Department of Veterans Services | Veterans Hall of Fame - Class of 2012


Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame

On Thursday November 8, 2012 at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor and Thomas N. Moe, Director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, inducted 15 members of the Class of 2012 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.
 
Bradley  |  Dean  |  Dixon  |  Ernest  |  Fillmore  |  Fornes  |  Fortune
Hartmann  |  Hayes  |  Heck Jr.  |  Knake Jr.  |  McHugh  |  Metcalf  |  Queisser  |  Snyder

Franklin County
United States Army Veteran
Vietnam War

 
David Bradley began his distinctive career of serving veterans as the Executive Director of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Department of Ohio (VVA). During his tenure, he played an instrumental role in accomplishing many statewide objectives that benefited veterans, including the award of a grant from the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) through the U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans Employment and Training Services, to help homeless veterans transition back to the work force, as well as the award of a federal Agent Orange Class Assistance Program grant which provided funding for social service organizations to assist veterans affected by this herbicide. David established the Columbus Mayor’s Veterans Advisory Board and served in various leadership positions in several veterans organizations. He was an influential committee member for the placement of a veterans monument at Port Columbus International Airport, and lobbied on a number of veteran-related bills in both the Ohio House and Senate. He also continued serving on many boards and commissions that have had a significant impact on veterans’ services, programs and recognition. David has been a tireless advocate for veterans in central Ohio.

Trumbull County
United States Air Force Veteran
Vietnam War

 
Following his retirement from the U.S. Air Force, Bob resumed his civilian career in Houston, Texas, where he served in several key capacities while working in the Mayor’s office. There he founded Job-Plus Inc., a program aimed at addressing the employment needs of inner city teenagers. Under his direction over 8,500 teens were placed in summer jobs during a three year period. Bob returned to Ohio in 1993 as the first Contract Compliance Manager for the Cleveland Port Authority, where he personally monitored contracts for the $94 million dollar Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum construction project. In March of 2004 he was appointed to the Warren City Council. In January 2011, Bob continued his efforts to serve his hometown community when he was elected President of Warren City Council. When asked to describe the personal initiative that has made him most proud during his tenure as Councilman, Bob beams proudly as he describes the “Annual Bob “Doby” Dean Coats for Kids Giveaway.” Each December a group of volunteers, that he assembles, give away about 3,000 coats to inner city kids with no strings attached. Through the program, a total of 30,000 coats have been donated over the past five years. In November 2010, while many veterans were in their homes surrounded by family, Bob’s thoughts were with those less fortunate. He organized and directed Warren’s “Gifts for Veterans in Ohio Nursing Homes.” This well-received, coordinated effort resulted in hundreds of dollars raised and hundreds of pounds of items being delivered to the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky. Service, volunteerism and encouraging others to serve have been a way of life for Bob for over five decades.


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Pickaway County
United States Marine Corps Veteran
Vietnam War

 
Robert “Jim” Dixon is a charter and life member of the Marine Corps League Detachment 830, Circleville, Ohio. He has held several offices in the organization, was named Marine of the Year, and received two Distinguished Citizen Awards from the Department of Ohio Marine Corps League. He is also a member of the American Legion Post 134, VFW Post 3331 and an active member of AMVETS Post 2256. Jim established the AMVETS Post 2256’s Honor Guard, which he also commands, ensuring that every deceased veteran’s family in and around Pickaway County who desires military honors receives them. He was also instrumental in helping design and build the AMVETS Post 2256 Service Flag Memorial. With the honor guard, Jim also teaches flag etiquette to Boy Scouts and school children and instructs them on how to properly fold the American flag. Jim visits fellow veterans both housebound and in nursing homes, volunteers at the Chillicothe VA Medical Center, works the kitchen during the Marine Corps League’s fundraisers and puts up flags poles and flags for his fellow disabled veterans. Jim also freely gives both his funds and time to help veterans with vehicle problems and privately assists the families of indigent veterans pay off funeral expenses. His many actions attest to the positive impact Jim has had on veterans and his community.

