GREENVILLE — It’s a tradition going on 50-plus years strong. This year, Major General Deborah A. Ashenhurst was a guest speaker for the Veteran’s Parade and Memorial Service held at the Grandstand at the Great Darke County Fair on Wednesday.
Ashenhurst is U.S. Army and National Guard retired after 37 years in service, and currently Director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services.
When asked if she had any special comments in regards to the evening event, Ashenhurst stated it was important that we all honor and recognize our Veterans.
“Sometimes that message gets lost in our day to day lives,” said Ashenhurst. She thanked the Veterans for their service and congratulated them for being the one percent of our population who serve. She also shared there are approximately 800,000 Veterans in the state of Ohio with 67,000 of them women and 3,300 Veterans in Darke County.
“I’m happy to be here,” said Ashenhurst, who took a few minutes to recognize World War II Veterans in attendance for the evening.
A performance by the United States Air Force Band of Flight’s Spirit of Freedom formerly known as the Wright Brass, started the event. The band is composed of active duty musicians in the United States Air Force stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Out-going county commander, Ted Bruner, and member of the Darke County Veterans Commission provided the welcome and opening remarks. Jim Kammer, commander of the Darke County Council of American Legion, who oversees the parade and program, directed the Units in Passing.
Area Veteran representation included seven American Legions along with VFW Posts from Greenville, North Star, New Madison, Ansonia, Versailles, Osgood, and Hollansburg.
The Greenville DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) escorted the Vietnam Veterans.
Benediction was provided by Pastor Jeff Harter, followed by Brian Rismiller, fair manager, giving an introduction of Fair Board members.
Del Braund Jr. played bagpipes during the dismissal of the Marching Units.
Darke County Veterans Services gave a free t-shirt to Veterans as they entered the grandstand for the program. This year marks the fifth consecutive year the organization has given a free hat or t-shirt to Veterans.
Thomas Pitman, Department Head Veterans Service Officer, is in charge of the band each year, and the free items provided to Veterans.
The Great Darke County Fair hosts Armed Forces Day every year with Veterans and immediate household family members given free admittance. Darke County Veterans Services has been hosting a tent outside the Veteran’s building throughout the week. They are selling raffle tickets and spaghetti dinner tickets to help raise funds for the Veterans of Darke County Washington DC trip.
The spaghetti dinner is sponsored by the American Legion Post #140 and will start at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 325 North Ohio St., Greenville. Door prizes, 50/50, and auction will be part of the evening’s event.
Be sure to visit the Veteran’s Building next to the Coliseum any day during the Great Darke County Fair.
Reach reporter Bethany J. Royer-DeLong at 937/548-3330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.