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2018 Veteran of the Year Program


Fuerst, Columbus Grove, was in military service from December 7, 1951 to January 1, 1972. He is a life member of Columbus Grove American Legion Post 516 and Columbus Grove VFW Post 9648. Fuerst ensures that all honor guard rifles are cleaned and well maintained. He also organizes flag burning ceremonies, places flags in cemeteries and participates in Memorial Day services. He has worked with 4-H groups and assisted in building raised garden beds for local nursing home residents.

Held at the Leipsic Fogle Center, numerous awards were presented during the fourth annual Putnam County of Veteran of the Year awards hosted by the Veterans Service Commission of Putnam County. The Distinguished Veteran Award was presented to Thaddeus Schroeder, who served during World War II. He was also a Veteran of the Year nominee this year. The third nominee was Dave Yoder, a Korean War Veteran.

Nick Amador accepted a Silver Star award for his brother, CPL Raynaldo Amador, who was killed in action on January 11, 1966.

The Silver Star Medal is the United States Armed Forces’s third-highest personal decoration for valor in combat. The Silver Star Medal is awarded primarily to members of the United States Armed Forces for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States. Amador was recognized for helping a wounded soldier in the line of attack during a search and destroy mission. He died during that attack.

Ambassador of Peace awards were presented to Jerry Basinger, Thomas Fuerst, Carl Maag, Kenneth Mullett, Walter Trenkamp, Alvin Unverferth and Dave Yoder.

“Any veteran who served boots on the ground in Korea, we order the medals through the Korean consulate and they verify their service over there and then give them this medal as a thank you for them being over there and what they did for their country,” said Senior Veterans Service Officer Kristi Powell. Guest speaker, William Oberhaus, a U.S. Army Combat Veteran, who served in Vietnam, reminded the crowd that “Wars are not video games our children and grandchildren play. Real people get wounded and real people die.”

Oberhaus said it took the American people 30 years to get it right about those who fought in the Vietnam War. “Welcome home” he told the Vietnam veterans.

Revolutionary Veteran Hubbard Program

PANDORA — They were soldiers of the American Revolution who lived for a long time after the war ended and died far from the places where they were born.

When 88-year-old Massachusetts native Israel Hubbard Jr. died in 1840, he was living with his son’s family in Putnam County. He was buried in Malahan Cemetery, a small burial ground at the end of a long lane among the fields of Riley Township.

Hezekiah Bloomfield Hubbell, a native of New Jersey, lived to see his 100th birthday while living with a daughter in Allen County. He died in 1855 and was laid to rest in the Hubbell Cemetery, also known as Revolutionary War Cemetery, in Richland Township near Rockport in northeastern Allen County.

On Saturday, Sept. 8, the Northwest Territory Chapter of the Ohio Society, Sons of the American Revolution, will conduct gravemarker services at the cemeteries, said David Lupien, of Bryan, the secretary of the chapter. Lupien said the Northwest Territory Chapter is working with the John Hancock Chapter, based in Findlay, and the Centennial Chapter, based in Lima, on the project.

The ceremony at the Hubbard grave site, which is off Putnam County Road M-6 near Pandora, will be held at 10 a.m. The ceremony at the Hubbell grave site, which is on Shifferly Road in Richland Township, will be at 3 p.m.

According to information compiled by the Sons of the American Revolution, Hubbard was born in 1752 in Sunderland, Massachusetts. Records indicated he entered the service as a volunteer for one month in April 1775. In January 1777, he joined a militia company in Sunderland, which marched to Ticonderoga, where they spent their time cutting logs for a bridge. Hubbard was discharged after three months. He would serve several more three-month enlistments in militias, during which time he survived Indian attacks and British ambushes.

About 1832, Hubbard traveled with his son to Medina County in eastern Ohio. Five years later, the family moved to Putnam County, where he remained until his death in March 1840. Lupien noted that, while members of the chapter were cleaning up Hubbard’s weathered gravestone, an inscription reading “Was a soldier in the Revolutionary War” was found at the bottom of the marker.

In addition to the Riley Township trustees, who maintain the cemetery, other groups involved with the ceremony honoring Hubbard include American Legion Post 536, Daughters of the American Revolution, Pandora Fire Department, Putnam County Veterans Service Commission and the Junior ROTC Color Guard Unit from the Kenton City Schools.

It was while preparing the program to honor Hubbard that the Sons of the American Revolution learned that Hubbell was buried just across the county line in Allen County, Lupien said.

