Department of Veterans Services | Veterans Hall of Fame - Class of 2010


Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame

On Friday November 5, 2010 at the Franklin County Veterans Memorial in Columbus, Ohio, Governor Ted Strickland and Bill Hartnett, Director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, inducted 20 members of the Class of 2010 into the Hall of Fame. The bronze plaques representing each of the classes inducted are permanently on display at the Vern Riffe Building, 2nd Floor located at 77 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.
 
Bodmer  |  Cunningham  |  Doan  |  Evans  |  Fellabaum Jr.  |  Guinn  |  Hudson  |  Inman Sr.  |  Medert  |  Miller
Otterman  |  Peine  |  Perales  |  Qua  |  Richmond  |  Ruth  |  Saunders  |  Smith Jr.  |  Smittle  |  Thurman

Hamilton County
United States Navy Veteran

 
James Bodmer believes in giving back. He has contributed thousands of hours of voluntary service to the police department, schools, veterans' organizations and other community functions in the Cincinnati area. In 2009, Jim received the President Volunteer Service Award for his lifetime of extensive volunteer hours. He has served in a number of veteran organizations including the Reserve Officers Association of the United States where he has held positions, such as President for the Cincinnati Navy Chapter, District Director and Vice President for the Navy, Department of Ohio. He was inducted into the City of Cincinnati Senior Citizen's Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2000, Jim was instrumental in developing the first Citizens on Patrol group for the College Hill community, in Cincinnati Police District 5. He received the Exceptional Service Award in 2002 and 2005 from the Cincinnati Police Department. He has been a member of the College Hill Forum, a voluntary community council, for more than 35 years, serving in several positions on several committees.

Licking County
United States Air Force Veteran
Vietnam War

 
Glenn Cunningham retired from the Newark Police Department after 27 years of service where he was a Patrolman, Detective, Detective Sergeant and Patrol Sergeant.  Glenn was honored in 1992 with the Maxwell House 100 Heroes Award.  In 1994, he became a Reserve officer serving as Captain and Chief.  Mr. Cunningham received the Chapel of Four Chaplains Award in 2002 for his volunteer service to his community.  He held many appointed and elected offices within several veterans' organizations; he was the Past Post Commander in 2005 – 2006 for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1060; he was the Third Vice-President and Judge Advocate for AMVETS Post #345, in 2003 – 2006; a Certificated American Legion Service Officer in 2003 – 2006 for Post #85; and a charter member of the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 55.  Glenn was the Founder of the Newark/Licking County Police Athletic League which provides youth programs with police officers and community involvement. He was a member of the Licking County Fraternal Order of Police #127 where he served in officer positions including trustee, 2nd Vice President, 1st Vice President and President. He was a member of the Newark Jaycees where he was recognized as the "Outstanding Young Man of Licking County" and received the "Distinguished Service Award" for two consecutive years.  Glenn also served on the Veterans Service Commission and was Past President.  His passion for veterans and his community was endless.


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Clinton County
United States Union Army Veteran
Civil War

 
Azariah Doan opened an office to practice law in Wilmington in 1853, and served as Clinton County Prosecuting Attorney from 1855 to 1861.  When the Civil War began, he was among the first to volunteer his services.  In connection with Judge R.B. Harlan, he assisted in raising Company B, 12th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry (O.V.I.) which was the first company offered to the State in response to President Lincoln's call for men.  Azariah continued to serve as an officer with the 79th O.V.I. until the end of the war.  After the war, he served two sessions in the Ohio State Senate from 1866 to 1867.  He was also a member of the Ohio Constitutional Convention of 1873-74.  In the spring of 1875, he was elected Judge of the Second Judicial District of Common Pleas of the Third Subdivision Court, including the counties of Clinton, Warren, Greene and Clark.  He was elected and re-elected to three five-year terms.  As an attorney, he never charged legal fees to soldiers or widows.  Judge Doan was known to have loaned out so much money without repayment at one point, he nearly lost his own home.  The story of Judge Azariah W. Doan, a Christian, lawyer, soldier, jurist, citizen and loyal friend in times of need, like many of his peers who have been honored before him, is one of the many stories that make up the fabric of our Ohio history.


