military

Veterans memorial area to be expanded on courthouse grounds

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Wood County officials and veterans believe those who gave their lives for their country deserve better. So nearly two decades after it was first proposed, plans are underway to expand the veterans memorial area in front of the Wood County Courthouse. Though the plans aren’t completed, and the fundraising has yet to begin, a preliminary proposal for the area was presented Thursday to the county commissioners by Rob Eaton, head of courthouse complex security, and Steve Blausey, head of county maintenance. “It’s such a small area out there, they can’t hold ceremonies,” Eaton said of veterans groups. “We want a presentable, honorable area.” Some of the monuments to veterans are quite worn by the weather, and some recent wars are not recognized in the current memorial area on the west corner of the lawn in front of the courthouse. Eaton and Blausey hope the project can be completed in time for the county’s bicentennial in 2020. The estimated cost for the project is $300,000. The preliminary plans call for the cleaning and moving of the existing monuments on the grounds, plus the addition of others. The memorial area will remain on the west side of courthouse front lawn, but will be expanded. A retaining wall with wrought iron fence is proposed along the North Prospect Street sidewalk. Lining that area will be six monuments – one for Civil War veterans, one for World War I and World War II, one for the Korean War, one for the Vietnam War, and one for Persian Gulf wars. Space will be left for a memorial to future wars. Currently there is no monument for post 9/11 veterans. “We need to honor those veterans,” Eaton said. “And we need the ability to expand. Unfortunately, there will be future conflicts.” Further to the east in the veterans memorial area will be a Gold Star memorial and the Congressional Medal monument. Benches are planned along the sidewalk leading to the courthouse, and a couple picnic tables are planned for under the large tree near the courthouse. “We’re saving the big tree,” Blausey told the commissioners. The city arborist inspected the tree and said it’s good for another 50 years, he added. However, some of the smaller ornamental trees will have to be removed. Plans call for the entire memorial area to be concrete, possibly stamped or colored. “It’s going…

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Living History Day remembers service in World War I

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News World War I took its toll on Wood County. Seventy-three young men, some still teenagers, died while in service in the war. All were remembered Sunday at the Living History Day at Oak Grove Cemetery. They were clerks, teachers, and many farmers and farmhands. When the United States entered the war in 1917, they answered the call by local recruiters to enlist, and they headed to France. But the majority of those who died in uniform in the war never made it to France. Disease, especially pneumonia and influenza, were as much an enemy as Germany. Those attending the annual event heard from them, or their bereaved parents. Those not given full presentations had their lives and deaths encapsulated in a few sentences and read solemnly by a troupe of high school students, not much younger than the dead soldiers. That so many of the family names were familiar, only brought the tragedy of the war closer to home. The first to go over there was a woman, Margaret Lehmann. She joined a contingent of Red Cross nurses at the beginning of the war in Europe in 1914. She was portrayed by Cassie Greenlee, with a script by Hal Brown. First, Lehmann was stationed in France. There they saw how trench warfare, living in constant wet conditions, claimed the lower extremities. Infection set in quickly. “Our nurses do what we can to help them,” the nurse said. When her six months were over, and Lehmann could have returned home, she realized that “I knew somehow there was more I could do.” She was then moved to Serbia to a hospital with capacity for 554, but with about 900 patients. These were the wounded from both sides of the conflict – Germans as well as French, Serbians, Gypsies Russians and more. Disease swept through the hospital. ”It’s easy to lose heart and lose hope,” she said. Still “we had an impact. We made a difference.” When Lehmann returned to Bowling Green, she continued her work organizing and raising funds. Vernon Wymer, who was portrayed by his great-great-great nephew Hunter Wymer with a script by Keith Guion, was the first soldier from Wood County to die in combat in the war. He was the oldest son of his family, and had suffered his share of heartbreak with the death of his grandfather, a Civil War veteran,…


