PLEASANTVILLE, Iowa — A few years back the American Legion Post 108 in the Marion County town of Pleasantville completed a major renovation of their local Legion Hall building. Wondering what to put on the walls of the building, they had an ambitious idea, to honor all the veterans they could find from the community.
“These are all Pleasantville people on the walls here well we kind of use the Pleasantville school district as our boundaries for the pictures,” said Post 108 member Dennis Murphy. “It just was an idea that Gordon Meachum and I had.”
The project began honoring those who paid the ultimate price, with their lives, including three who died in Vietnam in a span of four days. There is one section featuring those who were decorated with medals during war.
“This group here we have three of them, three people here, three purple hearts,” said Murphy. “This kid here ( Staff Sgt. Dewey Heaberlin) he lived in Newton after the war, by the time he was 21, had three purple hearts in three different countries.”
For Murphy learning about who served in the military in your town, can take some time.
“Many times people you don’t know that someone was even in the service, as they get older especially into their 70s and 80s you see these guys wearing their caps that shows which branch of the service they were in,” said Murphy. “Probably if I’d tried to do this in 1970’s or 1980’s I would have had a real tough time.”