photos by KENNETH FRY
Earl Duty with medals and family. From left (front row) are Terra Duty, Macey Duty, Judy Scott, Kinley Duty, Earl Duty, Charlotte Duty and Jeannie Cassatt; (back row) Erik Duty and Nathan Scott.
Retired Lt. Col. Steve Gray (left) presents medals to Michael Kremers during the ceremony on Saturday.
Three Crawford County veterans have been honored for their military service.
Recognized in a Saturday ceremony were Glenn Whitson of Mulberry, an Army veteran of World War II; Michael Kremers of Van Buren, an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War; and Earl Duty of Alma, an Army and Navy veteran of Desert Storm.
Retired Lt. Col. Steve Gray, military liaison to U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., honored the three with a medal presentation at the Crawford County Emergency Facility in Van Buren.
Whitson was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and the Honorable Lapel Button WWII Service.
He joined the Army Air Corps in 1943 and served as an airplane and engine mechanic. He was deployed to the island of Tinian in the Marianas with the 680th Bombardment Squadron which activated in December 1944. He worked on B-29 Superfortresses before and after they delivered bombs over Japan.
Kremers was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Expeditionary Medal and the Small Marksmanship Ribbon.
He joined the Air Force 18 months after official ground combat troops were sent into Vietnam by President Lyndon Johnson. He served as a security policeman and was sent to Korea for 13 months to provide security for American Armed Forces.
Duty was awarded the Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Navy Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Saudi Arabian Medal for the Liberation of Kuwait, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Sharpshooter Badge for Auto Rifle and Machine Gun Ribbons.
He joined the Navy in 1978. He became a warehouse operations man ensuring ample stocks of food, supplies, spare parts and munitions were met. He started his service aboard the USS John King, a guided missile destroyer, as it moved into the Mediterranean in response to the U.S. Embassy take over in Tehran, Iran, in 1979.
After his four-year tour in the Navy he joined the Army National Guard in Van Buren as both an artillery operator and a heavy equipment operator. He left the guard in 2002 but not until he served with the only National Guard Artillery unit sent into Iraq as part of Desert Storm.