Ohio Department of Veterans Services

Daniel Atzenhoefer
Daniel R. Atzenhoefer
Franklin County
United States Army Veteran
World War II
• Developed and implemented the State of Ohio's Summer Youth Litter Corps
• Co-authored the History of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, A Legacy of Stewardship
• Established the first rifle/pistol/shotgun/archery ranges on a state-owned facility at Spring Valley Wildlife Area
• Implemented and administered one of the largest and most successful U.S. Youth Conservation Corps programs in the nation
• Retired from state service in 1992
• Since that time, he has volunteered his time and talents to promote the Ohio Division of Natural Resources
Leo Blackburn
Leo C. Blackburn
Scioto County
United States Navy Veteran
World War II
Leo Blackburn
• Active in the development of private business colleges throughout Ohio
• Served on numerous boards charged with forming laws and policies governing business schools throughout the state and nation
• Past President (3 terms) Ohio Business Schools Association
• Past Director, Ohio Business School Association
• Past Director, United States Business School Association
• Past Chairman, Scioto County Red Cross and March of Dimes programs
• Counselor, Scioto County Boy Scouts of America
• Served as Senator for the 7th and 8th Districts, 1951 - 1952
Anthony Celebrezze
Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr.
Franklin County
United States Navy Veteran
• State Senator, Ohio 25th District, 1975 - 1979
• Ohio Secretary of State, 1979 - 1983
• Attorney General of Ohio, 1983 - 1991
• Served the constituents of his Senate district and the citizens of Ohio as an elected official for 16 years
• Always very supportive of veterans' issues and needs
Melvin Chapman
Melvin D. Chapman
Washington County
United States Army Veteran
World War II
Melvin Chapman
• Served as President of the Beverly PTO
• Participated in Veterans Day programs at five elementary schools in the area for the past 15 years, stressing the importance of observing Veterans Day
• Administers Americanism and Government tests, sponsored by the American Legion, to two area high schools
• Has served as a trustee for the American Legion Buckeye Boys State for the past 15 years
• Serves as a board member of the Sunrise Acres Ranch Rural Living Option which provides homes and support to individuals with developmental disabilities
David Cropper
David A. Cropper
Scioto County
United States Army Veteran
World War II
• Served on American Legion National Security Committee for 16 years, working with Congress for National Defense
• Has visited Chillicothe VA Hospital on Christmas Day for over 30 years to distribute gifts to veterans
• Served the state and community for over 35 years as an auxiliary member of the Ohio State Highway Patrol
• Received gold badge for service as sergeant, lieutenant and captain
• Received National and State awards from the American Legion for assisting veterans to receive flood relief funds
• Co-chaired committee to bring Vietnam Healing Wall to Portsmouth for 8 days
• Served on the Bingo Committee for 25 years, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for charitable and veterans programs
John Duffy
John E. Duffy (deceased)
Huron & Seneca Counties
United States Army Veteran
World War II
John Duffy
• Survivor of the Bataan Death March after being bayoneted and left for dead
• Fought with guerrilla units for several months before again being captured and sent to provost jail
• Naval officers requested he be assigned as the Catholic Chaplain at the POW hospital where he offered daily Mass, Communion, the Rosary and visitations
• Father Duffy was appointed as pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in New London, Ohio in 1947 where he remained until his retirement, March 27, 1958, due to health reasons
• Father Duffy was a past Commander of American Legion Post 292, New London, when he was appointed National Chaplain in 1952
• He was also a Chaplain of the State of Ohio American Legion
Dennis Ehrie
Dennis B. Ehrie Sr. (deceased)
Madison County
United States Army Air Corps Veteran
World War II
• From 1945 to 1989, he served as volunteer service officer for the American Legion, American Veterans Organization, Disabled American Veterans, and Veterans of Foreign Wars
• During this time, he filed over 400 claims for veterans and their widows, all at his own expense
• Instrumental in obtaining over 3 million dollars in compensation and pension benefits for veterans and their families
• Initiated and taught a service officers training program for veterans
• An active participant in the Four Chaplains Ceremony held each year in various Madison County churches
Chester Goble
Chester W. Goble (deceased)
Franklin County
United States Army Veteran
World War I
Chester Goble
• Served in the National Guard Reserve until April, 1921
• Graduate of Capital University
• In 1923, transferred to 37th Division HQ and was appointed Division Finance Officer
• In September, 1940, he was inducted on active duty as Property and Disbursing Officer for Ohio, and assumed duties as Procurement and Contracting Officer for the Ohio Selective Service