Hubbell was born in 1755 in Woodbridge, New Jersey. According to information compiled by the Sons of the American Revolution, he enlisted in the New Jersey Continental Line and was stationed on the New Jersey border with New York until his initial enlistment expired. Returning home, he found both his parents had died. So, not having any means of support, he again enlisted. Hubbell was involved in battles at Springfield, Brandywine and Monmouth during the Revolutionary War.

After the war, Hubbell migrated west, first to Pennsylvania and then Ohio and Indiana, before returning to Ohio about 1851. He was living with a daughter in Allen County when he died in 1855.

Like Hubbard’s marker, Hubbell’s gravestone showed the effects of age and Ohio’s weather. It also had been vandalized and was replaced with a government bronze marker. The Bluffton American Legion services the marker every Memorial Day. Hubbell’s is the only grave marked in the cemetery. An inscription at the base of the original marker stated that “He served under Washington for seven years during the Revolution.”

(Source: Lima News


PCVSC and VFW Post 9142 deliver Christmas gifts to Veterans in Putnam County

Vet of the Year 2017

2017 Veteran of the Year Program

Maas named Veteran of the Year

By: Nancy Kline





James M. Maas (center), was selected as the 2017 Putnam County Veteran of the Year during Saturday[10/22/17] night's event at the Fort Jennings American Legion hall. Other nominees included, from left, Thomas Fuerst, Norman P. Schimmoeller, Maas, Doyle A. Wittler and Serafin Rodriguez Orduno. Not pictured is Thaddeus Schroeder. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)

PUTNAM COUNTY — Saturday night was the first time many Putnam County Vietnam veterans had been given a welcome home ceremony. There were tears and smiles as 79 Vietnam veterans were given special recognition certificates and commemorative pins at the annual Putnam County Veteran of the Year ceremony. This year’s event was hosted by Fort Jennings American Legion Post 715 for a crowd of nearly 400 people. This is the second year the Veterans Service Commission of Putnam County has held the event.

(Source: Putnam County Sentinel


2017 Fair Memorial Service

Vietnam War Veterans


Vet of the Year 2016

Veteran of the Year 2016


COLUMBUS GROVE — A Columbus Grove resident has been chosen as the 2016 “Veteran of the Year.”

Gary Baxter, a Vietnam Veteran who served from Oct. 7, 1965 until July 13, 1967, was announced as this year’s recipient during a a recognition dinner in Columbus Grove. This is the second year the Veterans Service Commission of Putnam County sponsored the Putnam County Veteran of the Year Recognition Dinner. The selection for the finalist was made by members of the Putnam County Veterans Commission with assistance from Executive Director Putnam County Veterans Service Commission Joe Moenter and Outreach Coordinator Kristi Powell.

The five nominees for this year included Baxter, James M. Maas, Thaddeus Schroeder, David E. Beckett and Ray Woods.

Baxter has served as the Putnam County Council American Legion Commander and is presently serving as adjutant. He has also served as commander, adjutant and finance officer for Columbus Grove American Legion Post 516 for numerous years and as Sgt.-at-Arms and Treasurer for the Department of Ohio American Legion. He is currently serving as vice commander for the Putnam County Chapter D.A.V. Baxter has went on several mission trips throughout the United States and assisted with preparing meals and remodeling homes.

“It surprised me when they announced my name,” Baxter admitted. He was also among the 2015 nominees for Veteran of the Year.

James Mass, Leipsic is a Vietnam veteran. He served from Sept 12, 1968 to Sept. 11, 1970. He served as post commander of the Ottawa VFW Post 9142 eight separate terms. He also served as quartermaster with the Ottawa VFW Post 91452 from 1990 to 1996. Maas has been a service officer with the Ottawa VFW Post 9142 from 2008 to the present. He also was a Putnam County Veterans Service Commissioner from 1987 to 2015. He is an active participant in military funerals and spends numerous hours visiting veterans in nursing homes. Maas also participate in Loyalty Day and Veterans Day program at Ottawa-Glandorf High School and Elementary School.

World War II Veteran Thaddeus Schroeder, Leipsic, served in the military from Nov. 9, 1943, until April 18, 1946. He held all chairs for Leipsic American Legion Post 287 and also was a trustee for Leipsic VFW Post 9547. He also served as trustee for CJ Wagner & Fogle Center and sells poppies for the Ladies Auxiliary and delivers clothes to the Ohio Veterans Home. Schroeder has been active in volunteering time, money and services to veterans and veteran causes since leaving the military in 1946.

