Reps. Bustos and Loebsack present 31 Quad-City Veterans Stories to Library of Congress

Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Representatives Cheri Bustos (IL-17) and Dave Loebsack (IA-2) participated in an event at the Library of Congress where they presented video and audio records of 31 veterans from the Quad-Cities. The interviews were conducted by Quad-Cities PBS station WQPT.


“It’s because of the service and sacrifice of our veterans that Americans have the opportunity to live in freedom,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “We have an obligation to remember what our veterans have done to protect our nation. I’m proud to help make sure the legacies of these Quad-City veterans live on forever by delivering their stories to the Library of Congress.”


Generations of Americans have fought for, protected, and renewed the principals and liberties on which our country was founded. I believe that we have a responsibility to come together to show our gratitude for their service,” said Congressman Dave Loebsack. “By presenting these stories, in the veterans own words, to the Library of Congress to be preserved forever, we will never forget their service to our nation.” 


These stories include:


  • 1st Lieutenant Marion Ackley from Rock Island who served as an Army Nurse from January 1945 through May 1946. At hospitals at Fort Meade Maryland, Hawaii, Panama, Seoul and Denver, 1st Lt. Ackley was one of the few female veterans of her generation and rose to the position of head nurse.


  • Staff Sergeant Earl Thomas Coffman from Moline who enlisted in the Marines and served from 1969 through 1972. As a part of the 1st Infantry 9th Marines, SSgt. Coffman conducted recon duties. For his service, he earned the Vietnam Medal, Good Conduct Medal and a Purple Heart.


  • Sergeant Dara Delong from Davenport served in the Army from November 2003 to July 2015, participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn.  Sergeant Delong’s service, for which she received nearly two dozen medals, included not only fighting in heavy combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also working with Army medics in an Afghan morgue.


  • Sergeant Thomas Taylor from Bettendorf was drafted by the Army during the Vietnam War and served from June 1968 to December 1970.  Prior to being drafted, he was employed as a social worker, investigating child abuse and domestic violence claims for the Iowa Department of Human Services in Clinton.  Sergeant Taylor served in Vietnam with the 199th Flight Infantry and the 101st Airborne Division.  After returning home, he chose to serve the state of Iowa again as a social worker for the next forty years.

Below is a full list of the 31 Quad-City veterans who will have their stories preserved at the Library of Congress.


Marion Ackley, Rock Island

Richard Cardoso, Moline

Earl Coffman, Moline

Dara Delong, Davenport

Dennis Dennhardt, East Moline

Herbert Doden, Rock Island

Al Dussliere, East Moline

Larry Garmoe, Taylor Ridge

William Gass, Rock Island

Dale Hendricks, Davenport

Benjamin Hunter, Davenport

Steve Imming, Davenport

Daniel Johnson, Port Byron

Brandon Kelly, East Moline

Rebecca Meeke, Davenport

Merton Messmore, Rock Island

Lawrence Molitor, Cordova

Lisa Olson, Moline

Murray Osborn, Rock Island

Burl Randolph Jr., Davenport

Erik Ratzburg, Moline

Donald Smith, Rock Island

Ralph Smith, Rock Island

Salley Sohner, Rock Island

Larry Tadlock, Rock Island

Thomas Taylor, Bettendorf

James Varcho, Eldridge

Raymond Werner, Columbus Junction

John Wiesch Jr, East Moline

James Wunderlich, Port Byron

Roald Zvonik, Moline