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. 

Richard “Dick” Edwin Kammeyer

United States Navy

Richard “Dick” Edwin Richard enlisted in the United States Navy on November 10, 1948. He was in San Diego, CA for Boot Camp – Company 534. He was stationed in Bremerton, Washington after boot camp. They were there for 3 months in dry dock. When they were out to sea on the U.S.S. Stickle, Richard was pushing ammo into one of the guns when the hammer came down on his finger. The doctors wanted to amputate it but he told them to just bandage it. His finger was stiff for a while but he saved it. While overseas he traveled to Hawaii, Guam, Okinawa, Hong Kong, Midway, Korea, the Philippine Islands, and many other places. Richard was a Machinist’s Mate, Third Class-USN and received 5 Battle Stars while serving. He enlisted for 3 years but it was extended to 4 years because of the Korean War. Richard received an Honorable Discharge on November 5, 1952.

Phil Boyenga

United States Army

Phil Boyenga served in the United States Army from 1967 – 1970. A video of Phil talking about his experience can be viewed here:

Paul Francis Corcoran

United States Army & United States Navy

Paul served in both the Army and Navy from approximately 1967-1972. Paul died, in 2003, at the age 58 of brain, bone, and many other forms of cancer. Family suspects illnesses due to agent orange exposure.

Milton (Milt) Roth

United States Army

Milton E. Roth was born February 24, 1918, in Waterloo, Iowa. Milt graduated from East Waterloo High School in 1936, where he is in the East High Hall of Fame. He attended watchmaking school in Peoria, Illinois and worked for his father in Waterloo, who founded Roth Jewelers in 1931. Milt was a veteran of World War II in the European Theater and was honorably discharged from active duty. He then continued in the Army Reserves and was discharged in 1953 as First Lieutenant Ordnance Corps. In 1946, Milt joined his father in business at Roth Jewelers where he spent the rest of his career; he remained active in the business to near the end of 2011. Milt passed away on Thursday, July 4, 2013, at the Cedar Valley Hospice Home at the age of 95 from natural causes.

Michael Maurice O’Conner

United States Marines Corp

Michael Maurice O’ Conner enlisted in the Marines in 1968. He completed Officer Candidate School in Quantico Virginia (ranking #6 in a class of 260) then was sent to Vietnam as a leader of reconnaissance team. He was killed in action on June 4, 1969.

Michael Knapp

United States Navy

During his three deployments to Vietnam, Michael Knapp served on the USS Graffias (AF-29), the USS Zelima (AF-49), the USS Procyon (AF-61) and the USS Vega (AF-59). Currently enrolled under Veterans Administration disability program due to medical issues related to 3 Agent Orange exposures while deployed in Vietnam. He is married to Mica Lorenz. Has a son and a daughter, three granddaughters and three great grandsons. Mike attended the University of Northern Iowa, earning his BA in Sociology/Social work. He received a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Iowa. Mike was actively employed in the Waterloo – Cedar Falls area working for first for Quakerdale Group Homes from 1973-1975, the Iowa Department of Human Services, Black Hawk County as a Child Protective Service Worker from 1976-1978. In 1978 he became the Executive Director of Grin and Grow Ltd., a local early childhood agency specializing in early childhood and childcare services to low income, at-risk and special needs preschool and infant aged children until his retirement in 2018. Mike has been a member of the Exchange Club of Waterloo since 2004.

Mathias J Schmitz

United States Navy

Mathias “Matt” J. Schmitz entered the service on 1/8/1945. He was listed as a Coxswain (CB) SV-6 USNR. He helped rebuild communities in the Pacific Islands. He was honorably discharged on 6/22/1946. Jesup Farmers Day Parade Matt was born near Raymond, IA in 1926. He married Margaret Schares on June 22, 1948. They had five daughters and four sons, 28 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren. Matt was a farmer and enjoyed farming with his sons. He was a member of St. Anthanasius Church, Knights of Columbus and Pump-Sheer American Legion Post 342. He went on the Honor Flight and was a supporter of later flights as well. He passed in 2021.

Lloyd Lyman “Bub” Loonan

United States Army

Lloyd Lyman “Bub” Loonan served in the United States Army from February 28,1943 to December 16, 1945.