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Gallia County
United States Army Veteran
World War II

 
In 1940, Bob Evans purchased a malt shop in Gallipolis and ran it until he was called to active duty in the United States Army in 1943.  In 1954, Evans purchased from Rio Grande College the Niamiah Woods Farm that would soon become Bob Evans Farms.  By 2007, his company made $1.6 billion in sales from its restaurants, operating more than 579 Bob Evans Restaurants in 18 states, and 115 Mimi's Café restaurants in 20 states.  Bob retired from the company in 1986 to devote himself to numerous causes.  He was honored three times by the National Wildlife Federation.  He also earned the League of Ohio Sportsmen's "Bald Eagle Award", the highest conservation award in Ohio.  He is the only Lifetime member of the 4-H Organization and also is an Ohio 4-H Hall of Fame Member.  In 1977, he was appointed to the Ohio Board of Regents where he served 13 years.  In 1978, Bob received the Governor's Award and later was inducted into the Central Ohio Business Hall of Fame.  His most enduring legacy is the Ohio Appalachian Center for Higher Education (OACHE), which he established through the Board of Regents in 1993.  It is centered at Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, and gives assistance to 29 Ohio and West Virginia counties.  OACHE places emphasis on "access to opportunity" and promotes higher education to both youth and adults.  Bob Evans was dedicated to encouraging more and more Appalachian residents, especially Ohioans, to go to college, thus leading students out of poverty and into a better quality of life.


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Monroe County
United States Navy Veteran
Korean War

 
Edward Fellabaum Jr. has been involved with the Boy Scouts of America since 1944. In 2000 he was awarded the Silver Beaver Award by the Ohio River Council. He has held many appointed and elected offices in veterans' organizations. He served as Past Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Belmont County Council (1999-2000), Gahanna VFW Post 4719 (1972-1973), and three terms with the Powhatan Point VFW Post #5565 (1997-2000). Ed's advocacy on behalf of State of Ohio Korean War Veterans directly resulted in his getting funding into the State Budget. He served as the Executive Vice President of the Department of Ohio KWVA and founded and served five terms as president of the Ohio Valley Chapter 70, KWVA. Ed was recognized by the Ohio League of Families of POW-MIAs in 1973. He publishes articles on local heroes in the news media in order to help bring awareness of veterans to local communities. He faithfully serves on the Powhatan Honor Guard and participated in funeral details. Ed works tirelessly to assist Veterans and their families who are in need.


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Warren County
United States Army Veteran

 
John Guinn is the President and Founder of the Thank You Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is "to show appreciation and express gratitude to members of the U.S. Armed Forces both past and present." To date, this organization has had an impact on the lives of thousands of veterans, active duty personnel, and their families through numerous appreciation events and initiatives. Through the Thank You Foundation, a donation of $350,000 was given by a local corporation to construct and donate a 40-foot mobile health unit to the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. More than 1,000 veterans have been enrolled in the VA Healthcare through the efforts of this mobile unit. John also was instrumental in helping the Cincinnati VA Medical Center organize two Welcome Home Celebrations (2008, 2009) for local veterans. The events received local corporate business donations totaling more than $300,000 and drew approximately 8,000 people. John is an active member of the American Legion Post #186 in Lebanon, the Association of the United States Army Major Samuel Woodfill Cincinnati Chapter, and the Blue Star Mothers Chapter #5 in Northern Kentucky. John is an admirable man who embodies the values of honor, courage and unselfish service.


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Knox County
United States Air Force Veteran
Vietnam War

 
Robert Hudson initiated a plan to create a Veterans Walk of Honor to commemorate all veterans from Knox County. The dedication ceremony of this memorial took place on November 11, 1998 on the Mount Vernon Public Square. The Walk of Honor provides a sense of peace and pride for the families of the veterans. He is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and AMVETS. As a member of AMVETS, he served as the Volunteer School Projects Coordinator and provided presentations on patriotism. At the age of 73, Bob became an active member of the Red Cross Disaster Control Team and has been deployed across the country numerous times since 2005. In 2009, he was awarded the American Red Cross of Knox County Volunteer of the Year - Disaster Services. Bob envisioned a place where people in need could receive a free hot meal and feel the warmth of community, so Robert established the Hot Meals Program, which serves hot meals at different churches seven nights a week. In April 2010, the Hot Meals Program commemorated its 10-year anniversary of service to the community. He epitomizes what it means to give back to the community and to his county. His continued commitment to voluntary civic activities and veterans' advocacy duties is unparalleled.


