Columbus — Longtime Twinsburg Bulletin columnist Ron Seman, who writes the popular “Veterans Beat” for Record Publishing Co. newspapers, will be inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame next month in Columbus.
The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame will induct 15 people in the Class of 2013 in a Nov. 7 ceremony at Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium in the state capital. The Ohio veterans’ community and the public are invited to attend and honor the Ohioans in this year’s class as they join the 428 others who are enshrined in the Hall.
Seman lives in Parma in Cuyahoga County and is a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in the Korean War.
He launched a long career in media after his service, originating “The Cleveland Veteran” radio program which promoted veterans’ activities, and later wrote a weekly veterans’ column while at the Cleveland Press.
He continues to write the “Veterans Beat” for Record Publishing Co. newspapers and is an active member of several veterans’ organizations and is an enduring supporter of the USO. Seman has also organized and emceed many veterans events over the years.
The Hall is dedicated to recognizing Ohio veterans who, after their military service, put their skills and abilities to work in their local communities, as Seman has done for more than 26 years through a strong readership developed from his popular Twinsburg Bulletin columns.
These select veterans have continued to serve others, and by their continued service and positive accomplishments, inspired their fellow citizens.
The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame was established in 1992 by former U.S. Senator and Ohio Gov. George Voinovich to recognize the post-military achievements of outstanding veterans. Charter members of the Hall’s Class of 1993 included the six Ohio military veterans who were elected President of the United States and all Medal of Honor recipients from Ohio. Honorees of the past 18 years have included astronauts, government officials, police officers, community leaders and veterans’ advocates.
The Hall of Fame Executive Committee, comprised entirely of veterans, serves as advisors for the Hall of Fame and selects no more than 20 inductees annually from nominations provided by all citizens of Ohio. Men and women chosen for induction into the Hall come from all eras, all branches of service and all walks of life. The members of the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame are honored in a permanent display on the second floor of the Riffe Center in downtown Columbus.
It’s not too early to nominate deserving veterans for the Class of 2014. The deadline for submission is June 30, 2014. Information and a nomination form can be found at dvs.ohio.gov/veterans_hall_of_fame.aspx.
For more information, contact Mike McKinney at 614-728-0235, Michael.email@example.com; or Karen Kish at 614-752-8941, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other 2013 inductees include:
• Anna K. Beall, of Dayton in Montgomery County, U.S. Army Nurse Corps veteran, World War II:
“Anna was an Army nurse in the Pacific Theater during World War II. After the war, she worked at the Dayton Mental Health Center until her retirement in 1983. She has been a volunteer for 30 years at Hospice of Dayton and also a tour guide at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Anna also speaks to students at the Stivers School about her military experiences and service to country. She also volunteers with the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress.”
• Stephen J. Butcher, of Pataskala in Licking County, Ohio Air National Guard veteran, Persian Gulf War:
“Steve Butcher is a retired Sergeant Major from the Ohio Air National Guard. He has twice been elected Mayor of Pataskala. He is also the owner of Butcher’s Restaurant, which every year on dates close to Memorial Day and Veterans Day, serves free meals to veterans all day. As Mayor, he helped create a ‘Veterans Green’ and was instrumental in raising funds to preserve an old theater, establish a community museum, and re-open a closed swimming pool.”
• Robert E. Derr, of Cincinnati in Clermont County, U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Korean and Vietnam wars:
“Robert ‘Bob’ Derr enlisted in the Marine Corps at 17 and came home to establish a business he operated for 36 years. He’s been a volunteer for more than 35 years at a Clermont County children’s charity and over 30 years at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. He also chairs the Fallen Heroes of Clermont County Memorial Committee to commemorate the service of the 14 residents of Clermont County who fell during the Persian Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
• Harry A. Donovan, of Fairlawn in Summit County, U.S. Navy veteran, World War II:
“Harry Donovan is a World War II Navy veteran who became a Certified Public Accountant who later owned his own firm. He is an active supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project and has established a scholarship fund for children of veterans. He donates and volunteers with the Summit County Stand-Down for homeless veterans as well as at the new Valor Home for homeless veterans, named after his son, Harry Donovan, Jr. Harry has also served on many community and church boards.”
• Carlos M. Easterday, of Pleasant City in Noble County, U.S. Army veteran, Korean War:
“Carlos Easterday served during the Korean War, returned home and saw the need in his community to help those less fortunate during the holiday season. He and his wife began a tradition of offering a free community-wide dinner on Christmas Day, which has grown to serve 300 meals annually and deliver another 300. This effort is a tradition as well for many families of volunteers. Carlos has also recruited local teens to ensure a flag is placed on the graves of local veterans.”