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Jefferson County
United States Marine Corps Veteran
Vietnam War

 
After being discharged from the Marines, Jack Ernest returned home and planned to live a normal life. But Jack’s life changed drastically when he and his wife Patsy were involved in a serious motorcycle/car accident. During his recovery he was called into the ministry, and in March of 1988, Jack founded Welcome Home Ministries, Inc. The ministry was initially founded to work with Vietnam veterans and other veterans through counseling and assistance to help them with daily living while advocating for them in the community. Partnering with other ministers and their ministries, Jack later expanded Welcome Home Ministries into a worldwide ministry of peace and reconciliation. During this period he returned to the country of Vietnam over 40 times to assist the poor in many ways and to care for orphans and those with leprosy. In 2001, the ministry worked with Operation Blessing International and health care professionals for a two-week period to conduct humanitarian operations and varied health care outreaches. Jack was also recognized as Jefferson County Veteran of the Year in 2007 in honor both of his care for those in Vietnam and his continued service to veterans back home. Jack is currently the Founder and President of We Believe Ministries, Inc. He continues to travel throughout the United States to provide a positive light and advocate for veterans everywhere.


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Ottawa County
United States Navy Veteran
World War II

 
Harold Fillmore was honored as Ottawa County Veteran of the Year for 2011 for his 58 years of selfless service as a veterans’ advocate. After his return from war, he became a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8732 where he held many prominent positions. Harold was also an Assistant Scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts and taught them patriotism, courage, self-reliance and many other positive values. He has participated in hundreds of funerals to provide military honors for other veterans, and has designed and built several hundred flag cases to contain the burial flags of veterans. Harold also served his community of Oak Harbor as an elected official on the Zoning Board of Appeals and as a volunteer on the Oak Harbor Tree Commission. He spearheaded a project to plant trees throughout the village to help promote beauty, civic pride and awareness of local history. He was also instrumental in the planning, design and construction of a Veterans Circle in Oak Harbor. Throughout his life, Harold has been actively involved in the celebration of veterans’ accomplishments and in the commemoration of their sacrifices.


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Montgomery County
United States Marine Corps Veteran
World War II

 
In addition to raising two sons of their own, Lawrence “Vic” Fornes and his wife also took care of foster children for over 20 years. The Fornes family ultimately adopted two of their foster children and raised another child as a permanent foster child. Vic served the Dayton community as president of his parish council and as athletic director of boys’ and girls’ activities. He was active in the Catholic Youth Organization and coached several of their boys’ baseball teams and a girls’ softball team. Vic was the Cubmaster for Pack 274 and directed the sports activities for the Cub Scouts. He is an active volunteer at Hospice of Dayton, delivering medications and supplies to terminally-ill patients in their homes. He has also transported patients to their hospital appointments, assisted in the medical records department, and in particular has assisted veterans who are patients at the hospice. He has been a volunteer for the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program of Dayton, delivering and escorting those who needed assistance. He also has helped out at the Dayton LaSertoma Club, a service club dedicated to helping others in the community, including the George Foster Home for Boys, the YW Organization for Abused Women and Artemis, a place for victims of domestic violence. Vic is a “can-do” person who truly symbolizes the meaning of unselfishness.


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Montgomery County
United States Army Veteran
Vietnam War

 
James Fortune is a small business owner who donated over $500,000 of equipment and supplies to those groups and agencies in the Dayton community with the greatest need. As a volunteer at the Dayton VA Medical Center campus, he accumulated over 20,000 certified volunteer hours at the hospital and the Dayton National Cemetery. Specifically, he has provided the entrée and has also cooked the Quality of Life Dinner for hospice residents and their families at the Dayton VA Medical Center, serving up to 50 individuals. In addition, he has prepared meals for the homeless, nursing home residents and mental health residents. James is a double amputee who, as a volunteer, uses his knowledge and experience to help other amputees at the Dayton VA Medical Center. James has held district, state and national offices with the Disabled American Veterans, and serves as the CEO of the Dayton National Cemetery Memorial Committee. He is currently the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department Chairman for the VA Volunteer Services. He was recently named “Military Assistance Program” 1st Member of the Year at the 2012 VFW State Convention. James continues to display leadership, excellent decision-making skills, unselfish care and support and a deep compassion for veterans and their families.


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Montgomery County
United States Navy Veteran and Naval Reserve
Vietnam War Era

 
Richard Hartmann was a member of the Chamber of Commerce in both Kettering and Dayton, and served as president of the Kettering chamber. He was an advisor to Junior Achievement, board member of the Kettering Community Improvement Corporation and President of Holiday@Home, which stages a Labor Day weekend celebration each year. Richard was a member of the Kettering City Council for 12 years, and served as mayor from 1990-1997. As mayor he was active in the re-use of Gentile Air Force station in Kettering which had closed under BRAC in 1993, and attracted new employers within four years to provide a comparable number of jobs and tax revenue. In 1995 he was the catalyst for the donation of DELCO Park by G.M. to Kettering. He also served as president of the Kettering-Oakwood Exchange Club and was named Exchangite of the Year for 1997. Kettering Kiwanas Selection Committee named him Citizen of the Year in Kettering in 1998. Richard volunteered in various capacities for Capital University and was awarded the Alumni Distinguished Service award in both 1992 and 2000. He is a life member of AUSN and AMVETS and a 25- year member of the American Legion. Currently, Richard is a trustee at Capital University, sits on the board of a local credit union and is an active volunteer at his church. He is a veteran who exemplifies service to his community in many different ways.


