Honoring their sacrifices: WWII, Iraq veterans who died while serving to be recognized

Hall of Heroes ceremony Nov. 10 for Jones, Bossert at Memorial Student Center; other veterans events planned
​Jerry Poling | November 3, 2023

Two UW-Stout alumni who died while serving their country more than 60 years apart will be recognized in a special ceremony Friday, Nov. 10, to honor their sacrifices. 

U.S. Army veterans 2nd Lt. Reed W. Jones, a Nebraska native who lived in Groton, N.Y., and died in 1944 during World War II, and Staff Sgt. Andrew Bossert, a Wisconsin native who died in 2005 during the Iraq War, will join the university’s Memorial Wall to fallen service members, also known as the Hall of Heroes. 

In advance of Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11, the ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Friday in the Memorial Student Center, in Huff’s Lounge on the first floor. A livestream of the event on the UW-Stout YouTube channel will be available beginning at 10:55 a.m. 

Lt. Jones and Sgt. Bossert
Reed W. Jones, a UW-Stout alum, left, died in 1944 during WWII. Andrew Bossert, a UW-Stout alum, died in 2005 during the Iraq War. / Contributed photos

Plaques with photos of Jones and Bossert will be unveiled as part of the program. Relatives of Jones from Nevada and Arizona plan to watch the ceremony remotely. Bossert’s father and mother, Steve and Diane, of Fountain City, and nephew, Reese, plan to attend, and other relatives will watch remotely. 

Jones’ induction plaque will be read by retired Army Lt. Col. Brian Hackner, UW-Stout military education benefits coordinator. Bossert’s plaque will be read by his mother.

Chancellor Katherine Frank will provide opening remarks. Student Centers Director Darrin Witucki will provide background information on the 11-year-old project. UW-Stout Archives Director Heather Stecklein will explain the research process involved in documenting Jones’ and Bossert’s enrollment at UW-Stout, time in the service and locating relatives. 

“We are proud that our campus has a permanent display to honor these individuals and educate future generations of UW-Stout students about who they were and the sacrifices they made,” Frank said. 

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Other veterans-related events during the week include: 

  • All week, world map in the Memorial Student Center on which veterans can mark the places where they have served
  • Monday, Nov. 6, flags to honor service members past and present will be placed outside the east entrance to the student center by the Stout Veterans Club
  • Tuesday, Nov. 7, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and Dunn County Veteran Services officials will visit the student center White Pine room Veterans and current military can learn more about benefits and services available
  • Wednesday, Nov. 8, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Military and Veteran Resource Center Open house; military-connected students are invited to visit the center, Bowman Hall room 305, and enjoy hot dogs, chips and refreshments
  • Saturday, Nov. 11, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Stout Veterans Club 5-kilometer run, starting south of Johnson Fieldhouse, with proceeds going to the Dunn County VA and earmarked for noncombat veterans. 

UW-Stout has 236 veterans and current military among its approximately 7,000 students, along with 37 employees who are veterans. 

The UW-Stout Memorial Wall, or Hall of Heroes, is on the first floor of the Memorial Student Center.
The UW-Stout Memorial Wall, or Hall of Heroes, is on the first floor of the Memorial Student Center. / UW-Stout

46th and 47th alum to be honored 

Bossert and Jones are the 46th and 47th alum to be honored on the Memorial Wall. Recently, archival information about their time as students at UW-Stout and military service became more readily available. 

Stecklein and Archives Student Assistant Ingmar Amberson reviewed a list of potential Hall of Heroes honorees and identified the additional substantiation needed to establish the full biography necessary for formal inclusion. Amberson, of Menomonie, is a second-year student.

Jones attended UW-Stout, then called Stout Institute, from 1939 to 1941 before enlisting in 1942. He died during a combat aircraft training exercise in 1944 in Kansas. 

Bossert, a 1999 Cochrane-Fountain City High School graduate, attended UW-Stout for one semester in 1999 before joining the service. He initially served in Korea and was killed by a car bomb at a checkpoint in 2005 in Ramadi, Iraq. 

“The Hall of Heroes recognizes each individual as an eternal member of our campus community. Every honoree in the Hall of Heroes built friendships, experienced personal growth and connected with their contemporaries on campus in countless ways,” Stecklein said.

“As members of the current Stout community, we are called to recognize those who lost their lives serving our country. They contributed to the enduring effort that sustains our freedom and security. It is an honor to identify and memorialize these individuals,” she added. 

With the new inductees, the wall includes one veteran of the Spanish-American War, six from World War I, 28 from World War II, two from the Korean War, eight from the Vietnam War, and two from the Iraq War.

To inquire about veterans who could be added to the Memorial Wall, contact Stecklein, steckleinh@uwstout.edu, 715-232-5418. 

Memorial Student Center 

The Memorial Student Center is named in honor of those from the university community who died as a result of combat, disease or accident while serving in the U.S. military during times of war or crisis. 

The original Memorial Student Center, now the Communication Technologies Building, opened in 1959 when the university was called Stout State College. It included an engraved stone honoring fallen alumni.  

The current student center opened in 1985. The engraved stone was saved and can be found outside of the lower level, south entrance of the building, near the memorial wall. 

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