New Franklin named Purple Heart City

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New Franklin Mayor Paul Adamson, left, accepts a September 15 plaque from Larry Emery, commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 699, naming New Franklin a Purple Heart City. Photo: Brian Lisik

NEW FRANKLIN – The town of New Franklin has become the newest Purple Heart City in Ohio.
“It’s a very special day in New Franklin,” Mayor Paul Adamson said at the start of the ceremony ahead of the Sept. 15 city council meeting that honored both New Franklin as Purple Heart City and a dozen. recipients of the Purple Heart Medal of the New Franklin Quartier Franklin.
Purple Heart Cities are designated by the Military Order of the Purple Heart as a municipality that honors and commemorates servicemen wounded or killed in action, according to city officials.
“The legacy of military service is well established in New Franklin,” said Adamson. “[Purple Heart City designation] is to honor what it took for these men to win this medal and also what it means for their families.
The presentation was made by Larry Emery, Commander Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 699. Emery is a United States Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam and won both a Purple Heart Award and a Silver Star, the third highest ranking in the United States Armed Forces. military decoration for bravery.
Other Chapter 699 officers present for the ceremony were Rick Stoltz, Terry Heintzman, Don Lloyd, Hugh Washer and Edmund Fast, as well as family members of the honorees.
Honored New Franklin veterans included:
√ Heintzman, who served in the army during the Vietnam War;
Fast, an army medic in Vietnam who has two Purple Hearts;
√ Dave Galloway, who served in the Army in Vietnam and has two Purple Hearts;
Jeff Gerstenslager, an Army paratrooper in Vietnam who has two Purple Hearts;
√ Paul Kukasky, who served in WWII and has two Purple Hearts;
Matt Hicks, a Marine who served in Afghanistan and has two Purple Hearts;
Dean Hale, a member of the US Navy in Vietnam;
√ Glenn Veppert, who served in the army in Vietnam; and
√ Gary Kindig, an army paratrooper in Vietnam.
Vietnam veterans George Andrella and Burt “Rusty” Miller, both Marines, and Gary Pinion, who served in the military, were honored posthumously.
Each of the Purple Heart veterans in attendance recounted their unique wartime experiences, with many recalling how their combat injuries were sustained just weeks after entering the war.
Kindig, chairman of the Ohio Veterans Memorial Park in Clinton, spoke on behalf of those who died, some of whom he said he knew.
“Gary Pinion took a lot of shrapnel in his chest and face and had little sight [when he returned from Vietnam]”Kindig said of the late Pinion, who died of his injuries years after returning from Vietnam.” [follow-up] surgery, they cut an optic nerve and took his sight. Her daughter once said to me: “My father has never seen me. But he had a “Vette”. He would ask his friends to drive him because he liked speed.
Kindig also shared memories of his childhood friend Miller.
“Rusty was a close friend – we used to sleep in his family’s barn and sneak up and go and wreak havoc,” Kindig said. “He only ever had a smile on his face and an incredible laugh.”
Miller’s mother, Jean Miller, added that even her son’s drill sergeant gave in to not being able to “wipe that smile” from his face at the end of training camp.
Kindig said he had been back from Vietnam 10 days ago when “we learned” that Miller had been killed in action in 1968. A grenade was thrown at an encampment, and Miller, a machine gunner, “grabbed him with his machine gun and I just looked up and it went off, ”Kindig said, recounting the incident as confirmed by a corps member (an enlisted member of a military medical unit) who witnessed it. .
“He probably saved three people that day,” Kindig said. “But I once said to his dad ‘they should give Rusty the Congressional Medal of Honor’ and his dad said ‘a drawer full of medals won’t bring him back.'”
Kindig, who said he has since struggled with survivors’ guilt, said it’s feelings like these that make places like the Veterans Memorial Park and the Purple Heart Cities all the more important.
During this meeting, the city council also approved:
• the purchase of a fully accessorized 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe four-wheel drive police vehicle from Tim Lally Chevrolet at a cost of $ 46,997;
• New payment from Franklin South Summit Shipping Center of $ 128,293 from October to December; and
• A renewal of the city’s contract with its self-insured health care provider, as Council continues to explore other health care options.
The council will then meet on 6 October at 6 p.m. at Town Hall, located at 5611 Manchester Road.

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