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Miami County
United States Army Veteran
Korean War (Prisoner of War)

 
Eugene L. Inman Sr. was a highly decorated veteran who served as a rifleman with the 2nd Infantry Division, 9th Regiment, 1st Battalion. He was a former Prisoner of War for more than three years in Korea, and knew the pain and suffering of war. He made it his mission to ensure that other veterans received the benefits they earned. He also reached out to widows to make sure they were aware of their benefits. Eugene was known as the Service Officer of Ohio. He helped more than 500 Ohio Veterans receive benefits and/or medical attention for the first time. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Korean War Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart and the American Ex-Prisoners of War. He was inducted into the Purple Heart Hall of Fame in New Windsor, New York in 2008, and was adopted as an honorary member of the Abate of Miami County, Ohio, Region 6. Eugene loved his country and would do anything for it.


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Ross County
United States Army Veteran
World War II

 
The life of David Medert has been and continues to be one of service. He volunteered for the U.S. Army during World War II. When David returned home he became a member of the Ohio Highway Patrol, serving in communities from Gallipolis to Mansfield. He retired at the rank of Assistant District Commander in 1981. Throughout the past 20 years, he has been very active in ensuring that veterans have been honored, from the restoration of the WWI memorial and the memorial to Colonel Richard Enderlin, a Medal of Honor recipient from the Civil War, to overseeing of the creation and dedication of the memorial to the veterans of World War II. David has been a member of the American Legion Post 62 more than 25 years. He joined the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) in 1988, and was elected National Commander-in-Chief in 1995. As the leader of this national organization of several thousand members, he played an important role in preserving our Civil War heritage by championing the need to honor all military veterans, and promoting the preservation of memorials to military veterans. David has been a member of the Free and Accepted Masons for more than 54 years, a member of the Columbus Valley of Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and an active member in the York Rite.


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Franklin County
United States Army Veteran
Vietnam War

 
Steve Miller served with honor in the Vietnam War and returned changed from that experience. He wakes up everyday grateful for his blessings and focused on what he can do to improve the lives of veterans. He was very instrumental in founding and establishing a City of Columbus Stand Down in 1994. Stand Down is a military term referring to a period of respite for active troops. It is a significant place where our veterans who are in crisis can come and seek services that are available to them. Steve has been a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars for more than 37 years and, over the years, he has spearheaded many programs. He also is a life member of American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS and Vietnam Veterans of America. He is a member of the Masonic Lodge, Chapter #689 and the Charity Newsies of Columbus. In 2003, Steve founded and is currently the CEO of the Columbus Veterans Beneficial Board which is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to numerous veterans' organizations and veterans in need. In May 2010, Steve was the first individual to be presented the Columbus Patriotic Service Award by the City of Columbus. He was recognized for his more than 25 years of dedication, and devotion to fellow comrades, the military community, and their family members in central Ohio. Steve represents the very heart and soul of our great nation.


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Summit County
United States Marine Corps Veteran
Korean War

 
Robert Otterman returned home from the Korean War, and used his G.I. Bill education benefits to pursue his degree in Social Studies. Soon after, he began working as a high school teacher while continuing his studies, and received a Master's Degree in Administration. Just two years after being elected to his first public office he became a high school guidance counselor. His care for our children did not stop on school property. He served as a father figure to countless inner city youths at the schools to which he was assigned. After nearly 30 years on the Akron City Council, Robert moved to state government when he was elected to represent Ohio's 45th House district in the Ohio House of Representatives. Through myriad civic contributions spanning 40 plus years, Bob has received many awards and honors for his service to country, state, and community. These accolades include the American Legion "Roll-of-Honor" for Distinguished Services to the Community, and being named an Honorary Ambassador who is Committed to Improving the Lives of Children World Wide by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. At the age of 77, he has been elected to represent the 6th Ward on the Akron City Council. Bob has dedicated his life to countless civic contributions and exemplary professional contributions. He has been a friend and advocate for veterans, the developmentally disabled, the environment, the young, the old and everyone who needs a voice.


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Stark County
United States Air Force Veteran
Operation Desert Shield/Operation Desert Storm

 
Leslie Peine separated from active duty in 1972 to attend seminary at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. He graduated and returned to active duty in July 1979 as a Protestant chaplain and served an additional 18 years in the Air Force. Chaplain Peine continues to serve the retired military community and veterans by providing chaplain services for funerals both locally and also at the National Cemetery in Rittman. Les serves in many capacities in veterans organizations. In the American Legion he supports Boys State and many local childrens and scholarship programs, and the Ohio Military Museum. He is an active member of Rotary, which supports a school for orphans in Uganda, and in Kiwanis, which provides "Kids IDs" passport type identification documents to many children at nursery schools and other public events. Les was instrumental in creating The Medal of Honor Memorial and Veterans Walkway that was dedicated in 2004 in Massillon. Chaplain Peine is a life member of the Air Force Association, and a member of, and chaplain to, the Reserve Officers Association in Canton.


