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Honoring the Veterans coaching in Portage County


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


Veterans Day is a day designated to celebrate, honor and remember those that have served our country and fight to protect us and our freedoms.

Many have given the ultimate sacrifice.

We are lucky to have these brave men and women as our patriots and heroes.

Portage County is lucky to have some of them coaching our area teams and here is a deserving salute to them.



Streetsboro cross country

Military Branch: Army National Guard

Years: 2015-present

Title: Sergeant

Stationed: Guard unit based in Walbridge, Ohio.

Pride in Serving: I joined the guard to serve the State of Ohio and our Country. I take great pride in being a service member and being in a leadership role. It has taught me a lot of valuable lessons.



Streetsboro boys soccer

Military Branch: U.S. Army

Years: 2001-2008

Title: Sergeant

Stationed: Fort Bragg, N.C.; Afghanistan (2002), Iraq (2003) and Kosovo (2006)

Pride in Serving: Hands down, the best thing I have ever done. I loved serving, had the best times ever with the best men ever. Memories and experiences I will carry with me for the rest of my life.



Streetsboro boys basketball

Military Branch: United States Navy

Years: 2009-2013

Title: BM3 (Boatswains Mate 3rd Class); Petty Officer

Stationed: Norfolk, Va.

Pride in Serving: I served on the USS New York. I am Plank Owner, which means that I was the first crew on that ship. The USS New York has seven and a half tons of World Trade Center steel built into the bow of the ship. We commissioned on Nov. 7, 2009. I met people who lost loved ones during 9/11. I met people who survived the attacks. Serving on that ship and seeing how important it is to those families and the whole city of New York has forever changed me.

USS New York: Strength Forged Through Sacrifice. Never Forget.



Aurora volleyball

Military Branch: United States Navy

Years: 2007-2015

Title: CM3 SCW (Construction Mechanic 3rd Class, Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist

Stationed: Reservist. Spent 2010-11 deployed to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom

Pride in Serving: When you put that uniform on, you are representing your entire country. You represent all those who have served and given their life.



Streetsboro football

Military Branch: United States Marines

Years: 1997-2001



Mogadore football and Southeast softball

Military Branch: Ohio Army National Guard

Years: 2009-2016

Title: Sergeant; 15H; helicopter hydraulics mechanic

Stationed: National Guard Flight Facility in North Canton

Pride in Serving: I love our country very much and believe strongly in our shared values of freedom and independence. Being able to do my part to serve our nation is something that changed my life and gave me a greater sense of purpose and understanding of the privileges that we have as citizens of the United States. Additionally, serving in the military is a tradition in my family, with many members putting on the uniform. My father and grandfather both served before me and it gave me great pride to carry on that tradition.



Aurora wrestling

Military Branch: Army

Years: 2010-2015

Title: Company Commander of the 1st Support Battalion Medical Hospital in Sinai, Egypt; Multinational Force and Observers (MFO); Captain O-3

Stationed: Deployed to Afghanistan (2011) and Egypt (2014); Stationed at Fort Sill (Oklahoma) and Fort Campbell (Kentucky)

Pride in Serving: It is a family tradition. I will always carry pride in having served our country.



Streetsboro cross country

Military Branch: United States Marines

Years: 22

Title: Gunnery Sergeant

Stationed: Global — I traveled a lot

Pride in Serving: I am very proud of the service I gave for my country and the impact I had on others while serving.



Southeast boys basketball

Military Branch: United States Air Force

Years: Active duty 1998-2003; Ohio Air National Guard 2003-2015; Air Force Reserve 2015-present

Title: I am currently a Chaplain in the rank of Captain

Stationed: Although I have been sent all over the world, my permanent duty stations included Langley Air Force Base, Va.; Toledo ANG and Youngstown Air Reserve Station.

Pride in Serving: I think the initial pride in doing something that very few have done is what initially drew me to enlist. I have enjoyed the different adventures over the years, bu more than that, I have pride in the connections I have made with others and the shared experiences.



Crestwood baseball

Military Branch: Navy

Years: 2005-2013

Title: HM2 (FMF) or Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class or Petty Officer 2nd Class.

Stationed: I was a reservist, so I was not stationed anywhere specific, but I deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2010 (OEF 10-2) during the troop surge. I was attached to 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines. I was involved in combat operations in Kajaki and Lashkar Gah.

Pride in Serving: I think I am most proud of how far I was able to push myself physically and mentally. I cherish the bonds that I formed with the men that I was deployed with. I am also proud to call myself a brother to all the men and women who served before me. Many in much worse circumstances.



Rootstown football

Military Branch: United States Marine Corps.

Years: 1977-79

Title: Corporal

Stationed: Paris Island, S.C.; Cherry Point, S.C.; 29 Palms California; Japan, Korea, Camp Lejeune, N.C.



Field boys basketball

Military Branch: Air Force

Years: 2.5 years

Title: Security Specialist and Customs Officer

Stationed: RAF Mildenhall, England

Pride in Serving: It turned my life around and gave me a true sense of pride.



Mogadore wrestling

Military Branch: Army

Years: 20 years and retired

Title: First Sergeant, 1SG- E-8

Stationed: Ohio Army National Guard; mobilized in 2003 for Operation Nobel Eagle/Enduring Freedom; 2008 for Operation Iraqi Freedom; 2012 Operation Enduring Freedom

Pride in Serving: One of the most noble acts you can do is serve your country. I am very proud of what I helped accomplish during my tie in service. My greatest accomplishment was taking 180 soldiers to Afghanistan as their 1SG and bringing everyone home to their families.



Waterloo cross country and track

Military Branch: Army

Years: 1969-71

Title: E-5 Staff Sergeant; Field Artillery Digital Computer Repairman

Stationed: Deployed to Chu Li, Vietnam; 82nd Artillery Unit

Pride in Serving: I was drafted, and I was so proud to do my duty, but sadly not so proud of serving in Vietnam. Very ugly time in anyone’s life.

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