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5 veterans saluted on Armed Forces Day

Five people will be honored this weekend as part of the 31st annual Armed Forces Day celebration, hosted by the Findlay Military Association at the Hancock County Fairgrounds.

Hours for the three-day event are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7 a.m. to noon Sunday.

Daily admission is $5 for adults and $3 for ages 6-17. Children younger than 6 are admitted free. Parking is free; enter at Gate C off Fishlock Avenue.

Sgt. Jacob Hunt of the Ohio Army National Guard will be honored as the Hancock County “Military Person of the Year.” Four others will be recognized as “Veteran of the Year,” including Army S2 Security Specialist Joyce Winter, Army Command Sgt. Major Ronald Winter (retired), Army Lt. Colonel James Woodward (retired) and Army Master Sgt. E8 Leasha Dixson (retired).

Armed Forces Day events will also include living history displays, musical performances, military vehicles, re-enactment performances and flamethrower demonstrations by Charles Hobson, an instructor for flamethrower operator training with 30 years of experience. He is author of the book, “The Illustrated Manual of U.S. Portable Flamethrowers.”

An American Huey 369 helicopter and Wolfhounds will be at the fairgrounds at noon Friday and at 10:45 a.m. Saturday.

There will also be a military memorabilia and vehicle parts swap meet and sale. A military service pass and review will be held at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Food and beverages will be available throughout the event, and camping is available.

Opening ceremonies will be held Saturday, which is Armed Forces Day, beginning at 10:15 a.m. The Arlington High School All-Brass Marching Band will perform, and the guest speaker is retired Army Col. James Coomler.

A native of Indiana, Coomler holds a masters of military arts and science degree from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army War College. He held a wide variety of command and staff assignments in the United States, the Federal Republic of Germany and South Korea. After retiring from the Army in 1999, he became the senior instructor for Springfield High School’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. He retired from that position in 2015.

His awards include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Accommodation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal and the Federal Republic of Germany’s Silver Iron Cross.

A GI breakfast will be held at 7:30 a.m. Saturday in Building D with Coomler as the speaker. Cost of the breakfast is $6. Show admission is not included with the breakfast ticket.

Following breakfast, the veterans recognition and awards program will begin at 8:30. Honorees include:

  • Hunt, a Findlay High School graduate, enlisted in the Ohio Army National Guard as an 118th Infantryman as a 17-year high school junior. He graduated from infantry school and two months later was deployed with Bravo Company 1-148th of the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team to Afghanistan, where he served 14 months. He is currently preparing to serve as an Ohio Army National Guard recruiter/career counselor.

    Hunt’s military awards include the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

  • Joyce Winter enlisted in the Army in 1971. After completing basic and specialist trainings, she was assigned to the Pentagon as 2nd assistant to the first woman brigadier general in the Army, a position she held until 1973. She also served as a casualty specialist, S2 security specialist and operational administrative specialist. Since receiving an honorable discharge in 1978, she worked as a bookkeeper, transportation specialist, payroll specialist and data processing specialist before retiring in 2003. She resides in Arlington.

    Her military awards include two Good Conduct Medals and National Defense Service Medal.

  • Ronald Winter enlisted in the Army in 1956. After completing basic training, he was assigned to intelligence school, where he completed a Morse intercept course. His assignments have included duties in Kenai, Alaska; Berlin, Germany; Republic of Vietnam; and Udorn, Thailand. He retired from the Army as a command sergeant major in 1979 and worked with Army Intelligence until 1987. He now lives in Arlington.

    His military awards include the Legion of Merit Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Civilian Commendation Medal, seven Good Conduct Medals, Army Occupation Medal (Berlin), National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (3 stars), Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal, Vietnam Civic Action Medal and Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 Device.

  • A graduate of Arcadia High School and Findlay College, Woodward was commissioned a 1st Lieutenant and attended Army Command College and the Air Force War College. He served 34 years in the Army National Guard and Army Reserve before retiring in 1989 as a lieutenant colonel. In his professional life, he worked at Cooper Tire for 38 years.

    His military awards include the Army Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Expert Infantry Badge.

  • Dixson joined the Women’s Army Corps after graduating from high school. She served three tours in Germany and one tour in Korea. She was a cryptologist and switchboard operator and later was a unit supply specialist. She joined the Army Reserve as an individual reserve augmentee. In 2004, she was deployed to Iraq. She retired from the Army in 2015 and works at Marathon Petroleum Co., where she has 17 years of service.

    Her military awards include the Army Achievement Medal (2nd OLC), Good Conduct Medal (fifth award), National Defense Service Medal (third award), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal W/M Device, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (third award), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award and a Marksman Qualification Badge with Rifle Bar.

For more information about Armed Forces Day, visit www.findlaymilitaryshow.org.

Armed Forces Day itinerary
Friday

  • 7 a.m. — Gates open to the public
  • 8 a.m. — Master Modeler Museum and other displays open
  • 9 a.m. — Color Guard raises colors
  • 11:30 a.m. — MVPA convoy lunch in Building D, donation to Flag City Honor Flight requested
  • Noon — American Huey 369 and Wolfhounds arrive and set up
  • 2 p.m. — 1st Mad River Light Artillery live cannon fire demonstration, re-enactor encampment
  • 3 p.m. — Flamethrower demonstration, main grandstand
  • 5 p.m. — 1st Mad River Light Artillery live cannon fire demonstration, re-enactor encampment
  • 6 p.m. — Color Guard retires colors
  • 7 p.m. — 1st Mad River Light Artillery live cannon fire demonstration, re-enactor encampment
  • 8:30 p.m. — Flamethrower demonstration, main grandstand
  • 10 p.m. — Gates close

Saturday

  • 7 a.m. — Gates open to the public
  • 7:30 a.m. — Awards breakfast, Building D, $6
  • 8 a.m. — Master Modeler Museum and other displays open
  • 8:30 a.m. — Hancock County Veterans awards program, Building D
  • 10 a.m. — 1st Mad River Light Artillery live cannon fire demonstration, re-enactor encampment
  • 10:15 a.m. — Opening ceremonies
  • 10:45 a.m. — American Huey 369 and Wolfhounds greet public
  • 11 a.m. — 1st Mad River Light Artillery live cannon fire demonstration, re-enactor encampment
  • 11:15 a.m. — Flamethrower demonstration, main grandstand
  • Noon — Ohio Motorpool meeting, Building D
  • 12:45 p.m. — 1st Mad River Light Artillery live cannon fire demonstration, re-enactor encampment
  • 1 p.m. — Genoa Band performs, midway gazebo
  • 3 p.m. — Flamethrower demonstration, main grandstand
  • 4 p.m. — 1st Mad River Light Artillery live cannon fire demonstration, re-enactor encampment
  • 4:30 p.m. — Pass-N-Review parade, awarding dash plaques
  • 6 p.m. — 1st Mad River Light Artillery live cannon fire demonstration, re-enactor encampment; Color Guard retires colors
  • 8 p.m. — 1st Mad River Light Artillery live cannon fire demonstration, re-enactor encampment
  • 10 p.m. — Gates close

Sunday

  • 7 a.m. — Gates open to the public
  • Noon — Event over


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