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Greene County
United States Air Force Veteran

 
Rick Perales has been a community leader in Greene County and the Miami Valley since his retirement from the United States Air Force in 1997. He served on the Dayton inner city school revitalization program, and has been active and influential in the Miami Valley regional planning efforts. He also was appointed to the St. Joseph Children Treatment Center Board, an organization devoted to helping troubled youth. Rick served as a member of the Beavercreek Board of Zoning Appeals, before being elected Mayor of Beavercreek in 2002. As Mayor, Rick applied his leadership and technical skills to address city issues. His common sense approach to handling problems and his ability to listen to his constituents proved beneficial in successfully managing the issues associated with a growing and dynamic community. Rick's leadership and collaboration earned him the Jaycees' Ohio Outstanding Mayor in 2003. Rick won a seat on the Greene County Commission in 2005, and is committed to developing and maintaining jobs for the region. His impact has been recognized with his 2009 selection as One of the Most Influential People of the Decade in the Dayton Region. He serves in an advisory role to the Common Pleas Court Judges, assisting with selections and appointments to the Veterans Board. Rick's community involvement includes serving as the Greene County United Way Campaign Chairman, Beavercreek Rotary member, and a Board Member for both the Victoria Theatre Association and Greene County Habitat for Humanity. Rick is dedicated to making Greene County and the Miami Valley a better place to live, work and raise a family.


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Cuyahoga County
United States Army Veteran
Korean War Era

 
George Qua served more than 40 years with the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the American Red Cross. His principle efforts have been recruiting donors for blood drives. George has made it his mission to help bring the Scouting program to many of the underserved areas of Cleveland. His commitment to Scouting includes serving as a mentor to more than 200 Scouts who went on to achieve Scouting's highest recognition, the Eagle Scout award. For more than 36 years, he has served on the Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America – Greater Cleveland Chapter. This year, he received the National Hall of Fame Leadership Award on the 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America for his involvement on the local, national and international levels. George served as President of the Rotary Club of Cleveland at a time when it was the third largest rotary club in the world. He participated in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization of Greater Cleveland. His support of veterans is demonstrated by his Life Memberships in the John Towie Cleveland Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association, the American Legion, Korean War Veterans Association, 101st Airborne Division Association and the Association of the United States Army. George worked tirelessly as a West Point recruiter, mentored promising candidates toward academy admission, and has been tremendously supportive of cadet parents. He was appointed to the Ohio Department of Defense's National Committee for Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve, where he served for 27 years.


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Morgan County
United States Air Force Veteran
Cold War

 
Robert (Doc) Richmond entered the College of Veterinary Medicine at the Ohio State University under the G.I. Bill education benefits and graduated in 1960 with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. Doc is a member of the Southeastern Ohio Academy of Veterinary Medicine, District Nine and also the Ohio Veterinary Medicine Association. He served a four-year term on the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board. Bob also is a supporting "honorary" member of the local Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization and works to sustain DAV and the veterans it represents. Through his efforts as part of the local Airport Authority, a hanger was built, and the county was able to become the Med Flight location for the surrounding southeast Ohio area. Doc was one of the organizers and founders of the Morgan County Historical Society. He also serves as a board member and past president of the Opera House, a historic building constructed in 1890 and located in the center of McConnelsville, the county seat. Doc became a member of the Malta-McConnelsville Rotary Club in 1966 and has represented the club at both regional and international conferences. He also served as Rotary Club president and was instrumental in developing the Rotary Student Exchange program for the local club. Doc supports the youth of the county through several activities, most predominantly through his involvement with 4-H clubs. He also works with youths and adults at the Mary Hammond School which serves students who have developmental disabilities. Doc is most proud of being President of the Morgan County Library System, having a new library building built, and renovating the Chesterhill Library Building. His guiding principles are based on integrity, honesty and openness.


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Franklin County
United States Army Veteran
World War II

 
Bill Ruth was given the charge of embarking upon uncharted waters to build Ohio's first adult vocational education system. Through Bill's efforts adult vocational education was included in major and federally funded programs. He developed an evaluation system called PRIDE, the Program Review, Improvement, Development and Expansion of adult vocational education. Throughout Bill's tenure as an educator, Ohio's system of adult workforce leadership grew to national acclaim. Upon Bill's retirement in 1984, the Ohio directors that Bill assembled and trained, honored him by establishing the Bill Ruth award. This award honors adult workforce administrators who most exemplify the characteristics that Bill fostered and demonstrated himself – hard work, innovation, action, a "fighting spirit" and a passion for the Ohio adult workforce. For the past 20 years, Bill has been making historical World War II military presentations to local schools. He volunteered for the local Alzheimer's Association, the Franklin County Retired Teachers Association, and the Whitehall Credit Union where he served on the audit committee for 10 years. Bill is an active member of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the local chapter of The Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, Catholic War Veterans and the Third Armored Division Association. On May 9, 2010, Bill's meritorious service and educational achievement was recognized with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in Community Leadership by the Franklin University Board of Trustees and its President. Bill's motto is "You should always take time to teach someone."


