Vets honored at nursing facility

By Scott Halasz shalasz@civitasmedia.com

August 5, 2014

XENIA — Will Rogers once said, “We can’t all be heroes, because somebody has to sit on the curb and applaud when they go by.”

Employees of Hospitality Center For Rehabilitation and Healing in Xenia collectively “sat on the curb” Monday when they honored 14 residents and three staff members who served in the military.

“It’s an annual event that we do to help honor those who helped serve our country,” said Kyle Hatfield, director of concierge service. “An opportunity to serve those who serve us.”

Hospitality partnered with Hospice of the Miami Valley in Xenia to make sure the vets — mostly from Greene County — received their due. The residents jammed the social area of the facility to celebrate with family and friends.

“They’re very excited,” said Executive Director John Flanagan, who served in the Army and Air Force. “They all have their veteran hats on. They all appreciate being remembered.”

Two active duty military members from the 178th Wing in Springfield helped pass out mini American Flags, pins and certificates to the veterans. Pat Cook, a Hospice social worker who served during the Iraqi War also helped honor the former military members.

“It’s a very big honor to be here and honor these veterans,” said Tech. Sgt. Dawn Evans, who had help from her children, Gracee, 7, and Kolton, 5. “Some of these veterans have never been honored before.”

A pair of World War II vets highlighted the honorees — John Beason and Charles Ehlenbach.

Beason, who turns 100 in December, was joined at the ceremony by his daughter, Sally White, granddaughter Missy Garringer and great-granddaughter McKenzie Garringer. Beason served in the South Pacific from 1940 through 1945 and was a communications specialist. He received two bronze stars — one for his work in the Philippines and one for his work for the Army brass.

“I did the talking for (the general),” Beason said.

Also honored were Darrell Adams (Army), Andrew Shine (Army), Ernest Bingham (Army), Ray Miller (Navy), Mary Oravetz (Navy), Clifford Whitt (Air Force), Paul Cramblit (Air Force), Robert Geyer (Air Force), Raymond Green (Air Force), John Saraga (Marines), William Reed (Honor Guard) and Richard Drake (Air Corp.)

Staff members recognized include Flanagan, Michelle Spehar (Navy) and Bill Kearn (Marines.)

Scott Halasz covers Xenia and Greene County for the Gazette. He can be reached at 937-372-4444, ext. 137.