Grand Marshal

100th Leavenworth County Veterans Day Observance
James L. King

2019 LV County Veterans Day Parade Grand Marshal

James L. King, SFC (retired), US Army
Viet Nam Veteran, Purple Heart Recipient
SFC King was drafted into the Army in 1956 and was assigned after basic training to the 3rd Infantry Old Guard at Fort Meyer, VA. After reenlisting, he was assigned to 2ID in Korea. Subsequent assignments were Fort Lewis, WA; Germany, and Fort Campbell, KY, where he deployed to Viet Nam in 1965. In February 1967, while on a recon patrol, he was wounded and spent 16 months in the hospital. SFC King was awarded the Silver Star for his bravery and Purple Heart for wounds received in combat. After a 2nd tour in SE Asia, he retired at Fort Leavenworth, KS, after serving 20 years.

SFC King continued to serve his nation and community with employment at HUD, Fort Leavenworth Commissary, Fort Leavenworth engineers and finally at Fort Leavenworth on-Post Housing. He served his country with 45 years of federal service and is a faithful member of V.F.W. Post 56, Leavenworth, KS.

Crystal Swann Blackdeer

2019 LV County Veterans Day Parade Grand Marshal

Crystal Swann Blackdeer, LTC (retired), US Army
Operation Iraqi Freedom

December 1986-February 2007: Military Intelligence Officer, US Army; in roles from Platoon Leader to Battalion S-3 (Operations Officer). Stationed at Fort Huachuca, AZ; Korea; Fort Campbell, KY; Germany; and Fort Leavenworth, KS. Includes service in Iraq, Afghanistan, Italy, Japan, Thailand, Kuwait, and multiple US locations observer/trainer with the Battle Command Training Program.

Awards & Acknowledgements include: Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (4), Army Commendation Medal (2), Army Achievement Medal (3), Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal (2) Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (7), Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Distinguished Military Graduate, US Army ROTC and Athena Business Woman of the Year (2014).

Leavenworth County resident since 2003; Volunteer and President, Leavenworth County Humane Society, Inc., and Board of Directors (secretary since 2017) Leadership Southern Leavenworth County. Married to LTC (retired) Dirk C. Blackdeer.

Patricia Riner

2019 LV County Veterans Day Parade Honorary Grand Marshal

Patricia Riner
November 1, 1940-April 15, 2019

Patricia Riner was a Viet Nam Air Force veteran, a retired federal employee of Fort Leavenworth, KS, and was a long-standing and active member of the Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade Committee. She was active in the community, as well as an active member of the Lansing Lions and American Legion Post 23. In the American Legion she worked her way through the ranks to Post Commander and continued on to First District Commander.

She served many years as the Boy State Chairman and Oratorical Chairman. She not only obtained sponsorship for an average of 20 students for Boys State annually but also obtained computer systems for both Boys State and Girls State programs. Pat continued to assist with Girls State by obtaining significant monetary contributions for this program. She also obtained significant contributions for the Kansas University's Audio Book Program. Pat enjoyed the company of her cats and had a fondness of teddy bears which she readily shared. She displayed her Military Bear Collection as she rode the legion's Veterans Day Parade float. Pat was constantly putting in countless volunteer hours at the Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center, Leavenworth, KS.

Pat received the Fort Leavenworth Community Service Award at the 2018 Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade but she was especially proud of the accomplishments of her sons Stephen and Jeffery Burkett who are also members of local American Legion Post 23.

Veterans Day Flyer