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Danny Knipp, a 70-year-old veteran, and other members of the American Legion recite the Pledge of Allegiance during the group's weekly breakfast meeting at the American Legion Post #126 in Morehead. He attributes his strong patriotism to his father who was a World War II veteran.

Getting the job done

story by Michelle Hanks

On an unusually cold October morning, Danny Knipp walks down into the dark, concrete basement of the Rowan County Veterans Museum – a small, beige brick building in downtown Morehead. Danny, president and curator of the museum, needs to be sure the new heating system worked when the temperature dipped below freezing overnight.

The 70-year-old veteran is dedicated to supporting his fellow veterans from big events such as standing beside families as they bury their loved ones to even the smallest aspects such as watching out for frozen pipes in the museum's building.

"I want to do the job because if I do it I know it'll get done," Danny says.

He enlisted in the army when he was 19-years-old and served from 1966 to 1969. While stationed in Korea, he worked as an office shop clerk. He sees himself as a veteran who gave some but not all. He doesn't like the spotlight, but he shines it on others, like the time he urged Purple Heart recipients to stand proudly when others want to honor their sacrifice at veterans events.

"I'm not a standout. I'm not a celebrity. I'm not a medal winner. I'm not a war hero," Danny says. "I'm nothing but a veteran who supports other veterans. I'm the bottom rung of the veterans who supports all the other."

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In the morning, Danny, presient and curator of the Rowan County Veterans Museum, goes to the office to make a list of veterans whose grave stones need American flags placed on them. He often stops by the museum to work on odds and ends. "I don't center my day around the museum, but it seems like most everything comes back to that," Danny jokes.


Danny enlisted in the U.S. Army he was 19 years old and served just three years. He considers his job an important one – and an easy one compared to his fellow veterans who were in combat. "I gave some, but I didn’t give all," Danny says.


Danny Knipp, a 70-year-old veteran, photographs an engraved brick for a relative of the soldier it is dedicated to. The memorial wall in Freedom Park in downtown Morehead has about 3,200 names of veterans who have a connection to the city. Danny strives to give veterans the recognition they deserve.


When Danny leaves his house, he will put on one of his many hats hanging on the wall. He has close to 200 hats in his entire collection. Many of the ones hanging on the wall are army- or veteran-related.


Back at his house, Danny starts up the engine to his 1929 Mercedes-Benz Gazelle to keep it running smoothly. Danny will use the car for parades and events.


Danny drives to Morehead State University's athletic center to walk around the indoor track with his friend Luther Adams, another veteran. The two meet up most mornings to workout together.


Danny walks with his friend Luther Adams at the Morehead State University athletic center. Danny and Luther met at Hardee's one day and have been good friends since. Luther considers Danny as a little brother. He admires Danny for his work ethic. "[He] takes control completely to see that it's done," Luther says.


Danny takes his 10-year-old grandson, Logan Knipp, out to lunch at McDonalds in downtown Morehead. Logan and his sister, Katie, usually spend Sundays with their grandfather.


Danny has lived alone since 2010, when his wife passed away from a heart attack. Although he spends most of his evenings alone at the house, Danny says he seldom feels down about it because he spends so much time volunteering with veterans. "I'm too busy," Danny says. "I don't have time to get depressed."

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