MERCERVILLE — South Gallia High School will be hosting its annual recognition of veterans, Nov. 8, and all area veterans are invited to the function.
The event is slated to begin at 10 a.m. and Ohio Department of Veterans Services Deputy Director Sean McCarthy is anticipated to serve as the event’s keynote speaker.
“This summer I went to see Bill (Mangus, VFW 4464 Commander) and this is going to be the 74th anniversary of the ending of World War II,” said South Gallia High School History Teacher Jeff Fowler. “Our World War II veterans are dying at a rapid pace. In June when I went up to talk to him, we had around 12 living in Gallia. Now we think we’re down to around five or six.”
“When I started doing this thing 10 years ago, I’ve buried all but what’s left and there were 28 when I got started,” said Mangus, referring to he and the VFW Honor Guard’s mission of presenting military funeral rites to Gallia veterans.
“So, we felt it was necessary to do this while we still have some of these veterans around, that we want to honor them and show them to our students because they changed the world while defending democracy,” said Fowler.
The co-event organizers said that all veterans will be honored for their sacrifices and service at the event, but they felt it was important to pay special tribute to the individuals who served in World War II as well as the Korean War.
“This may be the last public event we can get them all together before they move on from this world,” said Fowler.
Mangus and Fowler noted that many World War II and Korean veterans would be in their 90s.
According to dvs.ohio.gov,” Sean McCarthy was appointed as Assistant Director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services in 2019. McCarthy served as Chief Legal Counsel for DVS from 2015-2019. He previously served as a Judge of Franklin County Common Pleas Court, and was later appointed as a Judge in Franklin County Municipal Court. He spent more than 15 years as an assistant prosecutor for Franklin County, serving as lead prosecutor on major felony cases and as Deputy Director for the Drug Prosecution Unit. McCarthy volunteered for military duty after 9/11, and was commissioned in the Ohio Army National Guard. He mobilized to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, and deployed to Afghanistan with 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.”
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342.