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Fairlawn VFW honors local generals at banquet

12/12/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Fairlawn Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 349
WEST AKRON — Fairlawn Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post No. 349 recently honored four retired generals from Northeast Ohio for their outstanding contributions toward national defense.

An audience of 75 guests, including Luis Proenza, president of The University of Akron, attended the dinner at Tangier as each of the generals shared their military experiences.

State Sen. and U.S. Army combat veteran Frank LaRose Jr. (R-District 27) hosted the event and introduced each general, who spoke briefly about assignments and experiences regarding their military careers. 

Honored posthumously was four-star Gen. Donn Starry, represented by his wife, Karen. LaRose spoke of the general’s experiences, which included action in World War II, Vietnam (wounded), Cambodia and as commanding officer for V corps (Germany). Later, he formed the Army’s Air & Battle Doctrine, preparing the Army for the 21st century, according to organizers. His last assignment was commander of the U.S. Readiness Command.

In addition, Maj. Gen. Dan Hahn, of Jackson Township, commanded thousands of troops in Iraq during Desert Shield/Storm and was instrumental in developing regulations to help protect American bases around the world, according to VFW officials. Also recognized was Maj. Gen. Don Jenkins, of Bath, who began his career following World War II by flying combat missions during the Korean War. After various assignments, he rose to become the mobilization assistant to the secretary of the Air Force.

Acknowledgements also were given to Brig. Gen. Thomas Luczynski, of Canal Fulton, who was an Army aviator with more than 5,000 flying hours. After various command positions, he finished his Army career by commanding the Troop Command, leading some 4,000 troops.  Currently, he flies Medevac helicopters for Air Methods Corp.

Shown above, from left, are Hahn, Luczynski, Karen Starry and Jenkins.

“It was a wonderful evening and a great honor,” said Hahn. “My wife, Carol, and I enjoyed meeting so many great veterans and many great supporters of veterans.”

The honor guard was provided by The University of Akron Army ROTC cadets.

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