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Honoring our veterans

December 30, 2020

Ohio is home to more than 848,000 veterans, according to Ohio.gov. That’s about 7.5% of the state’s population and is the sixth-largest population of veterans in the United States.

Our veterans were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, and we honor them not just on Veterans Day or Memorial Day, but throughout the year.

USAF (Ret.) Major Morrow says the Highland County Honor Guard, which has around 50 members, participates in around 80 events a year. So far this year, 60 or so of those events have been funerals. “The Honor Guard provides military honors at funerals of veterans, including a rifle three-volleys, the playing of taps, and flag folding,” Morrow says. “We are honored to do this for our veterans as a way to pay our respects.”

In addition to funerals and memorial services, says Honor Guard Commander John Walker, the Honor Guard honors and represents the more than 3,000 veterans in Highland County by participating in flag postings; events and programs at schools, assisted living, and senior centers; the county fair; community events; and ceremonies on holidays such as July 4, Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Veterans Day.

The South Central Power Company Foundation recently awarded the organization a $10,000 Operation Round Up grant to help purchase a new transport van to replace an old vehicle that had lots of maintenance costs.

“It was imperative to replace our van to continue to provide this essential service in our county,” Morrow says. “We only operate through charitable donations, which pays for uniforms, equipment, gas, insurance, and maintenance, so we appreciate the grant from the foundation as well as other benefactors and donors who reach out to us on our Facebook page or in person. We are grateful and indebted to everyone’s generosity, so we can continue our service to the community.”

Community and civic organizations can apply for an Operation Round Up grant throughout the year. You can find more information and an application on our website.

From the January 2021 issue of Ohio Cooperative Living.