(Posted Nov. 10, 2016)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Veterans Day services and programs are planned throughout Madison County.
The United Veterans Organization will participate in a Veterans Day program on Nov. 11 at London High School, 336 Elm St. The veterans will assemble at 10 a.m. The program is open to the public. The United Veterans Organization includes Amvets Chapter 19, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 93, American Legion Post 105 and Vietnam Veterans Chapter 746.
At 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 11, American Legion Post 105 will serve its annual Veterans Day dinner for members, their families and guests. To make reservations, call (740) 852-9196. The post is located at 51 E. First St. in London.
Madison County Senior Center
The Madison County Senior Center will host a Veterans Day program at noon Nov. 11. London resident Bob Rogers will give a presentation about Sgt. Wreckless, the only horse honored and ranked in United States military history. The center’s choir will perform a song honoring all branches of the military. The American Legion will present a POW flag for display at the center. All veterans who visit the center Nov. 11 will receive a free lunch; lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The center is located at 280 W. High St., London.
At 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, American Legion Post 417 will conduct a brief ceremony and 21-gun salute at the flag pole at Mount Sterling’s Town Hall. In case of rain, the ceremony will be moved to the Legion Hall at 27 Clark St. Veterans who plan to participate in the ceremony are asked to arrive by 10:30. The public is encouraged to attend. The post will host a dinner for all veterans and their spouses Nov. 13. Social hour starts at 5 p.m., followed by dinner and a program at 6. Veterans who plan to attend the dinner should RSVP by Nov. 8 to Jean Liston at (740) 869-3615.
A Veterans Day program will be held at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 11 in the Plain City Elementary gymnasium, 580 S. Chillicothe St. The program is open to the public. Special parking is available for those who attend.
This year’s speaker, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ken Ratliff, was commissioned as an armor officer in 1995 following graduation from Bowling Green State University. His first assignment was with A Company, 1st Battalion, 147th Armor Regiment, Ohio Army National Guard, in Lima, Ohio.
Over his 20-year career, Ratliff has commanded units at the company and battalion level. His staff assignments range from Battalion to Joint Force Headquarters-Ohio, including executive officer for the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Columbus. He has two overseas deployments and one domestic response to Hurricane Rita.
Since 2003, Ratlliff has served in the Active Guard Reserve program with the Ohio Army National Guard. In this full-time employment program, he has served in a variety of units, including Ohio’s Homeland Response Force and 174th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.
Ratliff’s education includes the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff School and a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University. His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (6 OLC), Army Commendation Medal (1 OLC), and Army Achievement Medal (2 OLC).
Ratliff resides in Plain City with his wife, Amanda from Marion, Ohio, and their two sons, James and Nathan. The family also has two former racing greyhounds, Annie and Maya.
Plain City American Legion Post 248 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Darby Post 3268 are the event sponsors. For details, call Bernie Vance at (614) 570-2962.
Norwood Elementary, 899 Norwood Dr., West Jefferson will honor veterans with a ceremony at the school flagpole at 9:45 a.m. Nov. 11.
Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts will lead the “Pledge of Allegiance.” Students will sing “The Star Spangled Banner.” Fifth-graders will share essays about “What America Means To Me.” Guest speakers are Brig. Gen. Maria Kelly and Lt. Col. Mitchell Gargac. Representatives from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7005 and American Legion Post 201 will participate in the ceremony. The West Jefferson color guard will perform a 21-gun salute. Fifth-grade teacher Alison Crawford will play “Taps.” The public is welcome to attend. For details, call the school at (614) 879-7642.