In a salute to our nation’s heroes, seven military members have been inducted into the Missouri Veterans Hall of Fame.
The 2023 Class inductees include Ray A. Carver, U.S. Army, Pierce City; Johnny J. Glenn, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps, St. Louis; Lowry A. Finley-Jackson, U.S. Army, St. Louis; Nolan R. Moody, U.S. Marine Corps, Springfield; Albert “Wayne” Wallingford, Jr., U.S. Air Force, Cape Girardeau; and Charles A. Weber, U.S. Army, Perryville. The honorary inductee is Gen. Seth J. McKee, U.S. Air Force, Cape Girardeau.
Inductees require a Missouri connection, honorable military service, and must have contributed exceptionally to their community, the state, or the nation.
Ray Carver was a member of the U.S. Army from 1946 to 1998 and served during World War Two.
He served as a gunner with the 657th Field Artillery Battalion in the European Theater. Carver was discharged in 1946 having received the Bronze Star and the Northern France Campaign Ribbon. He was instrumental in getting a new National Guard Armory for Pierce City after the old armory was severely damaged by a tornado in 2003. In 2008, the old armory was dedicated as the Ray A. Carver Building. Ray died in 2012.
“He wanted to be remembered for three things: what he did for his country, what he did for his state, and what he did for his community. Ray, his two sons and two grandsons have dedicated over 120 years to the United States military,” said Carver’s son, Larry said during a state Capitol ceremony.
Johnny Glenn, Jr. served in the U.S. Marine Corp for 21 years. He is a combat veteran who served in the Vietnam War.
“In November 1970, I entered the RAY (Robert A. Young) building in downtown St. Louis to enlist into the Marine Corps. And here 53 years later, I’m in these hallowed halls of the state Capitol receiving recognition. It is pretty amazing,” he said.
Glenn continues to serve veterans through the Military Officers Association of America, where he is past president of its St. Louis and Missouri Councils of Chapters.
Lowry Finley-Jackson served in the U.S. Army for 20 years, including three tours in Korea and one in Europe. Jackson serves as the adjutant of the Missouri Department of American Legion, becoming the Department’s first female Adjutant.
“I am honored to have served my country and I’m honored to continue to serve, especially the veterans of Missouri,” she said.
Nolan Moody served as an aviation mechanic in the Marine Corps from 1965 to 1969, including a volunteer tour in Vietnam in 1968. In 1974, he joined the Missouri Army National Guard and served until his retirement in 1992.
After retiring, Moody joined the VFW, AmVets, and The American Legion, moving into leadership positions at the local and state levels. He helped to bring the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall to Springfield in 2015 and 2020. As a member of the Springfield Elks Lodge, he has worked to permanently house homeless veterans and provide service dogs at no cost.
“You get out of it what you put into it,” he said. “Don’t join an organization unless you want to be part of it and to be productive in it.”
Wayne Wallingford has a decorated 25-year U.S. Air Force career as a navigator and electronic warfare officer on RC-135 and B-52 aircraft. His service includes five tours in Vietnam with over 300 combat missions and service in Desert Storm/Desert Shield.
Wallingford served in the Missouri Legislature from 2011 to 2021 as a State Representative and Senator. In December 2021, Gov. Mike Parson appointed Wayne as the Director of the Missouri Department of Revenue.
“As you go through life, there’s not an ‘I’ in team. It’s the team that makes it and I’ve been so blessed to have that wonderful team in everything I’ve done,” said Wallingford.
Charles A. Weber, stepped forward in 1861, organizing Company G 4th Regiment Missouri, and was elected Captain by his peers. In 1862, Charles was appointed the enrolling officer for the 64th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia field and staff, and continued in the 8th Provisional Regiment of the Enrolled Missouri Militia.
In civilian life, Charles was a county clerk and a probate judge; he carefully guarded the interests of widows and orphans and helped secure pensions for veterans. In 1886, Charles and his fellow soldiers formed Perryville Difani Post #273 of the Grand Army of the Republic, which functioned as a powerful lobby for veteran interests.
When he died in 1906, the local paper stated, “This was the closing scene in the life of a good man of whom it can be said the world is better by him having lived in it.”
Air Force Gen. Seth McKee is an honorary member of the hall. McKee’s son, Jeff, said his dad was Air Force “through and through.”
“He’s received recognition and awards many times, but those from Missouri would’ve meant the most to him,” said Jeff McKee.
The Missouri Veterans Hall of Fame plaque, displayed on the second floor of the Missouri State Capitol outside of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, will be updated with the new class of inductees.
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