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Shelby County
United States Army Veteran and Army Reserve
Operation Iraqi Freedom

 
Colonel (Retired) Kathleen Hayes continued a military nursing career by working at the Dayton VA Medical Center as Coordinator of the Hospice and Palliative Care Program. She is the Founder and Co-Chair of the Hospice Veteran Partnership (HVP) of Ohio, which is a partnership with the VA Palliative Care representatives from each Ohio VA working in collaboration with 110 community partners throughout Ohio to assure that veteran-centric end-of-life care is provided to the veteran in the community. In these efforts she has increased terminally-ill veteran access to hospice services both in the VA and in the community, providing a national model for end-of-life veteran care. Kathleen was appointed and currently serves on the State Hospice Organization Board of Directors Midwest Care Alliance, ensuring Ohio veterans have equal access to hospice care services. She is a Co-Leader for the National VHA Hospice Partnership Significant Interest Group, which is dedicated to education and mentoring the VAs on the best practices for veteran-centric end-of-life care. Kathleen also serves on the Board of Directors for the American Veterans Heritage Center in Dayton, where she works to preserve the history of VA campus grounds and to increase awareness of its importance in the care of veterans. Kathleen is also an active member of the Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs (NOVA), a life member of the VFW and AMVETS and is a member of the American Legion and serves as a volunteer nurse on Honor Flights to Washington, D.C. for Shelby County veterans. She has dedicated herself to serving veterans at all stages of their lives.


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

 
Stephen Heck is a retired Air Force pilot who became a science teacher. He is the recipient of two of the highest honors any educator in our nation has received: Steve was selected as an Astronaut Educator in the new Citizens in Space Program (formerly Teachers in Space) and was awarded a NASA Endeavor Fellowship. This program selects a limited number of teachers from across the country to undergo enhanced education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and to receive astronaut training which culminates in a sub-orbital flight. Steve’s efforts within the NASA Endeavor Program garnered him their two highest honors, the Leadership with Distinction and Research awards. He now mentors and gives presentations for NASA Endeavor at the national level which highlight the accomplishments of his students in the field of STEM education. At some point in time in the next 18 months, Steve will become one of the first educators in the nation to fly on a sub-orbital commercial flight with XCOR Aerospace to conduct student-designed experiments in space. Steve is a dedicated coach and a highly sought-after motivational speaker at school district, veteran and community events. His work today is dedicated to making our country a better place by educating and inspiring the next generation of scientists and astronauts.


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Cuyahoga County
United States Army Veteran

 
Walter Knake holds a Ph.D in clinical psychology and was instrumental in creating the National Vietnam Veterans Outreach Program in 1979. Dr. Knake is a frequent lecturer to professional and community groups, schools and universities on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In his practice, he has continually set his rates low to the point that it is possible for him to serve the majority of the his fellow veterans. Dr. Knake was instrumental in establishing Vietnam Veterans Rap Groups in various communities as well as within the Ohio prison system. These groups have served as a successful PTSD treatment model by facilitating veterans to open up and talk about their war experiences. Dr. Knake has spoken extensively to local schools on the experiences of Vietnam veterans. He has also testified in court as an expert witness on the effects of PTSD, and has often appeared before Veterans Administration Appeals Boards on the side of enhancing benefits for veterans. In his practice and in his life, Walter has been a staunch advocate for improving the mental health of veterans.


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Hamilton County
United States Navy Veteran
World War II

 
Navy veteran Mary McHugh followed her faith in 1954, when she entered the order of the Sisters of Notre Dame. Sister Marguerite McHugh taught elementary school in Ohio, Illinois and Arizona. She later returned to Ohio permanently, where she worked for many years at Catholic Social Services and at the St. Vincent DePaul Society, focusing on assisting the poor. She also served veterans, holding the post of volunteer coordinator at the Veterans Administration Voluntary Services for the Ohio American Legion’s 4th District. Sister Marguerite has volunteered in excess of 10,000 hours at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center in a variety of programs. She has also served the greater Cincinnati community:
she has tutored at the Hamilton County Justice Center to enable inmates to get their GEDs, worked on a suicide prevention hotline for 5 years and volunteered at Good Samaritan Hospital in the newborn nursery. Sister Marguerite was one of two people that revived American Legion Post 644, which was originally chartered in 1946 by women veterans, for women veterans. She has held several offices in the post. Due in large part to her efforts, Post 644 remains the only Legion post in Ohio dedicated to serving the needs of women veterans. Sister Marguerite has devoted her life to service, both to her community and to veterans.


