DAYTON - Jack Ernest humbly accepted the honor of being named to Ohio's Veterans Hall of Fame during ceremonies Thursday at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
"I accept this honor for all the veterans," the Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam said.
"I thought of all the other veterans who were more worthy of this honor than me. For all those guys ... for all the guys who never made it back.
Photo courtesy of Matz Malone
HUMBLED AND HONORED — Jack Ernest, center, was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame in ceremonies Thursday in Dayton. Ernest, a Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam, is founder and president of We Believe Ministries. Ernest, a Brooke County native, lives in Richmond. On hand were, from left, Ernest’s USMC escort; Col. Thomas Moe, director of Ohio Veteran’s Service; Ernest; Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor; and Ernest’s Air Force escort.
"I am honored and humbled," Ernest said.
The ceremony Thursday was held in the Southeast Asia display hanger of the Air Force museum. The centerpiece of the display is a B-52 along with the many other support and combat aircraft that were manned in combat operations in the Southeast Asia campaign.
Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, addressing the 15 inductees, noted, "We pay tribute to these exceptional and outstanding individuals who keep this country great.
"We can never thank them enough, not only for their military service, but for after, serving their country and community. Thank you for your service. You represent the best of our nation and the best of Ohio," Taylor said.
More than 700 friends, families and representative veterans organizations attended the ceremony for the 15 inductees of the Class of 2012.
The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame was established in 1992 by the Ohio Department of Veterans Services,
Past inductees include six Ohio veterans who were elected president of the United States and all Medal of Honor recipients from Ohio.
The list of Hall of Fame inductees include John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, George A. Custer, Curtis LeMay and many more.
Inductees from Jefferson County include Mordecai Bartley, a veteran of the War of 1812, inducted in 2006, and Richard E. Hoagland, A WWII U.S Army veteran who was active in veteran rights and veterans health care issues as well as a volunteer veterans representative in Jefferson County.
Hoagland is a member of the Veterans Hall of Fame Class of 1994.