Wednesday, Jul 27, 2016
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Barbara Hendel

A special thanks to the military

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    Frances Christoph, left, and Richard Christoph, center left, with their daughter Sue Goetz, center right, and son-in-law Mike Goetz during this year's Armed Service Recognition and Appreciation Dinner and Dance.

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    From left, event chairman Mike Goetz, Air Force Col. Steven Nordhaus, Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Charles Bright, Marine Sgt. Brett Brice, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Vidal Valentin, and University of Toledo R.O.T.C. Cadet Capt. Tyler Akers at this year's Armed Service Recognition and Appreciation Dinner and Dance at the Toledo Club.

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Frances Christoph, left, and Richard Christoph, center left, with their daughter Sue Goetz, center right, and son-in-law Mike Goetz during this year's Armed Service Recognition and Appreciation Dinner and Dance.

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This is the big day of the year for a feast with family and friends. But it is also a time to be thankful for what one has. Over the years, I have come to appreciate wealth — not the monetary kind — I possess of family, friends, health, and freedom. So today I’m writing about a tribute to those who are serving our country so that we may enjoy our freedom.

Members of the military were honored during the annual Armed Services Recognition and Appreciation Dinner Nov. 17 at The Toledo Club. Young men and women in crisp dress uniforms with impeccable manners joined veterans and proud family and club members for an elegant feast at white, linen-covered tables centered with red roses. A trumpet beckoned everyone to the dining room where a drum roll signaled the start of the program and welcoming by event chairman Mike Goetz.

A heart-felt invocation was followed by the presentation of the colors and “The National Anthem.” Gratitude and respect for these service members and what they represent brought tears to many eyes, including mine.

Front and center, was a small table in honor of prisoners of war and soldiers who are missing in action. Lt. Haraz N. Ghanbari, of the Navy explained its significance:

Small for the frailty of one serviceman alone, white for the purity of his intentions, a single red rose for the loved ones waiting for his return, a red ribbon for the determination of thousands to get an accounting for our missing, a candle for the unconquerable spirit of the POW, a slice of lemon for the bitter fate, salt for the tears, an inverted glass and empty chair for they can not be with us tonight.

Guests from each branch of the military were introduced as their theme songs were played: Marines, Army, First Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment, Air Force, the Navy, and the Coast Guard.

After dinner and dancing, many migrated to the Sports Grill and Tavern to share stories.

The evening was made possible thanks to sponsors that included The Blade, The Hylant Group, the University of Toledo, Jim Knapp, Larry Ryczek, Mike Hensien, Mike Holmes, and the nearly 50 dinner sponsors including club president Joseph Zerbey IV, president and general manager of The Blade. Thanks go to committee members Mr. Goetz, Bruce Foster, Bob Lynch, David Quinn, Jim Knapp and Thomas Uhler.

Most of all, thanks to all of our servicemen, current and past.

Honorees were:

United States Marine Corps Color Guard-

Sergeant Joy John Valeriano

Corporal Scot Arnold

Lance Corporal Zachary Garcia

Lance Corporal Robert McBee

United States Marines:

Captain Charles Hayter

Sergeant Shawn Campbell and Ms. Shannon Ferguson

Sergeant Brett Brice and Mrs. Gabriel Brice

Lance Corporal Shawn Baker

United States Army

Toledo Army Recruiting Company:

Captain Joseph A. Chavis

ROTC University of Toledo:

Major William C. Wedley and Natasha Wedley (Mrs.?)

Cadet Captain David Hritz

Cadet Captain Tyler Akers

First Batalion, 148th Infantry Regiment-

Sergeant First Class Wesley Martz and Mrs. Carey Martz

Seargeant Julian Verdungo and Mrs. Laura Verdungo

Sergeant Aaron Zdawczyk and Mrs. Sarah Zdawczyk

United States Air Force

Colonel Steven S. Nordhaus, Commander, 180th Fighter Wing, and Mrs. Shannon Nordhaus

Major Bentley, Executve Officer, and Mrs. Sue Bentley

Colonel Scott Reed and Mrs Mary Reed

Colonel William Giezie and Mrs. Jennifer Giezie

Commander Master Sergeant Tracy Troxel and Mrs. Cheryl Troxel

LTC Chris Belli, 112th Fighter Squadron, Assistant Director of Operations, and Mrs. Marney Belli.

United States Navy-

Commanding Officer, of NOSC Toledo: LCDR Vidal Valentin, and Mrs. Yenny Camargo and Ms. Andrea Camargo

Lt. JG Haraz N. Ghanbari, USN, Military and Media Liaison, University of Toledo

United States Coast Guard-

LCDR Charles J. Bright, Commanding Officer, and Mrs. Sarah Bright

LT John E. Adkins, Executive Officer

MST2 Peter Uselton and Ms. Emily Ford

BMCS Jay Galazin, Station Toledo Bay View

MBI Stephen Loudermilk, Station Toledo Bay View and PO3 Jessica Loudermilk (Retired USCG)

MKI John Curtin, Toledo Bay View, and Mrs. Nicol Curtin

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