Veterans Day: Legislation and initiatives to honor those who served locally

By State Rep. Jim Buchy - Contributing columnist

America is the greatest country on earth and we live in the greatest state in this country. Our values and lifestyle could not be sustained without the sacrifice of the men and woman of our armed forces. The presence of the American military is felt in every community from Main Street to Wall Street. Those who serve and protect the United States should be supported and recognized for their efforts.

Honoring veterans for their service has always been a priority of mine. There are over 866,000 veterans in Ohio, 293,000 of these solders served in the Vietnam War. Historically, Vietnam veterans returned home to a nation that was divided about the significance of the Vietnam conflict and those who served. This reality is a travesty, as properly recognizing all service men and women is an important part of our nation’s responsibility.

As a result of the hard work and dedication of families and veterans in western Ohio, a bill has been introduced to recognize two fallen service members from the Vietnam conflict and their brigade, specifically, the 196th Light Infantry Brigade of Darke County. Robert L. Fowble Jr. and Jack E. Beam, both from Darke County, belonged to the brigade and paid the ultimate sacrifice in the Vietnam War.

If the bill passes, state Route 571 from the southeastern corporation limits of Union City onward to Greenville would be known as the “196th Light Infantry Brigade SP4 Robert L. Fowble Jr. and PFC Jack E. Beam Memorial Highway.” This legislation is a just way to commemorate their sacrifice and remind Ohioans of the significance of sacrifices made in the Vietnam conflict.

The families of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade have been very helpful in this process. Including all the members of this brigade in this process is important. However, a number of the veterans have been hard to reach as they may have relocated or have unlisted numbers. If anyone has any contact information for these men or their families, please call my office at 614-466-6344.

I will continue to support our military and our veterans. I encourage all Ohioans to reach out to a military member not only on Veterans Day, but every day. Thank you to those who serve, and happy Veterans Day.

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By State Rep. Jim Buchy

Contributing columnist

The writer represents the 84th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.

The writer represents the 84th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.