COLUMBUS — On the way to Washington D.C. with Preble County Veteran Services on Thursday, May 16, the bus load of veterans stopped at the Ohio Statehouse to visit with legislators.
Jon Husted and Deborah Ashenhurst were both able to say farewell to Preble County’s veterans as they headed off to Washington D.C.
Deborah Ashenhurt was appointed Director of the Ohio Department of Veteran Services on Jan. 14. In her military career and beyond, she has received numerous awards and decorations including the Army Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal and the Join Service Commendation Medal.
Ashenhurst was the first on the bus to talk to the veterans.
“I am here for you for whatever needs you have, to make sure that you are connected to your benefits and anything that we can do to help along those lines. Mostly, I am just so excited that you made this stop today, because I think this is a cool trip. I am very excited about this trip,” she said.
“I have been to the Nation’s Capital more times than I can tell you, but every time I am excited. Every time I look at the monuments and all that is there to recognize the services and sacrifices of our veteran’s, I get choked up every time. My favorite [monument] is the Korean Memorial.
“When we go to the new World War II monument, find the Ohio Pillar and make sure you get your picture taken, but take time to recognize all the symbology that is built into it, because it is very meaningful. It gives you the true sense to the thought that went into it.
“I’ve probably seen war memorials and tributes to service members in probably eight or nine different countries, but none of them stack up to what we do here in the United States to recognize and pay tribute to our service members. I am really glad you’re getting this trip, but take time to enjoy and interact with each other.”
On Nov. 6, 2018, Jon Husted was elected to serve as the 66th Lt. Governor of the State of Ohio. Husted served as the 53rd Ohio Secretary of State, the 99th Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, and a member of the Ohio Senate.
Husted welcomed the veterans to Columbus and thanked them for their service to the country.
“[We] just wanted to send you our best wishes and say thank you for your service. When you have a little more time to stop in Columbus, if you haven’t been to the National Veteran’s Museum, it is outstanding. It is a true treasure. I hope, someday, you will get a chance to visit that,” he said.
“It is an honor for me to step on the bus and say hello and wish you a great and enjoyable journey. One of the things I love most about my job, are all the different people you get to meet and all the wonderful things the people you’ve encountered have done out there to serve others.
“I talk about this wherever I can, service is the ultimate thing we do for each other. We take our god given talents and blessing and do with them to help others. I try to talk with my children about that and I try to talk to people everywhere. That is what I view public service as being, is helping people in their daily lives, lifting each other up, we all become better, and it is more rewarding.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH