GOSHEN — Steven Kiser’s name is in a special place in Goshen.
Kiser, of Elkhart, was killed in action while serving his country during the Persian Gulf War. His name is the last one on the bottom of the war memorial wall on the grounds of the Elkhart County Courthouse.
While hundreds of motorists hurriedly pass by each day, Kiser’s name hangs in eternal patience, hammered into brass on the plaque that also has long columns of other names to honor those whose lives were lost while they served during the wars spanning from World War I to the Gulf War.
For many years there were just the names of those who died in the two World Wars on the memorial. But in 1988, according to retired Veterans Services officer Gary Whitehead, the community gathered in the summer to add the names of veterans killed in Korea and Vietnam. Eventually, more names will be added after Kiser’s.
“When the president ends this war and every American is home, then we will add the names from Iraq and Afghanistan,” Whitehead said. “The names are listed in alphabetical order from each war. We could add the names now but it would cost more if someone was killed and we had to move the names around. When every soldier is out of there, then we will get together and add those names and honor everyone in a ceremony.”
Whitehead said the county government maintains the grounds and lighting around the memorial while members of Delta Theta Tau sorority in Goshen plant flowers each spring around the edges of the walkway up to the brass plaque.
Ron Lundy, the current Elkhart County Veterans Service officer, and Whitehead raised three colorful new flags Thursday afternoon to prepare for Veterans Day — an American flag, an Elkhart County flag and the Indiana state flag,