BG remembers its war dead on Memorial Day

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Greg Robinette, a retired Army colonel, said raising flags and flowers on Memorial Day is a fitting way to honor those who died in the nation’s wars. People also need to do more. Robinette was the marshal of the Memorial Day parade in Bowling Green Monday and delivered the keynote address. “We must be engaged in preserving freedom,” Robinette said in the ceremonies at Oak Grove Cemetery. “We cannot let it be eroded either by apathy or activism or else they would have died in vain.” The best way to honor “the sacrifice by our fallen heroes is by living the freedom they have secured for us.” That can be as simple as voting. It can mean volunteering at churches and schools, to share the history of our country, “and the positive impact hit’s had around the world.” And, he added, “we can pray every day that brave and patriotic women and men will continue to accept the challenge of wearing a military uniform.” More than a million men and women from the American Revolution to Army Green Beret Mark De Alencar, who died fighting in Afghanistan in April, have been killed in the nation’s wars. The war on terrorism, Robinette warned, will not have the clear conclusion of a treaty that other wars have had. Peace may elude the country, and continue for years. The commemoration started under blue skies with temperatures in the 70s with a parade that moved from outside the post office on Washington Street, down Main Street, then up Court and onto the Oak Grove Cemetery. Wreaths were placed at the war memorial on the grounds of the Wood County Courthouse. Music was provided by the Bowling Green High School band, and by young vocalist Evie Van Vorhis, who sang “America the Beautiful” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” The 14th Ohio Volunteer Infantry fired salute volleys in front of the Cla-Zel, at the court house, and finally at the conclusion of the ceremony at Oak Grove. The unit’s presence was one of several reminders of the holiday’s roots in the Civil War. Former city administrator and veteran John Fawcett read General Logan’s Order, the directive by General John A. Logan to establish a day to remember those “who died in the late Rebellion.” Also, Mayor Dick Edwards read Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Not everyone was comfortable with the tone…


Remember BGSU & what it stands for, Coast Guard rear admiral tells graduates

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For Rear Admiral June Ryan the path that led her to the Coast Guard was illuminated by the light of a television screen. She saw an advertisement for the Coast Guard at 3 in the morning – “the only time the Coast Guard can afford to advertise.” It featured the Midgett family from North Carolina’s Outer Banks who had members who served in the Coast Guard since before the Revolution. She decided she wanted to start her own tradition. As a sophomore at Bowling Green State University, she enlisted in the Coast Guard Reserve as a junior boatswain’s mate. Once a month she would report to the lighthouse at Marblehead, a lighthouse rich with history. It is the oldest continually operating lighthouse on the United States side of the Great Lakes. It had the first female lighthouse keeper and is near the site of one of the first rescues honored by the Gold Lifesaving Medal. Her career ended up taking her around the world, serving presidents as a military aide, and meeting world leaders, before returning to the Midwest in 2015 as the commander for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. In introducing the 1984 biology graduate at Saturday morning’s BGSU commencement ceremonies, Provost Rodney Rogers noted she was the first woman to rise from the junior enlisted ranks to become a flag officer. Ryan offered the graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences “four observations that led to my success and could lead to yours.” “Remember BGSU,” she said. The “B” stands for beacon, she said. “Be a beacon for others,” Ryan said. “So concentrate your talent to a single beam of light and then share it with the world.” That means being a mentor. And for those who wonder what a new college graduate has to offer, she said: “I can tell you there many people who want to be in your shoes and don’t know the path to get to a commencement.” BGSU graduates can help light their paths. Ryan said they must also have gratitude. Just as a lighthouse’s beacon is supporting by brick and limestone, their success is built on the work of countless others. That includes family and friends. It also includes those whose daily work doesn’t get much recognition – those who work in landscaping, the bookstore, the library, residence halls, food service, and the…


180th Fighter Wing partners with higher ed & Boy Scouts

THE 180th FIGHTER WING, OHIO NATIONAL GUARD The 180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard, hosted two community partnership agreement signing ceremonies March 22 as part of the Air Force Community Partnership program, creating mutually beneficial relationships between the 180FW and our local communities The signing ceremonies included two agreements: the Higher Degree Attainment Initiative, with five local-area universities, and a Memorandum of Understanding with the Boy Scouts of America’s Erie Shores Council. The Higher Degree Attainment Initiative provides additional education opportunities for 180FW Airmen while providing participating colleges with recruitment opportunities. The universities signing agreements include Bowling Green State University, the University of Toledo, Owens Community College, Lourdes University and Tiffin University. “These partnerships are critical because we need to work together at shaping our community now and into the future,” said Peter Holbrook, provost for Tiffin University. Holbrook said it’s important for the universities to provide educational resources to the 180FW Airmen to allow them to achieve more in their military and civilian careers, which contributes to economic growth for the community by providing a workforce with skills in high-demand jobs. “The 180th Fighter Wing considers education to be a critical part of the professional development of our Airmen,” said Col. Scott Reed, vice wing commander of the 180FW. “We recognize the skillsets and knowledge our Airmen gain from higher education directly translate to a more efficient, more capable mission ready force. Our Airmen never stop learning, and never stop reaching for excellence. Higher education is an integral part of that journey, and we are humbled and grateful to have such incredible support from local colleges and universities as highlighted by this partnership agreement.” The Memorandum of Understanding with the Erie Shores Council provides a diverse leadership model to local Boy Scouts through exposure to 180FW Airmen and leaders, fostering a spirit of citizenship and civic responsibility while increasing event support, enhancing training opportunities and building stronger community relationships. Some of the events hosted by the 180FW include merit badge clinics, camporees and the annual Construction City event. “The purpose of our partnership is to teach skills,” said Ed Frey, president of the Erie Shores Council. “Our scouts see the 180th as role models. You can’t teach character by talking about it. You teach character through folks who demonstrate it, and that’s what we get from the Airmen here. This is a huge opportunity for us.” The AFCP…