• Roger H. Gardner, of Warren in Trumbull County, U.S. Army veteran/Ohio Army National Guard veteran, Korean and Vietnam wars:
“Roger Gardner is a veteran of both in the active Army and the Ohio Army National Guard. He was instrumental in the construction of several veterans’ memorials in Trumbull County. He has logged over 2,300 volunteer hours at the Warren VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic and nearly 6,000 volunteer hours at the Youngstown VA clinic. Roger is a frequent speaker in the “Tell America” program in local schools, sharing his military experiences and encouraging patriotism.”
• David R. Hinds, of Dublin in Delaware County, U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Vietnam War:
“David Hinds returned from Vietnam and tirelessly served veterans and others both in his hometown of Zanesville and later in Dublin. In 1979, he received the Presidential Outstanding Community Achievement of Vietnam Era Veterans Award. He’s led projects that include the Zanesville Vietnam Veterans Outreach Program, and the Zanesville Marine Corps League Toys for Tots. In 2013, he helped raise funds to establish a Grounds of Remembrance Memorial in Dublin Veterans Park.”
• Alexander P. Kish, of Newton Falls in Trumbull County, U.S. Army veteran, Korean War:
“Alexander Kish is a Korean War veteran who was instrumental in bringing the Western Reserve National Cemetery to Rittman. He organized an Honor Guard of veterans’ organizations that provides military honors during burials there. He helped raise funds that purchased over 400 phone cards for veterans at the Brecksville VA Hospital and active duty soldiers at Fort Drum, New York. He has also organized a fundraiser to provide summer camp for underprivileged children in Trumbull County.”
• John F. Kuffner (deceased), of St. Mary’s in Auglaize County, U.S. Navy veteran, World War II:
“Jack Kuffner served in the Navy in World War II and became an attorney who practiced in St. Mary’s for 50 years. He was Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Auglaize County for 24 years and later the Prosecuting Attorney, and also served as a Judge on the Auglaize County Common Pleas Court, receiving the Ohio Supreme Court Award for ‘Superior Judicial Service.’ He was a member of several civic boards and was active in the Masons, Kiwanis and veterans’ organizations.”
• Harry A. Seifert, Jr., of Kettering in Montgomery County, U.S. Army veteran, Cold War:
“Harry Seifert is an Army veteran and a Dayton businessperson who was a leader in the effort to revitalize Dayton’s downtown business district and neighborhoods. He is strongly involved in the restoration of the Wright Brothers, Paul Dunbar and VA campus historic areas. Harry’s leadership also brought together business and community leaders and the Dayton VA Medical Center to forge the Community Covenant to support the employment of veterans throughout the Miami Valley.”
• Sharon A. R. Stanley, of Circleville in Ross County, U.S. Army veteran, Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Global War on Terrorism:
“Sharon Stanley was an Army nurse who serves at the national level as Chief Nurse of the American Red Cross. She is responsible for the training and deployment of Red Cross nurses and ensures they are up to current standards in all areas to include disaster response and blood collection and distribution. She has increased the presence of Red Cross volunteer nurses in both military and VA hospitals. The International Red Cross honored her in 2013 with the Florence Nightingale Medal.”
• Carl W. Swisher, of Columbus in Franklin County, U.S. Navy veteran, Vietnam War era:
“Carl Swisher returned from his Navy service and started his own business. He also became active in the American Legion and was both 12th District and Department of Ohio Commander. Carl chaired the Buckeye Boys State Committee for more than 15 years, and is active on several other American Legion committees. He has personally sponsored Veterans’ Day parade floats and youth sports teams. He now represents the Legion on the Franklin County Veterans Service Commission.”
• Joseph K. Vrabel (deceased), of Poland in Mahoning County, U.S. Army veteran, Korean War:
“Joseph Vrabel served in the Korean War and devoted himself to serving other veterans. He was active in both the Sons of the American Legion and the American Legion. Joe was an avid promoter of Buckeye Boys State to which he generously donated and secured several local sponsorships. Joe was an active fundraiser for Gifts for Yanks, and helped obtain a van to transport veterans from Youngstown to the Cleveland VA hospital. He was known in his area as the ‘Veterans’ Veteran.’”
• John B. Williams, of Bexley in Franklin County, U.S. Army veteran, World War II:
“John Williams served in World War II and later served his community in many ways. His complaint led to the development of an Affirmative Action Plan for the Columbus Post Office. John was a co-founder of the Reeb-Hosack Community Baptist Church and a contributing writer for the Columbus Call and Post. His work in South Linden led to the formation of the Greater Linden Block Watch Alliance. John’s favorite saying is, ‘I’d rather wear out in serving others, than rust out in idle retirement.’”
Additional information and profiles of past inductees are available at dvs.ohio.gov/veterans_hall_of_fame.aspx.