Cathy Kilgore enlisted in the United States Navy in 1971 and spent twenty years serving as a personnel specialist in such exotic placs as Camp Pendleton, CA and Hawaii.
US Navy uniform and retired in 1991 at the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer.
Cathy and family then migrated to Ringgold County and settled on the Kilgore family farm near Diagonal. Cathy was
appointed to the Ringgold County Veterans Commission in 2013 and soon thereafter took the reins as chairperson of this commission.
Since that time Cathy has been a relentless task master
at updating the burial documents and grave site records for over 1,700 veterans buried in 41 public and private cemeteries in Ringgold County.
Cathy discovered that the graves registration
forms for over 1,000 veterans had not been completed and forwarded to the State of Iowa, as required by state and federal statutes. Cathy reviewed document after document including WPA
records, Civil War logs, Ancestory.Com and county records to determine who the veterans were
in our cemeteries and where they were located.
Cathy then compiled the lists of 1,700 veterans with cemetery and plot locations for all 41 cemeteries. She then discovered that over 200 graves
did not have the required war era markers that are now required by law. Cathy and some dedicated friends walked all 41 cemeteries and placed these markers on the graves.
She also took pictures
of all 1,700 plus graves and filed these in books for review as needed by family and others. These pictures allowed the Veterans Commission in cooperation with the American Legion and Sons of the
American Legion to start a grave cleaning and renovation program in 2015.
To date over 100 graves have been cleaned and many others have been identified as to needing leveled or replaced.
Mrs. Cathy Kilgore, Senior Chief (ret.) has made a tremendous positive impact on our vow that "Those who have
are never forgotten."
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2016