navy for more than 23 years, retiring as a Communication Officer/Chief Warrant Officer 2. Her tours of duty include Commander Naval Special Warfare Command, two Aircraft Carriers, an Amphibious Ship, and numerous deployments, including Operation Iraqi Freedom. Additionally, she served as the Equal Opportunity Officer and Sexual Assault Victim Advocate for several tours reporting directly to her Commanding Officers. Loveless is also a former Director for VETCONNEXX, an all-veteran call center located in Atlanta, GA. Loveless is the 2021 Cedar Valley MercyOne Heroes Among Us “Military” recipient.

Yolando Lendale Loveless

United States Navy

Yolando Loveless is a 30-year retired Navy Chief Warrant Officer 4, who serves as the Executive Director for Black Hawk County Veterans Affairs. His service included two Gulf wars and one year in Iraq.

William Smith Jr.

United States Marines Corp

William Smith Jr. signed up for the Marines in 1968 and served his country for 2 tours of duty in Vietnam , was the youngest Marine in country, cut the Marine Corps birthday cake with a 3 star General while in Vietnam. William turned 17 in Vietnam and was what they called a “tunnel rat.” According to his family, “he is 100 per sent disabled from Agent Orange, and is fighting everyday to stay alive, he was a Grunt over in Vietnam and walked all over the country in Vietnam.” ‘Search and Clear’ was his job while over seas.

William E. Weitnauer

United States Army & United States Airforce

William E. Weitnauer gave a total of fourteen years in military service.

Trent J. Hunter

United States Army, United States Airforce

Trent J. Hunter is active duty with the United States Airforce. He has been in the military for 20 years. (posted 5.25.2023)