VERSAILLES – The Versailles FFA hosted a dinner on Nov. 12 at the school for veterans in the surrounding area for their first time.
The program honored active duty military as well as veterans who were in attendance as well as deceased.
To start off the night, those in attendance enjoyed a meal that consisted of sandwiches, chicken noodle soup, chili soup and various desserts.
During the meal, everyone had the opportunity to look at a table set up for prisoners of war. This table was set for one and had many objects that represented the hardships and bitterness of being lost at war.
After the meal, the veterans enjoyed listening to two poems recited by Luke Billenstein and Maddy Henry. After the poems, the program had a guest speaker, James Buchy, who was formally a part of the Ohio State House of Representatives.
Then both active military members and veterans were honored with a slideshow. Active military members also were given welded horseshoe flags that were welded by the Versailles FFA Mechanical Principles class.
Active members included, Army: Jarrod Wagner, Seth Barga, Andrew Grogean and Jacob Grogean and Army recruiter Dannie Straw; Marines: Cole Kremer, Preston Platfoot, Ben Hole and Trevor Noggle; National Guard: recruiter John Keller; Navy: Janelle Hoelscher and Jordan Fraley. Hallie Mills also was recognized as she has enlisted in the Air Force and is waiting to leave for boot camp.
Veterans of each branch and their spouses also were recognized. Air Force included Denny Copeland, John Berger, Donna Grilliot, Ken Wion, George Stuck, Richard Francis and Keith Spitzer.
Army included Ivan Christian, Robert Christian, Mark Kunck, Dan Simon, Gary Davidson, Neil Hannan, Nelson Barga, Bob Grieshop, Bill Marshal, Paul Huber, Wilbur Petitjean, Virgil Heitkamp, Charlie Petitjean, John Berger, Robert Trittschuh, Tom Hole, Rodney Ray, Jim Bergman, Dave Miller, Michael MIller, Bob Christian, Jack Barga, Dick Barga, Richard Burch, Carl Goubeaux, Roger Bay, Eugene Mescher, Gale Blakely, Wane Hoke, Karl Keller, Roger Henry, Richard Gigandet, Jerome Kemper, Mike McClurg, Bill Koesters, Larry Role, Tim Wagner, James Pohlman, Daniel Hoening, Jim Nerderman, Orval Niekamp, and Army Recruiter Dannie Straw.
Marines included Ed Collins, Harold Apple, Roger Winner and John Jackson.
National Guard included Bill Ahrens, Dewey Ward, John Sergeant, Leroy Cordonnier, Larry Hesson and National Guard recruiter John Keller.
Navy included Bob Magotteaux, Tom Pierron, David Holfinger, Dale Dickman, Donald Keller, Jerome Bey, David Bey, Eugene Epperly and Les Kueter.
Along with recognizing both the veterans and the active duty members, the FFA also gave welded flags with plaques to local VFWs for them to display.
The FFA also thanked Gene Niekamp from Dynamic Weld for providing the chapter with special deals for metal to allow members to practice their welds. Dynamic Weld also provided metal so the welded flags could be made possible.
At the end of the night, door prizes were awarded to winners. Sponsors of the door prizes included Sideliners, the Inn of Versailles, Subway and Nature Reflections. Nature Reflections also provided table decorations and single rose used in the POW display.
Members who assisted in making this event possible included Gabe Thompson, Maddy Henry, Deanna Hesson, Greg Dircksen, Courtney Batten, Cole Luthman, Anna Barlage, Asheleigh Shimp, Koltin Hall, Caitlyn Luthman, Haley Mangen, Marcus Berger, Elliot George, Jacob Wuebker, Dallas Hess, Toby George, Dylan Meyer, Franklin Shimp, Chad Shimp, Luke Billenstein, Sarah Hess, Dawson Petitjean-Cress and Sara Cavin.