• Phillips Hometown Heroes

  • John Zydzik

    U.S. Marine Corps


    May 1967-1973

    John Zydzik joined the U.S. Marine Corps a week after he graduated in 1967. He spent 6 years in the Marine Corps including one tour to Viet Nam where he was wounded, fixed up and sent back to the field. After being discharged from the Marines in 1973, he joined the Wisconsin Army National Guard and retired from the Guards in 2009 as a Sergeant First Class. He has a total of 42 years of service.

    John P. Spacek

    U.S. Army



    James R. Pisca




    Donald F. Veverka


    Staff Sergeant


    Donald served our country for 21 ½ years. First with one tour in the Korean conflict, followed by 3 consecutive tours in Vietnam before retiring as Staff Sergeant in July 1969. He received many recognitions including a Bronze Star!

    Donald O. Johnson

    U.S. Army



    Daniel D. Petty

    U.S. Marine Corps



    Sergeant Daniel D. Petty, USMC, was born in El Dara, Illinois and registered for selective service (which was required by law, once you turned 18 years of age) on December 22nd, 1952.  While playing football, his freshman year, at the University of Missouri, he felt the calling to join the United States Marine Corp and serve his country.  His older brother John was already serving in the USMC, in Korea.

    DD, as his family called him, enlisted in the USMC on January 23rd, 1953 and underwent basic training at Marine Corp Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, Platoon 49.

    While attending boot camp, he qualified on the M-1 Rifle.  Private DD Petty distinguished himself as a leader in boot camp, promoted to PFC and afterwards was sent to Drill Instructor (DI) School.  PFC DD Petty was the first ever Private First Class to attend Drill Instructor School.  He was only only 18 years, 4 months old, at the time.  He graduated from DI school on August, 25th, 1953.

    After Drill Instructor School, DD Petty was stationed at the Marine Corp Recruit Depot, as a Drill Instructor.  His 1st group of recruits graduated from Platoon 311.  Also, while a Drill Instructor, he made Corporal (Cpl).

    Cpl. DD Petty stayed at Marine Corp Recruit Depot, as a Drill Instructor, until he was transferred overseas to Camp Okubo, Japan.  He was Cpl - Squad Leader of “G” Company, 3rd Battalion. 9th Marines.

    While in Japan, he also played center for the Camp Otsu Greenwaves football team, winner of the “B” Company League Championship.  The only unbeaten team in Japan, with a record of 6 wins, 0 losses and 1 tie.

    He was transferred to Quantico, VA after serving 1 year, 2 months and 10 days overseas.  He was promoted to Sergeant on October, 1st, 1955.  Due to his outstanding leadership overseas, he was offered the chance to attend Officer Training School, but declined.

    He was Honorably Discharged on January 23rd, 1956, after serving 3 years of active duty.  Recommended for reenlistment.  Transferred to the USMC Reserves until January 23rd, 1961.

    Sgt. DD Petty was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal and the UN Service Medal, during his career.

    He returned home and continued to serve his church, family, community and neighbors, until his death on April, 19th, 2010.  He left behind his wife, Joann, his two sons, Daniel (Terri) of Lebanon, OH and Mark (Tianna) of Catawba, WI, and three (3) grandchildren, Christian, Phoenix and Joshua.

  • Daniel L. Beck

    Army SP4


    3/19/1970 – 11/10/1971

    Clarence “Clink” Schilling

    Army SP4(E-4)

    1953 - 1962

    Clarence (Clink) Schilling was born on August 22, 1932 in Prentice, WI. He was a 1950 graduate of Phillips High School. In 1953 he entered the Army where he trained at Fort Bliss, Texas and was a member of the 33rd Gun Battalion serving in the Korean Conflict.

    After serving in the Army, he returned to Phillips where he owned and operated Phillips Locker Plant, Central Meat Market and Clink's Meat Market (formerly Phillips Locker Plant) until his passing on May 24th, 1991.

    He served as an alderman on the Phillips Common Council, was a past President of the Phillips Chamber of Commerce and in 1991 he was named Phillips Citizen of the Year. He was also a member of the Czechoslovakian Festival Committee and a Cub Scout Leader.

    Charles Tingo

    U.S. Army


    Korean War

    Carl E. Gengenbach

    U.S. Navy


    WWII/Korean War/Vietnam War

    Edward Kosterman

    U.S. Air Force

    Private 1st Class


    Edward Kosterman served in the U.S. Air Force from 1942-1946 as a Private 1st Class. He was a member of the U.S. Air Force Medical Corps during World War II.

    He received the U.S. Air Force Good Conduct Medal and the American Theater Service Medal. Edward received Honorable discharge in 1946.

    Joseph F. Foytek

    U.S. Army Air Corps

    SGT.  WWII

  • Ronald Heizler

    U.S. Army 


    Korean War


    Ron Heizler enlisted in the Army at the age of 17 in 1950. He served in the Korean War and came home in 1953 after serving as Sergeant. Upon returning to Phillips, he joined the National Guard as Sergeant 1st Class until 1954.

    Robert Lawrence Cork


    1960 – 1964

    Robert Dunbar

    US Army, Sergeant First Class

    Korean War

    February 21, 1952 – November 20, 1953

    Robert was active duty in the U.S. Army, 21 February 1952 – 20 November 1953. He arrived in Korea 7 September 1952 as a Private in the Army Medical Service, Medical Company, 279 the Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, serving immediately as a Company Aidman at the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions on 9 October 1952. Robert later became Platoon Sergeant, 2nd Battalion Aid Station, 20 February 1953 – 18 July 1953. He often spoke of the actions of fellow veterans and would later actively participate in the Town of Emery Memorial Day program. Robert documented his time in Korea with photographs and many letters home, and carried a well-worn photo in his wallet, taken during his first days in Korea, until he died 24 August 2017.

    Nolan Kopecky

    Marine Corps



    Nolan wanted to a Marine since he was a little boy. Every year he would dress up for a Marine for Halloween. He signed up for the Delayed Entry Program in 2005, and the summer after graduating from Phillips High School (2006) he went to basic training. After basic training he was stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina with 2nd Maintenance Battalion. Nolan was deployed to Iraq and shortly after that he deployed directly to Afghanistan. Nolan was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in August 2010 as a Corporal.

    Nolan was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (w/Bronze Service Star), Iraq Campaign Medal (w/Bronze Service Star), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and NATO Medal.

    Leonard G. Collins

    Army Ameds PVT E-2

    Korean War 1952-1954

    Leonard Collins was called to duty in 1952 and entered that duty with the U.S. Army shipping from Minneapolis, MN. He served his country in the Korean conflict. He was stationed in Germany with his main assignment to 95 Medical Ambulance Company. He received ‘Occupational Medal Germany” and National Defense Service Medals during his service.