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Madison County
United States Marine Corps Veteran
Korean War Era

 
James Saunders' very successful career with AT&T and Western Electric spanned more than 32 years with increasing responsibilities. He is an active member of the American Legion Post #201, and has served in just about every office and the 40 & 8s. He coordinates the local post Boys State Program. He has participated in Color Guard, Honor Guard, Firing Squad and Funeral details for the past 30 years. Jim also is a life member of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter #93. He has been involved with the Toys for Tots, both purchasing and delivering toys for children in need. Jim makes monthly visits to the Chillicothe VA Medical Center. He organizes events and provides necessary supplies for patients. Jim was a Troop Leader for Camp Fire Girls and coordinated Disaster training programs for the local community. He was very involved in the restoration and headstone rejuvenation at the Hampton Cemetery where many veterans, including Civil War veterans are buried. Jim believes that being an active and positive influence in your community should be a natural part of your life-style.


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Franklin County
United States Army Veteran
World War II

 
Bill Smith served as a Scout Master for Troop #333, and coached little league baseball. He served as President of the Board of Directors of the Reserve Officers Association of Ohio. Bill serves as a Service Officer for the Worthington Veterans of Foreign Wars Post # 2398 and was instrumental in initiating the One-stop program to post members. The One-stop program is designed to provide service members with assistance with any kind of problem. He is a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha honorary fraternity, Loyal Order of Moose, and the Worthington Free and Accepted Mason where he is a 32nd degree Mason. Bill is a noted speaker in his community on the price of freedom and patriotism. In 2001, Bill worked with the State of Ohio Veterans of Foreign Wars and the French government to award the Jubile de la Liberte to 39 D-Day veterans during a ceremony in January 2002. In 2003, Bill was inducted into the Military Hall of Fame for Heroism in combat operations.


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Hamilton County
United States Army and United States Air Force Veteran
Vietnam War

 
Colonel Nelson Smittle is a noted Military Analyst for local and national media, 700 WLW radio's the Jim Scott Morning Show, and WCPO (ABC), WLW and FOX 19 local media. Dean does morning radio and TV segments promoting veteran's issues and benefits, for the radio and TV audiences, in addition to current military news. He advocates for veterans' issues, and works with the local Cincinnati VA Medical Center to promote current VA programs. Dean is a spokesperson and lecturer for a Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which was formed to provide scholarships to children of special operations personnel killed in combat. Through his lectures he is able to generate money for the foundation. He is an honorary member of the Purple Heart Chapter #3620 and actively supports its programs. Dean is a life member of the Disabled American Veterans, the 82nd Airborne Association Cincinnati Chapter, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He regularly promotes local active duty military personnel who are scheduled for deployment, welcomes them home from the combat zones and attends local services for those military members who were killed in action. Dean has dedicated his life to serving our nation.


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Franklin County
United States Air Force Veteran
Vietnam War

 
After the start of the first Gulf War, Robert Thurman remembered the times he received care packages from home when he served in the military. Bob organized a program through his Lions Club to collect, pack, and mail packages to armed forces members serving overseas. He also organized through his Lions Club, a Night Out where local volunteers spent the night assisting homeless families with food and clothing. In January 2008, Bob experienced some health issues and had to have his right leg amputated below the knee. At that time, he learned the difficulties that amputees must face with insurance coverage for their prosthetic devices. He responded by creating Buckeye Amputees for Action. His goal is to help other amputees regain their ability to work and maintain their mobility and independence. For his efforts in helping amputees, Bob received the Mildred Henderson Community Service Award in 2009. He also was selected as the Lead Advocate for the State of Ohio by the amputee Coalition of America. Bob currently serves as the President of the Military Veterans Education Foundation, a member of the 15th Congressional District Veterans Advisory Committee, the Vice President of the Northland Community Council and various positions with other community groups. He is a member of the American Legion Post # 797 and served as its Legislative Liaison. Bob is a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post # 4719.