News: Neillsville Am. Legion (Honors Drost & Warren - 2017)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

----Surnames: Drost, Warren, Reither

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark, Co) 3/01/2017

Neillsville Am. Legion (Honors Drost & Warren – March 2017)

By Todd Schmidt

Neillsville American Legion Post 73 will honor military veterans Ken Drost and Willian “Don” Warren during a special recognition program Monday March 6. Social hour is scheduled at 4:30 p.m., with a potluck meal starting at 5:30 p.m. and the recognition to follow.

Veteran Radford Reither will also be honored that evening, as he was unable to attend the recognition program in February.

It will be a special night, as the Legion will also be celebrating its 98th birthday. In addition to the delicious potluck meal, a delicious birthday cake will be served.

Legion members and community supporters are cordially invited to attend. There will not be a Legion meeting that night.

Ken Drost served in the U. S. Army from 1952 until his honorable discharge in 1954. He will be recognized for his military service during a program Monday, March 6, at Neillsville American Legion Post 73. (Contributed photos)

Dorst was born in Watertown, WI. He attended grade school there and graduated from Watertown High School in 1952.

After graduation, he joined the u. S. Army at Ft. Sheridan, IL. He was sent to Breckenridge, KY, for basic training.

After basic training, he advanced to Ft. Benning, GA, for jump school. He then transferred to Ft. Lee, VA, for rigger school (parachute packing and heavy drop) instruction.

Drost was going home on leave before shipping out to Korea. He was sleeping in the back of a vehicle that was taking him home, when the driver slid down the mountain into a bridge.

Drost was unconscious for five days and spent the following 13 months in the hospital. He was honorably discharged from the service for medical reasons at Walter Reed Army Hospital in February 1954.

He suffered injuries to his neck, and in 1962, he had surgery to fuse several vertebrae.

Drost knew he could not do any demanding physical work, so he went to barber school.

He could not get in barber school in Wisconsin for three years, so he traveled to attend barber college in Pasadena, CA. he finished his education in Wisconsin, earning a Master’s degree.

Dorst worked for a time at St. John’s Military Academy in Delafield, WI. He then moved to Madison and started his own business, staying there 10 years.

He then moved to Arizona and taught at a barber college for three years. He moved to Arkansas and started his own shop, working there for six years.

After retiring, he traveled in his motor home for eight years, later moving to Plover. He moved to Granton, Feb.6, as he heard there was an opening for a part time barber in town.

Drost married Vickie in 1981. He has two children, Douglas, and Tammy, and they are blessed with three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

He likes to travel and go camping.

Drost transferred his membership to Post 73 in Neillsville. He also went on the Honor Flight last year.

William “Don” Warren served in the U. S. Navy (1958 to 1973) and the National Guard for a total of 35 years of military service. He will be recognized for his military service during a program Monday, March 6, at Neillsville American Legion Post 73. (Contributed photos)

Warren was born in Houma, LA. He attended grade school there and graduated from Terrebonne High School in 1956.

He joined the Louisiana National Guard while in high school. After graduation from high school, he worked in Corpus Christie, TX, as an oil field hand.

In 1958, Warren joined the U. S. Navy and went to San Diego, CA, for boot camp. He transferred to Great lakes, IL, and attended school for electrical and electronic training. He then went to Sandia Base in Albuquerque, NM, and was trained in the Nuclear Weapon “A” program.

He later worked as an assembly technician in the nuclear weapons field at the Naval Weapons Station in Yorktown, VA.

From 1960 to 1963, he was on the USS Ranger out of Alameda, CA, which sailed the Western Pacific. He oversaw all testing and assembly of nuclear weapons.

After leaving the ship, Warren went back to the Naval Weapons Evaluation Facility in Albuquerque, where he supervised the loading of prototype weapons for naval aircraft.

From 1966 to 1967, he served on the USS Independence out of Norfolk, VA. He was the division leading petty officer, in charge of all testing and assembly, related to the nuclear weapons field. The ship made three trips to the Mediterranean.

He returned to Norfolk, and was a member of a team that inspected nuclear capable activities in the Atlantic Fleet. From 1968-1969, he operated as a quality control inspector at Lake Mead Base at Las Vegas, NV.

The next year, Warren was an instructor at the Defense Atomic Support Agency in Albuquerque. From 1970 to 1973, he was back on the USS Independence at Norfolk, which again sailed the Mediterranean. He served as an officer in many capacities.

In 1973, he resigned from the Navy as a chief warrant officer.

Warren move to Neillsville in 1973 and worked on the Pagenkopf farms. In 1974, he joined Neillsville’s 32nd Engineer National Guard Unit.

In 1976, Warren started working at Nelson Muffler, retiring in 1980. From 1980 to 1986, he was the training NCO at the National Guard unit in Medford, where he planned and coordinated training at the company level, among other duties.

Warren was then operations sergeant as an active guard/reserve at Superior for three years. He retired from active duty in 1989, after serving a total of 35 years in the military.

While in Superior, Don attended Mount Senario College at Ladysmith majoring in business administration. He also attended District One Technical Institute in Eau Claire for production agriculture education.

Warren married June Pagenkopf in 1959. They have five children, William Jr., Lisa, Nanette, Stacy, and Shawn. They are fortunate to have 19 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.

Warren praised his wife for traveling with him to many areas for all his service-related assignments.

After retirement, he and June spent much time visiting locations in Montana and Louisiana.

Warren was a volunteer at the old Legion Hall and did maintenance work at the Armory. He also taught the Hunter Safety class.

He continues to enjoy hunting, fishing, and woodworking.



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