SIDNEY — It’s a phone call James I. “Jim” Moorman, of Sidney, remembers making but he doesn’t remember a word he said.
Moorman was working on the computer when his phone rang. Seeing a 614 area code, he decided to not answer and let the person leave a voice mail. The message from Ohio Department of Veterans Services Director Deborah Ashenhurst asked Moorman to call her back.
The congratulatory phone call let Moorman know he is one of 20 Ohio veterans being inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be held Thursday, Nov. 7, at 10 a.m. at the Radiant Life Church, 7100 Post Road, Dublin, Ohio.
“I’m not sure what I said to her,” said Moorman. “I’m not even sure I said thank you. Surprised doesn’t even cut it (of the news).
“Than I sat there and started to think about all the other veterans who were nominated for this honor. I wondered what things they had done compared to what I did.”
Moorman said 145 applications were received for the hall of fame.
The Veterans Hall of Fame honors the work the veterans have done in their communities once their service to the United States was complete.
Moorman served in the U.S. Air Force from 1972-74. He then served in the Air National Guard until 1976. He also served with the Office of Special Investigation with Wright Patterson Air Force Base for four years. So he served in the military for 10 years.
He was a deputy with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office for a combined 28 years.
He is being honored for his volunteer work with the Dayton VA Hospice’s No Veteran Dies Along Team. After five years and 600 hours with the program, he then began volunteering with the Fisher House, which is also located at the Dayton VA.
“The Fisher House is for families of veterans who have come to the Dayton VA for treatment,” said Moorman. “A private organization builds the Fisher Houses on military bases. It’s like Ronald McDonald House but it’s for veterans families.”
Moorman said he enjoys interacting with the veterans and their families he has met through both programs. When he decided to leave the hospice program, he talked with the director of social services at the VA, who suggested the Fisher House to him.
“There was an interview process I went through,” said Moorman.
“Hospice taught me a lot about people and life in general,” he said. “I’ve learned what’s important and what’s not.”
He said you walk into the door of a veteran’s room, not knowing them at all. When you walk out, “you have a rapport with the veteran and his family.”
Working with the veterans, said Moorman, helps “keep me centered. I see other people’s problems and that makes min minuscule. I want to give back to the community and veterans are very dear to my heart.”
Moorman said the application process began when his wife, Deb, decided to fill out the nomination form.
“Along the way, Kathy Hayes, jumped in and helped direct us and gave us suggestions of what the product needed to look like.”
Hayes was the first veteran from Shelby County to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Mike Bennett and the late Thomas Francis have also been inducted into the hall.
Moorman is also a former member of the Shelby County Veterans Service board. In honor of his induction into the hall of fame. the Shelby County Veterans Service office will be closed Thursday. The food pantry will also be closed Thursday.
In the recognition that will be read at the ceremony, Moorman was also recognized for his service to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. He also helped Logan County develop its Vets to DC program.
“The community in which we live took care of my family with my career at the sheriff’s office,” he said. “I owed something to them for their support.”
Moorman will be accompanied to the ceremony by his wife, Deb, and children, Melissa and James R. His daughter is coming to Ohio from her home in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her son. Moorman’s son lives in Piqua. His siblings will also be attending the ceremony.
“They have all been very supportive of me,” said Moorman. “My sister told me that ‘mom and dad would be very proud’ of me. I’m not one to stand on a corner and say ‘look at me.’ I like to be in the background and offer support to make things better for the community.
“We were put on this earth to help each others out,” he said. “Sometimes we need to think about what’s important.
Wednesday evening a dinner will be held for the new hall of fame recipients. There will be media interviews and a question and answer time in which a video will be created of the honorees.
“This is a bigger deal than I’m used to,” said Moorman. “I’m in awe. It’s hard for me to wrap my hands around all of this at this point.
“This is a hell of an honor,” he said.
On Friday, all the hall of fame inductees will participate in the Columbus Veterans Day parade. Moorman said his grandson will ride with him on the trolley.
Moorman is currently the post commander for American Legion Post 217. He is also a member of Disabled American Veterans Post 48, Sidney, where he is treasurer; Catholic War Veterans Post 661, Russia, where he is the first vice commander; AMVETS Post 1986; and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1126.
“I’m torn about the ceremony as I won’t be here for Weldon Oakley’s funeral,” said Moorman. “As post commander, it’s my job to be there.”
But on that day, Moorman will hand his responsibilities off to another American Legion member and receive the recognization of a grateful state for his service to his county, state and nation.
Reach thewriter at 937-538-4822.