Story Photos by: MAJ (R) Dennis P. Marshall
On November 13, 2023, Lorain High School Army JROTC Titan Battalion, commanded by Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Diego Maciel and Cadet Sergeant Major Ezekiel Mikusevich from 7th Brigade, was honored to receive an invitation to celebrate and honor the Ohio Veterans Home (OVH) in Sandusky on its 135th anniversary. OVH has served post-Civil War veterans since opening in 1888 as a Soldiers and Sailors Home.
Kimberly Lewallen, the Volunteer Services Coordinator, hosted the event and served as the emcee for the morning program. The program included speeches from Ross Matlack, the Superintendent of OVH, Deborah Ashenhurst, the Ohio Department of Veterans Services Director, and D.J. Swearingen, a Representative from the Ohio State Assembly.
The Titan Battalion Color Guard, commanded by Cadet Captain Janai Marrero, presented the Colors during the National Anthem, accompanied by residents and guests rendering honors. The Titan Battalion Honor Guard paid a solemn tribute to remind all present of the sacrifices of our service members listed as missing in action or taken prisoners during wartime. The POW/MIA honor ceremony is the hallmark of respect for the Titan Battalion’s Honor Guard, which Cadet Captain Kamryn Curry commanded. During the cake-cutting ceremony, Ohio Department of Veterans Services Director Deborah Ashenhurst, a retired United States Army Major General, praised the Cadets for their professionalism and dedication.
The Ohio Veterans Home hosted the Cadets for lunch before giving the Cadets a tour of the programs and facilities enjoyed by the honored residents. However, the day’s highlight was the Cadets’ visit with the Veterans. One particular Veteran, who celebrated his 100th birthday this year, received special attention not only for his role as a United States Marine Corps Aviator assigned to torpedo bombers during World War II but also for his invaluable service to the Nation. This short but meaningful engagement between our Nation’s heroes and the Cadets reinforced these Veterans’ hope for our Nation’s future.