Category Archives: Campaign News

Oklahoma Soldier Remembered by Texas Students

Army Specialist Four Arlin Koehn

The Moving Story of Enid Soldier Lost in Vietnam

By Doug Dollar

Todd Koehn recently shared a message with members of my Vietnam infantry rifle company about a special tribute to his uncle, Arlin Koehn!

“Some high school students in Austin Texas do tribute to soldiers from Vietnam every year,” noted Todd, adding, “they actually contacted me and did one on my uncle Arlin.”

“Just thought you might be interested to know that there are some high school kids that are learning about the war and the sacrifices that men like you went through,” added Todd.

The video may be seen here on the Austin, TX, Eanes Westlake School Districts site. Be sure to click the sound icon to unmute the audio:

I thought is was worth sharing here since this site is devoted to encouraging middle and high school students in Oklahoma to interview our state’s veterans about their experiences.

The battle of Chop Vum occurred about four months before I arrived in Charlie Company. Now there are two books available on about our company in the battle:

The Men Behind the Scarf: The Battle of Chop Vum
Hill 283, Chop Vum




Newkirk 4-Hers Labeled “Pathfinders” for Honors Campaign Work

The first community-wide Honors Campaign was launched May 8 by the Newkirk 4-H Club when an initial 8 of 26 local veteran volunteers participated in round one of interviews.

Newkirk 4-H Club members conducting the first round of veteran interviews were labeled Honors Campaign “Pathfinders” by OKMHF Ambassador Doug Dollar when visiting with the students about military veterans service.
WWII veteran Ralph Vickery was the first to be interviewed May 8 in Newkirk’s community-wide Honors Campaign.

An Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame ambassador who met with the participating 4-H members the day before used the example of an Airborne paratrooper to illustrate what they might encounter when interviewing local veterans. When the speaker pointed out that the 4-H participants role was similar to airborne “Pathfinders” for the Honors Campaign, the youngsters liked the comparison so much that it was decided they would officially be called Pathfinders in the program.

Of those interviewed May 8, one was a WWII veteran and the rest were Vietnam era vets. A majority of those interviewed the first day were combat veterans. The next round of interviews is scheduled for June 13, according to volunteers working on the campaign.

Participating veterans previously had been given handouts explaining the nature of the Honors Campaign program along with the interview questions. Each veteran will receive a CD containing the video-recorded interview to share with family and friends. Follow up sessions will involve the young 4-Hers in discussions of what they learned in the process and what is involved in military service.

A community event is planned at the end of the summer to recognize the 4-H members and the veterans.


Community-wide Campaign Launched for Newkirk

Young 4-H Club Members Interview Local Veterans

The northern Oklahoma town of Newkirk is likely one of the most patriotic communities in the nation, at least based upon the activities of a number of the residents there. An example of one such activity is participation by a group of young 4-H club members in what is known as an Honors Campaign.

Newkirk 6th grade 4-H member Hannah interviews Walter, her grandfather and a helicopter pilot veteran of the war in Vietnam. The session was videoed by the State’s 4-H Youth Development Program which is incorporating the Honors Campaign effort into its curriculum. ff

The Honors Campaign Program was launched by the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame to recognize greater numbers of veterans across the state and to help Oklahoma’s youth better understand what it means to serve our nation through military service.

“I am really excited about this project,” noted Karen Dye, a local historian and key mover and shaker for the effort. “I think it is important to connect our students with men and women who protected our country. It is quite possible they may each have a relative that served in this capacity. When we did a presentation on the land run, we found that to be the case!”

Dye added that if the number of potential interviews becomes too much for the 4-H club’s 6th through 8th graders, other youth from Newkirk’s Jed Cord Students club 9th through 12th graders may be recruited to help out.

“The club was named after a great young man from Newkirk, Jed Hartley, who died in Iraq serving in the US Army,” said Dye, adding, “Club members pledge to contribute 100 hours of community service during their high school years.”

2019 is the Honors Campaign “pilot” year and so far Memorial and Booker T. Washington High Schools in Tulsa are also participating through the Junior ROTC programs there. The 4-H club in Newkirk is planning for this to be a community-wide effort carried out this summer. All veterans are being identified for video interviews by the 4-Hers.

Librarian Marcina Overman has offered the use of Newkirk’s public library facilities to host the student/veteran interviews, which could number quite a few. The video-recorded interviews will be given to the veterans as well as featured on a new internet site established by the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame.

Other communities are invited to become involved this year, and Honors Campaign planners prepared this message as the first of a series of newsletters to go to key participants, and with your permission will include you in the recipient list. Thank you for your interest. Below is a description of the Honors Campaign program from the web site

“Honors Campaigns are special community-based efforts to recognize local military veterans that are organized and managed by middle- and high-school students. Supported by the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame through its Ambassador program, an individual student, or a group such as a classroom, a 4-H or similar club, plans and carries the campaign through to its completion. A campaign may range from a single student interviewing a veteran, perhaps a family member, to a special recognition ceremony for veterans complete with book-length publications and internet sites. Awards and other recognition are presented to students for their work.”