David Beckett, Ottawa, is a Vietnam Era veteran. He served from Jan. 14, 1975 until May 12, 1978. He also was in the Ohio Air National Guard from May 1, 1978 to Jan. 13, 1996. He is a member of American Legion Post 63. Beckett is a volunteer driver to take veterans to VA Hospitals, appointment and also drives veteran to job interviews and other various errands. He served as a scoutmaster for four years for Ottawa Boy Scout Troop 224 and served on the Ottawa Fire Department for four years. He also served on Ottawa Village Council for eight years and Ottawa’s Planning Commission for four year. Becket is a founding member of the Blanchard River Watershed Partnership.

World War 11 veteran Ray Woods, Leipsic, formerly of Ottawa, served from Sept 10, 1943 to Dec. 29, 1945. He was a past officer for Ottawa VFW Post 9142. Woods coached Little League, Pony League baseball and CYO basketball. He has written two published book. Woods was recently given the French Medal of Honor, the highest medal France awards. He survived six major invasions from D.Day Normandy to Okinawa. The radar room of the ship Ray served on was attacked twice, once by a German Shore Battery and again by a Japanese suicide plane.

Major General John C. Harris, Jr., was the guest speaker for the awards dinner. He is the Assistant Adjutant General—Army, Ohio Army National Guard and also serves as the commander. General Harris said it was not fair to say we are a nation in decline.


“It’s not fair to all our young men and women who sacrifice for our country,” he said. “I am so proud of them. They are better than I was at their age. These are amazing young people,” he said of those serving in the military. “They will take this nation to great places.”

General Harris said the current military is often fighting on defeat an adversary at one place in the world while fighting in another place to deny an adversary from achieving their objective. He said the country’s greatest concerns are Russia, North Korea, Iran, China and ISIS.

(Source: Putnam Count Sentinel

Lima T.V. Station Coverage of the Open House on 5 Aug 2016

Aug 5, 2016 - OTTAWA — The Putnam County Veteran’s Service Commission had a celebration last Friday. The board members and officers were celebrating their new location at 336 E. Main Street, Ottawa.

A ribbon cutting ceremony with veterans, Ottawa-area Chamber members and county officials was held in front of the office. Formerly located in a small area in the Putnam County Court House, the office was moved to the new location last December. This historical building, started out as an armory.

Some felt it was appropriate the building is now used as an office to serve veterans.

“We have more space now, said Putnam County Veteran Service executive Director Joe Moenter.

Before we had to keep things in different places because we didn’t have the storage room,” Moenter said now they can everything stored in the office. He also spoke about not having visitors worry about steps and being able to park right in front of the office.

“We provided over $550,000 in benefits alone last year to Putnam County veterans,” Moenter said as the officers took the opportunity to explain what is done in their office and the service available to all veterans. Services Moenter mentioned included emergency financial assistance to eligible veterans and family members, assistance for transportation to VA Medical Centers, assistance for veterans and eligible family members entitled to dependency and indemnity compensation and assistance for veterans in nursing homes and identification cards for veterans.

Kristi Powell, Veterans Service Outreach coordinator, also listed services such as visiting veterans in jail and in hospice, She also spoke about being involved in an equestrian program for veterans with Post Trauma Stress Disorder at Challenged Champions, and with a veterans diving group that came to the Gilboa Quarry.

The office also assists in getting Blue Star banners for family members with someone currently serving, flag cases for veterans and putting markers on veterans graves.

When questioned Moenter said they have markers on wars going back to the Civil War including one Putnam County confederate veteran and markers for soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary and Mexican War.

The current location of the Veteran’s Service Office, was originally built as an armory. Historical records indicted the Armory started by Company M, Ohio National Guard in June 1901, was temporary quartered in the building across from the DuMont Hotel. Later the opera house served as temporary quarter until it soon moved to the old armory on Second Street. This armory was owned by private individuals and rented to Company M> A movement began in 1913 for a new armory. Ottawa citizens were behind the movement and appropriated $5,000 to buy a site for the structure. The state then appropriated $20,000 an work on the armory soon began.

Company M moved into their new quarters in October, 1914.

In the more recent past the building has been used as office space for the Educational Service Center, Board of Elections, Red Cross, and the WIC program. All of these agencies are now located in different buildings.

(Source: Putnam Sentinel

Veteran's office has new sign

By: Nancy Kline (Putnam Sentinel)

June 27, 2016 - A new sign on the window to the entrance to the Putnam County Veterans Office draws attention to the soldiers who serve. It includes the symbols that are part of the U.S. Armed Forces including Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

(Source: Putnam Sentinal

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