MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Fair honored local veterans on Wednesday afternoon during the annual Salute to Veterans ceremony, featuring music and a speech from Congressman Warren Davidson.
The ceremony opened after a 30-minute performance by members of the Troy High School Band. After an invocation, the singing of the national anthem, and opening remarks by Ted Miller, chairman of the Veterans Ceremony, Miami County Sheriff Captain David Norman, a Vietnam veteran, spoke.
After reading the United States’ Oath of Enlistment, which recruits from all branches take before enlisting, Norman spoke about unity among the branches of the military. “The oath bound us all together,” he said.
Norman said a desire to serve is the character trait that unites all veterans.
“We serve our community because that’s just who we are,” he said.
Norman recalled having to sneak back into the United States after his service in Vietnam, and said soldiers today get the reception they deserve when they return from service.
“Now, when our guys and girls come home, we actually celebrate it,” he said.
After concluding his remarks, Norman introduced Congressman Warren Davidson, who represents Ohio’s 8th Congressional District in the House of Representatives. Davidson is also a veteran, having graduated from West Point and served as an Army Ranger.
In his speech, Davidson emphasized the dedication it takes to join the military.
“It’s free to join, but it could cost everything,” he said. “There are many things you can get as a veteran, but that pales in comparison to what it can cost.”
Davidson, who has made reforming the Veterans Affairs Office one of his priorities while in office, spoke briefly about the current state of the VA.
“There’s currently a four- to five-year backlog on cases,” Davidson said. “This is sick.”
Davidson said reforming the VA was a “bipartisan” issue, and said many bills about veterans passed with a massive majority in the House. Davidson specifically pointed out the Veterans Affairs Accountability Act, which passed with an overwhelming majority in the House in June with a 368-55 vote, and was signed into law that same month. The act makes it easier for the VA to fire employees and adds protections for whistleblowers.
Davidson said veterans deserve better for the sacrifices they make, and thanked the veterans in attendance.
“Thank you for what you’ve done,” Davidson said. “Thank you for loving our country enough to potentially give everything.”
Reach Bennett Leckrone firstname.lastname@example.org