Vets awards presentation memorable
Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Larry Ashbaugh is shown presenting an award to Archie Brown, of Uniontown. During the ceremony, Brown received the Air Force Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Occupation Medal (Germany) and the National Defense Service Medal. He is retired from Goodyear Tire. His wife, Jean, is shown at left.
Photo courtesy of Larry Ashbaugh
A couple weeks ago, I had the great pleasure to represent the Ohio Western Reserve Chapter of MOAA and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-Ohio) office in the presentation of military awards to some of our local veterans. The presentation of these awards on that day was to replace military awards lost or never presented, and the opportunity to do this for local veterans in the presence of their families was especially poignant. Most of the awards were presented to veterans whose military time was many years ago, a time when they were young, and a time when the military was very different from today.
Some of the veterans who earned the awards were deceased, and the medals were accepted by a grateful family, not only in remembrance of a family member who earned the award but in remembrance of a veteran who served their country. Duty for those veterans who were honored spanned military service from World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and later. The awards encompassed everything from Good Conduct Medals through Bronze Stars and included awarding one Purple Heart.
As each veteran came forward or their family came to represent them, one could sense the pride they and their family had in the proceedings. Although Sen. Brown could not attend, John Ryan, the senator’s state director, was there to represent him, and many of the Summit County Veterans Service Commission staff and commissioners were in attendance. This was truly a wonderful event and one that everyone present felt a part of. The Summit County Veterans Service Commission had to add chairs for the attendees of the biggest event of this nature.
For me, honoring these brave veterans was a great honor. I was proud to salute our veterans as they received their awards for their honored service and as I received their salutes in return. A couple vets even shed a tear as they relived military experiences in their minds as the award was pinned on them.
If you have an opportunity to attend one of these award ceremonies in the future, consider taking the time and making the effort. You will be impressed, as I was.
Larry Ashbaugh, Lt. Col., U.S. Army (retired), New Franklin
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