On Saturday, the 70th anniversary of Victory Over Japan Day, Colonel Timothy C. Gorrell, director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services (ODVS) presented 162 Ohio World War II veterans living in the Ohio Veterans Home-Sandusky with military challenge coins in honor of their service during WWII.
Seventy years ago, on Aug.14, 1945, the Japanese publicly announced the acceptance of the terms of unconditional surrender, which signaled the end of WWII.
“On the 70th anniversary of V-J Day, I am especially humbled to be in the presence of so many of our greatest heroes and their families,” said Col. Gorrell. “Each and every day it is an honor and a privilege to serve these brave men and women who sacrificed so much for our nation and the world.”
During the celebration, Col. Gorrell (U.S. Army, retired) and uniformed representatives from the Ohio National Air Guard, the United States Navy and the United States Coast Guard presented challenge coins to the veterans and thanked them for their service. Challenge coins have a long standing history in the military. Members of the U.S. Armed Services carry challenge coins that symbolize unit identity and brotherhood. Each piece usually bears unit symbols or mottos that identify the group they represent. The coins presented today said "Served with American Pride."
The celebration continued with refreshments and entertainment from the Andrews Sisters band.
The Ohio Veterans Home in Georgetown will hold their WWII celebration in September, the month the official surrender document was signed.
The Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Home opened in 1888 to serve veterans from the Civil War. Today, the Ohio Veterans Homes continue the tradition of “Serving those who Served” by providing independent living and long term care services to Ohio’s war-time veterans from all branches of the military. The Homes are located in Sandusky and Georgetown Ohio. To learn more visit http://dvs.ohio.gov/VETERANS_HOMES or call 1-866-OhioVet.
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Ohio's World War II statistics:
More than 693,000 Ohioans answered the call to serve in World War II
More than 16,800 Ohioans made the ultimate sacrifice
More than 41,000 veterans of the WWII era live in Ohio today
Ohio is home to more than 877,000 veterans, the sixth largest veteran population in the nation.