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Montgomery County
United States Air Force Veteran
Vietnam War

 
Charles Metcalf was an Air Force Major General who later became museum director of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, retiring from that position in 2010 after having served for 14 years. He managed the world’s largest and oldest military aviation museum and provided technical and professional guidance to the U.S. Air Force Heritage Programs, which includes 12 Air Force field museums and 260 domestic and international heritage sites. During his tenure, museum attendance increased from 800,000 to 1.2 million annual visitors and the museum twice achieved the highest national recognition for a museum, accreditation from the American Association of Museums. He launched a major capital program that expanded the museum’s exhibits and facilities to include a 200,000-square-foot Cold War Gallery and a 60,000-square-foot Missile Gallery, as well as a new 200,000-square-foot building featuring a Space Gallery, President Aircraft Interpretive Center and Global Reach Gallery. As an Eagle Scout, Charles received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award presented by the National Office, Boy Scouts of America. This award is presented to Eagle Scouts who have distinguished themselves in their life work and who have shared their talents with their communities on a voluntary basis. Former astronaut and Distinguished Eagle Scout Award recipient Neil Armstrong presented the award. Additionally, Charles was named an Elder Statesman of Aviation by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) in recognition of his contributions of significant value to aeronautics over a period of years. Charles’ contributions to the field of aviation history truly place him in an elite class.


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Cuyahoga County
Ohio National Guard
Mexican Expedition

 
Robert Queisser spent his early life in railroad work before he left railroading to manage the Ohio Press Brick Company in Zanesville, thus embarking on a lengthy business career. While living in Zanesville, he served as president of the Zanesville Chamber of Commerce.
Robert later left Zanesville for Cleveland, where he became sales manager for the Cleveland Press Brick Company. By 1911 he was the founding member of the Hunt-Queisser-Bliss Company. By 1915 this firm had become the R.L. Queisser Company, with Robert serving as president, and son R.L. Queisser, Jr. as vice-president and manager. He then became an officer in the Ohio National Guard, and later served on the Mexican Border in 1916-1917. When his two sons were called to France during World War I in 1917, Robert patented the design for the Blue Star Service Flag, which would become the unofficial symbol for parents with a child in active military service. It was quickly adopted by the public and government officials. On September 24, 1917, an Ohio congressman read into the Congressional Record: “The mayor of Cleveland, the Chamber of Commerce and the Governor of Ohio has adopted this service flag. The world should know of those who give so much for liberty. The dearest thing in all the world to a father and mother are their children.” The Blue Star Mothers and Gold Star Mothers organizations were established during World War I and remain active today. Robert’s legacy can be seen displayed at homes throughout the United States where loved ones are deployed in the Armed Forces on foreign shores. The Blue Star flag can also be seen in paintings by Norman Rockwell.


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Montgomery County
United States Marine Corps Veteran
Korean War and Vietnam War

 
Jim Snyder served during time of war as an active Marine and then as a Marine reservist three times in 41 years, and achieved the rank of Sergeant Major. In his civilian career, he was recognized by a number of federal and local law enforcement groups for his 20 years of service as Security Director for the Southern Ohio region of a large banking corporation. He also served for 17 years as a member of the Kettering Fire Department. Jim was instrumental in establishing Ohio’s Korean War Memorial in 1988, which represents all five of the armed services and includes the names of all service members still Missing in Action. He remains president of the Korean War Memorial Association. Jim oversaw arrangements for the 50th and 60th anniversary commemorations of the Korean War in his area, which attracted foreign dignitaries and many community, state and federal legislators to the Miami Valley. Today he is an active volunteer on behalf of local veterans’ and civic groups, including the Chamber of Commerce’s committee on military affairs and the Board of Directors for the American Veterans Heritage Center in Dayton (to preserve the historic Dayton VA campus). He is a member of the local Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 31. Jim’s lifetime of service to his country and his community embodies the courage and patriotism that have kept our country free and strong.