HONORING THE FALLEN -- November is a month for paying tribute to military veterans, most especially those who gave their lives in the service of the United States. In the extended Minerd- Minard- Miner- Minor clan, 32 known soldiers have made this ultimate sacrifice, beginning in the Civil War (eight known casualties) and continuing through the War on Terror in Iraq (one known).
The ill-fated Alton Glen Sterner is one such man. A native of Rockwood, Somerset County, PA, he was drafted during the Korean War. Joining the 101st Airborne Division, he underwent basic training at Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky. After being sent to Korean, he served as a private first class with the Fifth Regimental Combat Team, Company L. Tragically, after only four months of active duty, he was killed in action in North Korea on June 19, 1953. His body was returned home for burial almost three months later, and he was laid to rest on Sept. 6, 1953 in the Rockwood Odd Fellows (IOOF) Cemetery. He was the son of Ralph and Fern (Knopsnyder) Sterner, grandson of Russell and Sadie (Hechler) Sterner and great-grandson of Wallace and Amanda (Younkin) Hechler, all of Somerset County.
Minerd.com maintains an Honor Roll webpage of "Wartime Military Casualties" to preserve and honor the memories of these servicemen who placed service above self. See also the Photo of the Month honoring wartime casualties Lawrence Frederick Greer (May 2010), Earl Jack Peters (June 2006) and William Curtis McKnight (December 2001).