• He became director of the Ohio Selective Service in February, 1941 and in January, 1947 was appointed by Governor Herbert as Ohio Adjutant General
• Served as Director, WWII and Korea Bonus Commission
• In 1964, appointed by Governor Rhodes to serve as Auditor of the State of Ohio
• Life member: American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, National Guard Association, the Retired Officers Association
Clinton Greaves
Clinton Greaves (deceased)
Franklin County
Medal of Honor Recipient
United States Army Buffalo Soldier
• Born into slavery, August 12, 1855, in Madison County, Virginia
• While part of a small detachment to persuade a band of renegade Apache Indians to surrender, his group was surrounded. Corporal Greaves, in the center of the savage hand to hand fighting, managed to shoot and bash a gap through the swarming Apaches, permitting his companions to break free
Lester Hallett
Lester S. Hallett (deceased)
Fulton County
United States Navy Veteran
World War II
Lester Hallett
• Member of Admiral Chester Nimitz Committee which broke the Japanese code
• Although a Democrat, he was appointed Wauseon Village Solicitor in the 1950s by a Republican mayor
• He was re-appointed every two years for the next 29 years by a succession of
Republican mayors
• Believed to be the only countywide candidate in modern times to have been endorsed by the Fulton County Democratic and Republican party organizations
• Former President of the Fulton County Bar Association
• Founding member and exalted ruler of the Wauseon Elks Lodge
• Member of the Wauseon American Legion and VFW Posts
David Hartwig
David D. Hartwig
Erie County
United States Navy Veteran
World War II
• Member of the American Legion, AMVETS, and VFW; presently Post Adjutant for VFW Post #2529, Sandusky
• Serving his second term on the Ohio Veterans Home Board of Trustees
• Served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for two years
• Active in youth work in the community and served on the Sandusky School Booster Club for more than twenty years
• Instrumental in starting the wrestling program at Sandusky High School, where he coached the wrestling team
• Officiated high school wrestling in northwest Ohio
Lofton Henderson
Lofton R. Henderson (deceased)
Lorain County
United States Marine Corps Veteran
World War II
Lofton Henderson
• Killed in Action on June 4, 1942, as he valiantly flew his plane against Japanese fighters in an attempt to destroy a Japanese carrier during the battle of Midway
• Recipient of the Navy Cross
• Henderson Airfield at Guadalcanal named for Major Henderson
• USS Henderson (DD-785) was commissioned in his memory
• The High Level Bridge in Lorain, Ohio was renamed the "Lofton Henderson Memorial Bridge", effective September 17, 1991
• Marine Corps League (Lorain), DTM 474, was named in his honor, 1943
Theodore Holtz
Theodore S. Holtz
Cuyahoga County
United States Army Air Corps Veteran
World War II
• Held post, county and state offices in the Polish Legion of American Veterans
• National Commander, Polish Legion of American Veterans, 4 years
• Director, United Savings Association
• Advisory Board, Marymount Hospital School of Nursing
• Former General Counsel, Association of Polish Women in the U.S.
• Alhambra, Tai Caravan - past Grand Advocate
Julius Kosky
Julius J. Kosky
Morgan County
United States Army Veteran
World War II
Julius Kosky
• Raised as a coal miner's son, he started working in the mines at age seven
• Helped his brother and three sisters with their college tuition ahead of his own education
• In 1973, they entrusted the Morgan County High School to build a new home for them
• This was a new program where the High School carpentry class would build one home per year with the owner furnishing all materials
• In 1995, Mr. Kosky and his wife furnished the funds for the local DAV to purchase a van to provide much needed transportation to VA medical facilities, one of many donations made to veterans organizations and the disabled of the county
Thomas Lamb
Thomas J. Lamb
Erie County
United States Army Veteran
• After his discharge from service, he returned to finish his education at Otterbein College
• He was offered a job at the Hilliard City Schools from where he graduated, did his student teaching, and coached
• He was instrumental in introducing many new sports into the school curriculum including skiing, tennis, and soccer
• He incorporated the Presidential Physical Fitness Award Program into his Physical Education program
• Retired from Hilliard City Schools after 31 years due to a disability
• Inducted into the Ohio High School Athletic Association's Officials Hall of Fame, June 13, 1998
George Mark
George L. Mark
Summit County
United States Army Veteran
World War II
George Mark
• National Commander of the Polish Legion of American Veterans for two terms: 1950 - 1952 and 1952 - 1954
• Made three trips around the world to investigate the conditions of Polish refugees
• Published the autobiography, "Who the Hell is George Mark?"
