Event to honor WW II veterans

PIQUA — Edison State Community College is hosting a special event to honor seven World War II (WWII) veterans at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 15. Admission is free and the public is invited to pay respect to these Miami Valley of Ohio veterans.

The event will feature live music, photography of WWII era aircraft, Dayton Patriot Pin-Ups, Commendations from Speaker of the House, John Boehner, and special presentations from the Miami Valley Veterans Museum.

Those being honored include:

• Navy Radioman First Class Marion Adams of Covington, 1942-1946, responsible for radio communications aboard an LST at the Beaches of Normandy invasions;

• Army Corporal Harry Ashburn of Piqua, 1942-1945, charged with transporting soldiers and equipment in mission-critical exercises in the Philippines;

• Navy Captain Bill Brower of Piqua, 1943-1946, charged with destroying the Japanese military equipment in the Philippines after the Japanese surrendered;

• Army Staff Sergeant Harry Christy of Piqua, 1942-1945, fought at the Battle of the Bulge and helped to support the P.O.W.s housed at Stalag VII-A, Germany’s largest camp at Moosburg, return home after the war’s end;

• Army Captain Les Edsall of Sidney, 1942-1945, Prisoner of War in Poland and Germany who escaped as the Russians took over the last camp where he was imprisoned and traveled to Allied soil where he tasted freedom after enduring life-threatening conditions;

• Congressional Gold Medal winner Nadine Nagle of Dayton, 1942-1944, WASP pilot whose husband was killed in the war and who learned to pilot a plane so that she could fly for him;

• Army Captain Robert Tweed of Troy, 1943-1946, who fought at the Battle of the Bulge and bore witness at Dachau the day after the American Army liberated the concentration camp to the atrocities committed there;

A display of 10 large images of vintage World War II aircraft photographed by Springfield photographer Jim Copes will be on display outside of the Robinson Theatre continuing until one hour following the conclusion of the program.

Dayton Patriotic Pin-Ups, clad in dresses, shoes and hats reminiscent of World War II, will welcome guests and be available for photographs.

Thien Snipps, a seven-man group of vocalists and instrumentalists including two veterans, Larry Dragosavac (U.S. Air Force, 1968-1971) and Sylvester Guggenbiller (U.S. Army, 1954-1956) will present live WWII music beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Commendations from Speaker Boehner will be given to the seven veterans, and Mitch Fogle, CEO of the Miami Valley Veterans Museum and retired U.S. Navy veteran, will present lifetime memberships to the museum to the honored veterans.

“The program scheduled for midday might be difficult for some who would like to attend; however, it was chosen deliberately to accommodate the honored veterans, some of whom have vision and mobility issues,” said Blevins. “Let’s not be any of those who later regret that they failed to show up to thank this outstanding representative sample of the men and women who are responsible for the freedom we enjoy today.”

Program coordinator Dr. Vivian Blevins continues to accept emails and letters of appreciation to be given to the veterans who range in ages from 90 to 96 at vblevins@edisonohio.edu or Edison State Community College, Piqua, OH 45356.

For more information, contact Dr. Blevins at (937) 778-3815.