MIAMI COUNTY — Active and retired members of the Armed Forces were honored on Wednesday during a special salute to veterans at the 2018 Miami County Fair.
The event was held in conjunction with “Armed Forces Day,” on which all fairgoers with a valid military ID were admitted to the fair for free.
“Being a veteran myself, it’s very important to me that all veterans are represented,” said director Ted Miller, who directed the event for the third year. “Once you put a uniform on, you are a veteran. This is our contribution to everyone else that has served.”
“My goal is to just make the veterans proud of the program,” said Miami Valley Veterans Services Executive Director Selena Loyd. “This year, we’re honoring our World War II veterans, who paved the way for us. It’s rewarding to understand what it means to be a veteran, and come together to give them respect for what they’ve done.”
The program opened with a medley by the Troy High School marching band, as well as a presentation of colors by the Veterans Elite Tribute Squad. A salute to the Armed Forces presentation saw each branch honored with military songs, member representation, and the flag of each branch presented on horseback in the stadium. Honor guard members were on site to perform a 21-gun salute, with a rendition of “Taps” being played by marching band members.
Navy veteran and County Commissioner Greg Simmons served as guest speaker at the event, discussing the impact and reward to others of every veteran’s sacrifice.
“Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they’ve made a difference in the world,” Simmons said. “Veterans don’t have that problem. I want to say thanks to all have put on the uniform, looking for nothing in return. This selfess act of serving our country deserves the highest level of respect and gratitude that we have to offer.”
World War II veterans were on hand to serve as special honorees, each receiving a flag as thanks for their service.
“These men and women set things in motion for the rest of us,” Loyd said. “Today, we want to show them appreciation, but a way to continue to show appreciation is to mentor, tutor, and educate younger veterans in the importance of being involved in the military communities like the posts and the VFWs. We are a strong voice, but we’ll keep it strong by keeping involved.”