The Great Darke County Fair once again recognized and celebrated veterans by giving free admission to fair and hosting a special ceremony and parade in front of the Grandstand. Upon entering the Grandstand, veterans were given a free hat with “Veteran” emblazoned on the front.
Veteran service organizations from across the county proudly stood for review as they presented the Colors.
Betsy Law, the Thundering Third District Commander, spoke to veterans and their families, and the many guests assembled in the Grandstand. She shared that women are taking a greater role in these service organizations. In the past, when a woman would walk into one of the service organizations it was assumed they wanted to join the auxiliary. That is not necessarily the case today with the American Legion having its first female national commander and 2017 and this year, Ohio elected a female commander.
Law said, “The Legion is made of veterans of all ages, backgrounds and sexes and I am proud to be a member of the largest veteran organization in the world.” She further explained the American Legion is responsible for the GI Bill of Rights and the passing of legislation that benefits all veterans and their families.
She encouraged all veterans to join. “Find the closest post and go in and join up. Being a member of the American Legion gives us power and numbers to make changes in the lives of veterans all over the world.”
Versailles American Legion, Post 435 recognized the veterans we have lost by giving a 21 Gun Salute and playing taps.
Mandy Rismiller sang the National Anthem and Del Braund, Jr. played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes as the units were dismissed.
Veterans were encouraged to use the Darke County Veterans Service Office if they need help for anything related to their veteran status. The office staff includes Thomas Pitman, director; Var Gehron, County Veteran Services Officer; Cynthia Bruner, administrative assistant; Krisann Franck, financial assistance specialist; and Jack Preston, transportation coordinator. The Veterans Service Commission includes Philip Rehmert, president – Disabled American Veterans; Gaylen Blosser, vice president – Veterans of Foreign Wars; James Stamcoff, secretary – at large; James Kammer, member – American Legion; and John Sloat, member – at large.