Post 97 honors veterans at annual dinner, program
By Evelyn Long -
Awards were made when Jenkins-Vaughan Post 97 of the American Legion hosted the Veterans Day program at the post home on Sunday, November 11, 2012.
Post Commander Jim Morris emceed the program. Assisting was Chris Payne, the post Finance Officer. The two men made the following increment year awards: Doyle Smith, 60 years; Ken Rush, 45 years; Harold Clinger, 30 years; Jeff Sellers, 20 years and Carl Cook, ten years.
Also recognized for their years of American Legion membership were Leonard Benson, 63 years; Bob Gompf, 64 years and Virgil Irwin who has been an American Legion member for 65 years.
Commander Morris named the late Richard Renz as the Posthumous Legionnaire of the Year. Accepting the award was his daughter, Marlene Renz, who shared memories of her father’s American Legion activities. He was commander of the post from 1975–1982 and also served as the post finance officer, on the Rifle Squad, Color Guard, helped to served dinners and was on several committees.
The Post Adjutant, Dave Leonard, was named Legionnaire of the Year 2012.
Leonard is a seven year member of the American Legion and is a six year veteran of the U S Navy, serving during the Viet Nam War. He has served Post 97 as Sergeant-at-Arms and chaplain and is the current Adjutant. He is active with the Post Rifle Squad, the bingo program and the craft bazaar. He and his wife, Audrey have a son and a daughter and five grandchildren.
Guest speaker James Funk, a veteran of the U S Navy, who practiced law in Findlay, has been associated with Marion Technical College since 1989. He said MTC offers classes for returning veterans and that many of them are enrolling. He encouraged veterans to consider the school.
Also speaking were Chris Scherzer and Cade Brannon, Cardington-Lincoln High School seniors, who were the 2012 Buckeye Boys State delegates, sponsored by Post 97 and Squadron 97 of the Sons of the American Legion. The teens shared their experiences at the mock government program and also thanked the post and squadron for sending them.
Commander Morris conducted the Post Everlasting program during which the follow veterans, all members of Post 97 who passed away since November, 2011, were remembered as their records were transferred to post everlasting: Bill Harvey, Harry Radel, Jim Smith, Paul Beam, John Clem, Keith Pearl, Carroll Burns and Dean Hord. Participating in this service were Jim Crawford, Ken Rush, Bart Arndt, Doyle Smith, Ernie Brovont, Dick Himler, Chris Payne and Duane Rinehart.
Giving the invocation for this program was Esther Cellan, Unit 97 chaplain. The POW/MIA Remembrance Service was conducted by Commander Morris, who also welcomed the 145 persons attending.
Commander Morris recognized veterans by their branches of service, U S Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.
Special guests introduced included Floyd Morris, Commander of Squadron 97; Amy Carroll, president of Auxiliary Unit 97; Jim Crawford, Sixth District Chaplain; and post officers, Bart Arndt, first vice commander; Dave Leonard, adjutant; Chris Payne, finance officer and Jeff Sellers, chaplain.
Morris also recognized the following members of the Morrow County Veterans Commission who were present: Ryan Lawson, Service Commissioner and board members Gerald Neptune and Harold Clinger. Morris, who is also a board member, introduced Elton Burns, a driver for the veterans office.
A round of applause and tribute was given Susan Sands, the head cook, the 14 members of the Chester Arbor of the Gleaner Life Insurance Society who served the dinner and the members of Boy Scout Troop 56 who helped with the clean up.
Registering the guests were Beate Payne and Stephanie Payne, members of Unit 97.
Giving the benediction was Post Chaplain Jeff Sellers.