Air Force & School of Human Movement, Sport & Leisure Studies form partnership

From 88th Air Base Wing Office of Public Affairs The Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing has signed an Educational Partnership Agreement with Bowling Green State University’s School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies due to a mutual interest in the areas of human biomechanics and three-dimensional (3D) motion analysis. An EPA is a type of technology transfer agreement between a federal laboratory and an educational institution that enables the transfer or development of technological resources and applications, such as equipment, facilities and professional expertise. Under this agreement, AFRL’s 711th Human Performance Wing and Bowling Green State University, a public university in Ohio, collaboratively developed research projects to be conducted at BGSU. The 711 HPW loaned motion analysis equipment to BGSU, which enabled BGSU students and faculty to conduct research of benefit to both parties. Several research papers have been published regarding the multiple projects that were conducted through the equipment loan. “The purpose of the EPA is to encourage and enhance study in scientific disciplines. AFRL/711 HPW found that working with BGSU was mutually beneficial and validated the importance of partnering with academia,” said Jennifer Whitestone, biomedical engineer, AFRL 711 HPW. “Sharing technologies and assets with our BGSU colleagues offers a unique collaborative opportunity that can lead to new ideas, innovations, and solutions to help solve our current Air Force challenges as we help to develop the bright young minds that will become part of tomorrow’s workforce.” Access to collaborative resources allowed researchers to analyze concealed objects of various sizes in the torso and the changes that occurred to the size, shape and motion of an individual. The datasets collected are expected to result in improvements of defense and security processes for the military. Research efforts were also made in the area of simulated entry control point development for evaluating human deception and its influence on human dynamics when individuals were near a simulated air base, town or other restricted security checkpoint. When illegal objects made it through the checkpoint undetected, individuals received a monetary incentive of $100. Projects of interest to the School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies have been conducted to analyze soccer kicking and hockey slap shot techniques. Results from this research included a discovery in the differences between how skilled and unskilled soccer players use the torso when kicking and developing novel gait assessment models for a specialized non-motorized treadmill. “The…


William Hann honored posthumously for work on Armed Services Blood Program

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Dr. William Hann, a longtime BGSU biological sciences professor, had a history of helping others. Before his death in 2009, he taught biology for 25 years, was a dedicated volunteer to numerous local organizations, including the Boy Scouts, served as a military leader for 37 years in the National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve and transformed the military blood bank that has helped save the lives of service members worldwide. His dedication to the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) earned him a Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented posthumously at the ASBP’s annual meeting in October. His widow, Emma Hann of Bowling Green, accepted the award on his behalf, remarking how much he loved his work at BGSU and with the blood bank program. Before coming to BGSU to teach in 1967, Hann was a military policeman during the Korean War and then worked at the National Naval Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health. At BGSU, he taught bacteriology, microbiology and virology and was involved in developing the medical technology and blood bank programs at the University. According to Navy Capt. Roland Fahle, ASBP director, Hann was “a trailblazer” who “opened a door that never closed for many blood bankers.” He was best known for his work with ASBP’s Specialist in Blood Banking Fellowship Program, which trains clinical laboratory officers from all three branches of the Armed Services in the advanced, specialized blood bank topics necessary in the health care industry. Military blood bank fellows were scholastically empowered to propel the military blood banks worldwide into fulfilling their military readiness mission. As a mentor to hundreds, if not thousands, of biology students, he was known for excellent clinical and pedagogical skills. Four of his former students — Col. (Ret.) Anthony Polk ’74; Dr. W. Patrick Monaghan ’72, ’74, ’75; Col. (Ret.) James Berger ’83, ’85; and Dr. Jerry Holmberg ’84, ’85 — nominated Hann for the lifetime achievement award. They each had successful careers in the military blood bank program and previously earned the ASBP lifetime achievement awards for their own contributions. “His personal efforts resulted in convincing key members of the U.S. Army and the administration of Bowling Green State University into a formalized relationship in supporting research, training and education,” his nominators stated. In 1972 during a visit to the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, Hann, who was…