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Veteran of the Month – Larry D. Fowler

Larry Fowler was born in Philadelphia in 1955 and graduated from John Bartram High School in 1972. He enjoyed gymnastics and track in high school, but he wanted to be a marine and so enlisted in the United State Marine Corps shortly after graduation. After basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina, he served in Vietnam and was honorably discharged in 1974.

He attended the Community College of Philadelphia and has mainly worked in community and social services.

Larry lives with his loving wife Rhodie on Fillmore Street in Northwood. Together they have three grown sons and one beautiful granddaughter. He has been active in the Lutheran Church and at present is a member of the Northeast Liberty Lutheran Church in Frankford which is a small growing congregation.

Larry sees his life as one of service to God, country and community. At present, he serves with Point Man International Ministries which is an organization serving veteran’s spiritual and earthly needs.

Larry is very modest about his achievements, but he says “It all comes from almighty God. I chose him. I have always been a soldier, but now I serve in the army of the Lord.

Larry D. Fowler, thank you for your service.

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23rd Annual Reading of the Names

The Liberty Bell Chapter #266 of the Vietnam Veterans of America is holding its 23rd Annual Reading of the Names on the  Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial located at Front and Spruce Streets on October 26th at 12 noon.

Photo from Google Street View

Please come out to honor the 648 men and women from Philadelphia who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam. Chapter 266 is also looking for new members. If interested call Chuck at 215-722-3518 or email

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Veteran of the Month – Walter B. Rice

Walter B. Rice was born on July 19, 1942 in Frankford Hospital and was raised in the Tacony section of Philadelphia.  Ricey, as he was known, attended Hamilton Disston Elementary School and Lincoln High School. Ricey joined the Army National Guard and worked at different jobs such as Myerstone Basin Company, Nesbitt and worked at Frankford Hospital for over 20 years and retired.

Ricey, while serving in the National Guard, served on disaster duty in many places and and some of the island countries.   During his service, he received his paratrooper wings while at Fort Bragg jump school.

Ricey loved his job at Frankford Hospital and was well liked.  He knew just as much about hospital problems, you would think he was a doctor.  Ricey passed away on October of 2018 and will be missed very much.

Walter B. Rice – Thank you for your service!!!

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Veteran of the Month—William Turner

William Thornton Turner was born on September 4, 1946 in Philadelphia.  William, affectionately known as Thornton was educated in the Philadelphia Public School System.

Thornton accepted Christ as his personal savior at an early age.  He was drafted into the United States Army where he served two tours in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged after serving three years. He was awarded many medals, such as the parachute badge, National Defense Service Medal and was an expert in firearms.

After Thornton’s discharge from the Army Thornton always kept a job and worked for many years for a nursing home in Coatesville until he retired due to his health.

Thornton was a quiet and unassuming man who loved to travel, read and hop on a bus to the casinos.  He also enjoyed family gatherings and would spend most holidays at his niece Shirlene’s house for dinner.

Thornton was a private person who always did his own thing. In his younger years, some would say he was a lady’s man.  He was a wonderful brother, uncle and just and all around nice guy who will be sorely missed.


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Veteran of the Month for July: Jon Clodfelter

Jon Clodfelter proudly proclaims himself a son of the Ozark Mountains in Missouri and an adopted son of Frankford. He enlisted in the Army in March of 1976 when he was 21 years old because of a belief that every citizen in our country has a responsibility to the greater good. He saw the Army as a way of doing that.

His Army career  as an Intelligence Analyst took him to a wide range of assignments at various command levels in Germany, Italy, Turkey, and at several different posts in the United States, such as Ft. Knox, KY, Ft. Bragg, NC, Ft. Huachuca, AZ, Presidio of Monterey, CA, the Pentagon,  and Bolling Air Force Base, DC.

During those years of service in the Army he used the timeto  self-educate for his undergraduate degree. All his credits came while studying part time at a half dozen different institutions as he traveled around in the military. His military career included:

  • Recognition for social and cultural awareness along with language skills.
  • Deployment several times with the 7th Special Forces Group, the 1st Infantry Division, and the Southern European Task Force.
  • Decoration several times, though he is most proud of being the recipient of the National Défense Medal because his career was highlighted primarily by Cold War Intelligence service.

In May of 1992 he took a post-Gulf War early retirement from the Army and chose a new path and received his master’s degree of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.  He later served as chaplain at Thompson children’s home serving all the state of North Carolina focused primarily on helping sexual abuse victims.

In 2002, he  joined St. Mark’s Church in Frankford as the 11th Rector.  I first met Jon at an event in 2011 for a Frankford Gazette story.  I walked in from Frankford Avenue along the walkway on the north side and as I got up to the door of the church, bumped into smiling guy, wearing overalls, I think and carrying a hammer.  I thought he had to be the maintenance guy.  That was Jon.

A guy with a hammer is not too far off the mark with Jon Clodfelter. He tries to be a fixer whenever possible, a listener all the time and a healer when it is called for.

He continues to serve the community of Frankford and a wider collection of folks linked to St. Marks in the same way that he served his county in the Army.

He and his wife Alice, have four adult children, and three grandchildren.  Jon enjoys making his home life interesting.

Jon Clodfelter, Thank you for your service!!!