2020 Hall of Heroes

Colonel John Buckley
Wichita State vs. Tulane
February 16, 2020

Colonel John Buckley served 33 years in the Army. During his service, John commanded infantry soldiers in combat and peacekeeping operations. After retiring, he continued to be a tremendous advocate for veterans. John now works at Koch Industries and has developed a sustainable military veteran recruiting and retention program. He volunteers his time to help prepare veterans for employment as well as mentors local and national companies to place veterans with jobs. John has been active in Passageways, Advance Kansas, and the Greater Wichita Veterans Advocacy Board. He is now developing recruiting and employment programs for people with criminal records. Colonel Buckley is a recipient of the Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars, and a Combat Infantryman’s badge. Thank you for your dedication and service, John!

Gary Bartlett
Wichita State vs. Cincinnati
February 6, 2020

Gary Bartlett was drafted into the Army in 1966, days shy of his 20th birthday. After training, he was sent to Vietnam where he served in the 25th and 4th Infantry Divisions as a foot soldier. In 1968, Gary stepped on a land mine and suffered nearly fatal wounds that resulted in the loss of his legs. After returning to the states, he spent nearly 2 years in and out of hospitals and was told he couldn’t ride horses, one of his life passions. In the early 1970s, Gary defied the odds and had a special saddle created for team roping in junior college finals. He has also led demonstrations for the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Finals. Gary is a recipient of the Army’s Purple Heart Medal, an avid fisherman, and hunter. Thank you for your service and sacrifice, Gary! 

Donielle Watson
Wichita State vs. UCF
January 25, 2020

Donielle has been an Officer for the Wichita Police Department for 16 years, dedicating much of his service towards gang prevention. His prevention efforts have been showcased on a national level, including by US Congressman, Roger Marshall, and multiple gang associations. Donielle has mentored youth at summer camps and coached youth sports. He is currently working on a new project that will help select youth with schooling, job prospects, and positive lifestyle changes with a goal of helping local kids get into college. Donielle received Crime Prevention Officer of the Year in 2019 and is a recipient of 15 awards including the Wichita Police Bronze Wreath of Merit and multiple Civic Achievement and Distinguished Service awards. Thanks for being our hero and for your service, Donielle!

Jim Maslowski
Wichita State vs. Houston
January 18, 2020

Jim Maslowski completed 39 years of active duty with the U.S. Navy, serving as an enlisted Missile Technician in the Polaris Submarine Program. A well-decorated veteran, Jim was commissioned through the Naval Aviation Cadet Program and served as a pilot with the Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Team. Jim was also a Navy Representative at the United States Senate and the Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Kitty Hawk. Thank you for your service and sacrifice, Jim!

Lt. Col. Norman Pfeifer
Wichita State vs. Memphis
January 9, 2020

Lieutenant Colonel Norman Pfeifer served in the U.S. Air Force from 1955-1975. During his service, he enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program, completed combat crew training in the F-86 & F-100, and was selected for the Navy Exchange Program. He flew the A-4, amassed over 260 carrier landings, flew 204 combat missions in Vietnam in an F-4 Fighter Jet, and totaled over 5,000 flight hours in 12 different aircraft. Norman is a recipient of 7 elite medals including the Distinguished Flying Cross with an Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal, and an Air Medal with 9 Oak Leaf Clusters. Thank you for your service, Lt. Col. Pfeifer!

Tim and Monica Riggs
Wichita State vs. Ole Miss
January 4, 2020

We were so honored to have two very special heroes at the January 4th, 2020 game, Tim & Monica Riggs!

Tim has been a Fireman for the City of Wichita for 5 years and previously was a Fireman in Chanute for 10 years. Monica is a Major in the Air Force Reserve, where she is an Instructor Pilot on the KC-135 and Chief Pilot for the 931 Operations Group. She has served 6 deployments to the Middle East.

Monica took on an entirely different role in 2018 as Mrs. Kansas, focusing her platform on autism awareness. Tim and Monica have 3 daughters, one of whom is on the autism spectrum. They are avid supporters of local autism awareness and very active in their church community as well. Thank you for your service to our country, city, and community!

Keith Wilson
Wichita State vs. ECU
January 1, 2020

Keith served 4 years with the Army and 20 years with Kansas Army National Guard, retiring in 2016. He served 2 tours in Iraq and is a Decorated Combat Veteran. Keith has been on the Sedgwick County Fire Department for 30 years and is now one of six Division Chiefs with the Sedgwick County Fire District #1.

For four years, Keith has also been a part-time substitute teacher for USD 259. As a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, he has spent endless hours volunteering to speak with young men to continue their education and graduate college. Keith has 5 children and is a proud “PaPa” to his grandchildren and fur-grandbabies. Thank you for your dedication and service, Keith!