• Served on the board of Radio Free Europe and was later a councilman in Peninsula for 13 years
Gerald Moore
Gerald L. Moore (deceased)
Greene County
United States Air Force Veteran
Vietnam War
• As Commander of American Legion Post 526, he instituted a program to recognize, with Life Memberships in the American Legion, all veterans confined to the VA
• Serving as co-chairman of the Ways and Means Committee for the Fairborn All Veterans Memorial; he helped raise over $68,000.00
• Served on the Miami Valley Military Affairs Committee
• Chairman of a fund raising committee to restore several Civil War statues located at the Dayton VA Medical Center/National Cemetery; he engineered a campaign that raised almost $500,000.00 for the restoration
• Was serving as a National Vice Commander of the American Legion at the time of his death
William Nelson
William B. Nelson (deceased)
Clark County
United States Navy Veteran
World War II
William Nelson
• Was elected department commander of two major veterans groups - the Ohio Veterans of Foreign Wars and Ohio AMVETS
• Appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Veteran's Children's Home in Xenia by Governor Rhodes in 1980
• Re-appointed to continuous terms by Governors Celeste and Voinovich; he served until his death and was dedicated to the children of the home
• Charter member of George Rogers Clark VFW Post 8437 where he served as Post Commander (All State Commander)
• Named to the All-American Team of Department Commanders
• Charter member of Enon AMVETS Post 37 where he served as Post, District, and Department of Ohio Commander as well as other elected and appointed positions, including positions at the national level
• Was Commander of DAV Chapter 135
Chester Ostrowski
Chester R. Ostrowski
Summit County
United States Army Veteran
Korean War
• Elected National Commander of the Polish Legion of American Veterans in 1990
• Active member of the PLAV for over 44 years
• Honored as Man of the Year by the Merchants Guild of Slavic Village of the city of Cleveland
• Accumulated over 1000 hours of volunteer time between the Brecksville VA Medical Center in Cleveland and the VA Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida
William Powell
William J. Powell
Stark County
United States Army Air Corps Veteran
World War II
William Powell
• Captain of golf and football teams in high school
• Although unwelcome on golf courses in the United States because of his color, he had very little trouble playing on British courses where members would even lend him clubs. Returning to the States after the war, he again faced rejection at golf courses because of his color
• His pride hurt from the rejection, he decided he would build his own course rather than make trouble; in 1946, he and his wife purchased an old dairy farm and he made a 9-hole course in the hilly landscape
• During the 70s, he added nine holes to Clearview Golf Club
• When asked what he loved most about Clearview, he replied: "The only color that matters here are the greens"
Kenneth Rieger
Kenneth E. Rieger (deceased)
Lucas County
United States Army Veteran
World War II
• Adjutant - Secretary for Toledo DAV Chapter for 45 years
• Served on the Lucas County Veterans Service Commission for 47 years
• Commander of American Legion Post 335
• Served as Public Relations Chairman, member of the Publications Committee of the Ohio Legion News, and wrote and edited the DAV newsletter
• Secretary of the Toledo Soldiers Memorial, active with the Ohio Veterans Home, member of AMVETS, the Air Force Historical Association and numerous other veterans affiliations
• Served four terms as President of the Toledo Newspaper Guild
Edward Rieman
Edward A. Rieman
Putnam County
United States Army Veteran
World War II
Edward Rieman
• Two terms as Commander of American Legion Post 63
• National Legislative Council for four years
• Has placed flags on veterans' graves in the Glandorf area since 1946
• 4-H leader for Kalida, Ohio; Toledo Catholic Diocesan School Board; Finance and Building Committee, St. Michael Parish, Kalida; Putnam County Democratic Executive Committee; County Historical Society
• Professional career in education beginning as a high school teacher in 1946
• From 1956 to 1974, was Superintendent of Miller City-New Cleveland Schools, Miller City, Ohio
• Served as Putnam County Chairman of the U.S. Declaration of Independence Bicentennial Committee, 1975 - 1976
Ralph Shepherd
Ralph F. Shepherd
Clermont County
United States Marine Corps Veteran
Vietnam War
• Commander, American Legion Post 550, 1958
• Life Member VFW Post 6770
• U.S. Marine Corps League - Leatherneck Detachment
• Member of the Clermont County Veterans Service Commission, representing Ohio Township
• Organizes programs for Veterans Day, Pearl Harbor Day, Flag Day, and other veteran holidays
• Speaks to students in the New Richmond school district regarding the history of all wars in which the United States has been involved
Richard Stent
Richard E. Stent Jr.
