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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Nov. 2, 2007

Five to be added to Gold Star Hall memorial

by Teddi Barron, News Service

Iowa State will honor five former students who died in the Iraq or Vietnam wars during a Veterans Day ceremony on Monday, Nov. 12. The Gold Star Hall ceremony will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. It's free and open to the public.

Gold Star Hall is the "memorial" in the Memorial Union. ISU maintains an active memorial in the Union's north entrance, where names of Iowa State students who died in World War I or later wars are commemorated on the walls.

"In World War I, when a family had a son or daughter in the service, they put a card with a blue star in their window. When a life was lost, the blue star was changed to gold," said MU marketing director Kathy Svec.

During the public ceremony in the Great Hall, Iowa State's ROTC unit will present the colors, followed by brief remarks by university administrators. The stories of each soldier will be told. The families and close friends will then move to a private ceremony in the Gold Star Hall where the newly engraved names will be unveiled. The hall then will be re-opened to the public.

The four Vietnam casualties were only recently identified as former ISU students. Those honored this year are:

Lt. Col. Paul Finken, Earling. Before graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Finken attended ISU from fall 1984 to spring 1985. He died Nov. 2, 2005, in Iraq from an improvised explosive device while he was orienting a replacement officer. He was 40 years old.

Sgt. Thomas Carrington, Storm Lake. Carrington attended Iowa State from fall 1966 to winter 1968. He was killed Aug. 12, 1969, in Tay Ninh, Vietnam, by small arms fire when an aircraft landing zone came under attack. He had less than two weeks to serve in his tour of duty. He was 20 years old.

Warrant officer Jerry Clark, Davenport. Clark attended Iowa State from fall 1960 to spring 1961. After basic training, he went through flight school, graduating in 1964 as a fixed wing pilot. He was sent to Vietnam. Clark was listed as missing in action on Dec. 15, 1965, after his reconnaissance plane developed engine trouble and crashed. His status was changed to missing/presumed dead in 1973. He was 25 years old.

Sgt. Stephen Rushing, Ames. Rushing attended Iowa State from fall 1967 to fall 1968. He entered the Army in 1969, and started his tour of duty in Vietnam in May 1970. He died in Binh Dinh province from small arms fire on July 30 that year. He was 20 years old.

Private First Class Rickey Swaney, Grand Junction. Swaney attended Iowa State from fall 1965 through winter 1968. He went into the Army in the fall of 1968. He was shipped to Vietnam in May 1969 and died August 14, 1969, near Kontum in a mortar attack. He was 21 years old.


Five former ISU students will have their names added to Gold Star Hall's memorial list of war casualties in a Nov. 12 Veterans Day ceremony.