Army Veteran, Husband and Owner of Community Landmark
Iowa Army Ammunitions Plant (IAAP) | 1962-1999 | Draftsman & Mechanical Engineer
Cold War Patriots is delighted to introduce you to our March 2021 Everyday Patriot, Daniel B.!
Army Veteran, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, and Owner of Community Landmark
During Daniel’s interview he spoke not just of himself during his interview, but as half of a whole with his wife Joyce, whom he has been married to for 67 years. Daniel spoke from the perspective of ‘we’ rather than ‘me’.
Daniel and Joyce live in Burlington, Iowa. They live 8 city blocks from where Daniel was born, and 15 city blocks from where Joyce was born. Their church is the same church that Joyce has attended since she was 3 years old!
Daniel and his wife Joyce met when she was 15 and he was 17. They were married when Joyce was 18 and Daniel was 20. Joyce and Daniel will soon be 85 and 87, respectively. Daniel said, we met on a blind date on September 19th, 1951. They will have known each other for 70 years this September! Daniel and Joyce were blessed with 3 children, 4 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren! During their years of raising their own 3 children, they only had a babysitter once, for 30 minutes, so they could attend a funeral! The only time that Daniel and Joyce were apart is for the 16 months that Daniel served in Korea. During this time Joyce went back and lived with her parents. Daniel would call Joyce from Korea whenever he was able. A 3-minute call back then cost $25.00! Joyce never told Daniel the cost as she was afraid if he knew the cost, he would never call her. They still laugh about that to this day.
Prior to serving in the Army, Daniel worked at the local turbine factory. Daniel then joined the Army and served in Korea. Daniel is grateful that he never had to fire a shot while serving our country in Korea. When he returned from Korea and became a civilian, he found that his job had been held for him and he had even earned a pay increase and a vacation while away at war! Following his years at the turbine factory, he began his career at the Iowa Ordinance Plant which soon became known as the Iowa Army Ammunitions Plant (IAAP). He worked at IAAP as a draftsman and then as mechanical engineer and was a part of the rapid response team at the plant. His claim to fame is that he was the plant’s ‘Radar’! His job was to keep all things running and if something broke, to get it fixed! Daniel spent 37 years working with the DOE.
Neither Daniel nor Joyce can sit still. They still mow their very large lawn, tend to the upkeep of their quarter acre yard with their 45 plants, and Joyce still trims their hedges, which takes her 3 hours each time and Joyce does this multiple times a year. They also wax their 2 automobiles together, by hand, twice annually! Daniel and Joyce still have their original 1990 Ford Taurus Station Wagon with only 90K miles. They have used it for over 30 years. First to tow their kids around, and then their grandkids around, and they still use it today for the great grands! They also have a 2000 Ford Ranger Truck which has 92K miles on it. They are proud of both vehicles as they look as good today as when they were brand new!
They also feed their wildlife! Birds, Squirrels, Rabbits, and Deer. So far Daniel has calculated that they have gone through about a ton and a half of feed and 1000 pounds of corn!
These octogenarians are active indeed. Aside from their activities at home, they volunteer! Both Daniel and Joyce volunteer eight hours every Tuesday and 8 hours every Thursday at their local nursing home. Despite being in their 80s themselves, Daniel and Joyce feel it is important to give back and help “the elders”. Due to the pandemic, it has been almost a year since they have been able to volunteer in person. They miss the residents and their volunteer time greatly and they look forward to going back as soon as they are allowed in! Joyce and Daniel keep track of every resident at the home where they volunteer. Joyce sends each resident a birthday card annually and recognizes anniversaries and holidays as well. Daniel and Joyce, seniors themselves, spend well over $500 annually on candy, cards, clothing, and magazines for the residents. The amazing fact is that Daniel and Joyce have been volunteering here for over 18 years! Even more amazing, they plan to volunteer here at their local nursing home for as long as they are both able! Or says Daniel, until they give them a room there!
Daniel also volunteers with the community trash pick-ups as well. And both Daniel and Joyce are extremely active volunteering for the church they attend.
Daniel attends Cold War Patriot (CWP) Events regularly. He finds CWP supportive and informative. Daniel enjoys getting to see and visit with former colleagues from his past positions.
Another fun fact about Daniel and Joyce is that they have a wooden bear carved from their 70-foot spruce tree. Their bear is visible from their front and side streets and stands watch by their front porch. Daniel and Joyce like to decorate the bear for all holidays, and it serves as a tradition for not only them, but for their entire community. Daniel and Joyce’s Bear is often featured in their local newspaper!
Closing thoughts from Daniel:
Activity equals longevity…keep moving!
Daniel sends a Big Thank You to all those who have served,
and continue to serve, our country!