Franklin County
United States Coast Guard Veteran
World War II
Richard Stent
• National President, Coast Guard Combat Veterans Association, 1991 - 1994
• Completed the "Coast Guard Combat Veterans Association History" which was published in 1994
• Worked with the Columbus Ohio Coin Club to have a 200th Anniversary USCG coin minted for 1990
• While National President of the Coast Guard Combat Veterans Association, was responsible for a bronze plaque being made and placed on a German bunker at Utah Beach to honor USS Bayfield, Coast Guard Flag Ship at Utah Beach
• Plaque in place for 50th Anniversary of Normandy Invasion
• Usher at St. Andrew's for over 20 years
Josephus Vandengoorbergh
Josephus C. Vandengoorbergh
Erie County
United States Army Veteran
• Served three years in the Dutch Merchant Marines
• Member of AMVETS and held numerous positions at post, state and national levels
• AMVETS Department Commander of the Year, 1993
• Medal of Honor - Veterans Affairs Commission, Taiwan, 1998
• AMVETS National Commander, 1997 - 1998
• Past President, Vermilion Kiwanis Club
• Past President, Vermilion Youth Service Club
• Vermilion Chamber of Commerce Anchor Award, 1997
Thomas Van Meter
Thomas A. Van Meter (deceased)
Ashland County
United States Army Veteran
Vietnam War
Thomas Van Meter
• Awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, 1968; Bronze Star, 1969; Vietnamese Cross for Gallantry, 1969
• Member of American Legion Post 88, VFW Post 1065, the Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program and F&AM 151
• Served in the Ohio Senate, 19th District, 1972 - 1982, Assistant President and President Pro Tempore, Assistant Minority Leader and Minority Whip; Candidate for Governor, 1982; Member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1984 - 1986
• Authored Richard's Poor Almanac, a political pamphlet, which sold about 5,000 copies
• Established the John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland College
George Walker
George M. Walker Sr.
Franklin County
United States Army Veteran
Vietnam War
• Involved with the administration and organization of St. Stephen's Community House and Health Center
• South Linden Area Commissioner
• Served as Vice President, South Linden Community Council, and CDA representative
• President of the Linden Eagle Youth Athletic Association, and Archie Griffin Youth Athletic Association of Little League Football
• Central Ohio Archie Griffin Football League was renamed the George Walker Football League in honor of his service
• Cub Scout leader; volunteer for a Christmas in April; Operation Pride Task Force chairperson
John Weeks
John F. Weeks
Erie County
United States Marine Corps Veteran
Vietnam War
John Weeks
• Director of the Ohio Veterans Home from 1981-1994
• Initiated a substance abuse program that is still in effect today
• Directed fundraising drives resulting in donations exceeding $500,000
• Developed a 10-year master plan to include a new power plant, 300 bed domiciliary, and additional 100 bed nursing home
• Successfully lobbied for and obtained over $45,000,000 in federal grants
• First and only person from Ohio to serve as National President of the National Association of State Veterans Homes, the second largest provider of health care in the United States
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