The Coshocton County Beacon November 25, 2021 - Page 11

November 25 , 2021 The Beacon • 11

Honor guard holds its celebration dinner

By Josie Sellers
Members of the Coshocton County Honor Guard gathered together on Nov . 16 for their annual participation dinner . The event was canceled in 2020 due to COVID , so members received recognition for their service over the past two years .
For every 100 military funerals attended , the guard members receive a certificate . Sixteen certificates were presented to the following for reaching funeral milestones : Tom Apple , 500 and 600 ; Rick Cullison , 200 ; Tom Dile , 800 ; Dave Dilly , 800 and 900 ; Jerry Green , 600 and 700 ; James Groves , 400 ; Tony Jaqua , 100 ; Darryl Jensen , 500 and 600 ; Don Kennedy , 700 ; Gary Kilpatrick , 600 ; Dean Leas , 300 ; Jack Patterson , 900 and 1,000 ; Joe Simmons , 200 ; Ed Skerness , 300 ; Elmer Wright , 600 ; and
John Wright , 200 .
“ Congratulations to all these guys who got certificates ,” said Jack Patterson , commander of the Coshocton County Veterans Council . “ We do 60-70 funerals a year .”
The honor guard was at 63 military funerals in 2019 , 67 in 2020 and 48 in 2021 as of Oct . 31 .
In addition to honor guard members and their guests , the dinner also was attended by representatives from the local funeral homes and the Blue Star Mothers .
“ It ’ s been a rough couple of years for everybody ,” Jesse Fischer from Fischer Funeral Home in Warsaw said . “ We ’ ve had to do things different ways , and you guys accommodated us . You guys being able to continue to do what you do is very much appreciated .”
Patterson said the

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honor guard has suspended its funeral home walkthroughs since COVID and also has the American flag prefolded . “ We wanted to cut exposure time but still make sure our veterans were properly honored for their service ,” he said .
Bill Given from Given-Dawson-Paisley Funeral Home said they are blessed to be associated with such a caring group of people .
Darcie Moore from The Miller Funeral Home and Todd Free from Free Funeral Home both thanked the group for all they do .
Prior to dinner being served , honor guard member Gary Kilpatrick gave an invocation . “ It ’ s an honor and a privilege to serve with my brothers on the honor guard ,” he said .

Keene honors veterans

Sophia Sellers
Asher Freeman and Julia Adams place a wreath at the bottom of the American flag while members of the Coshocton County Honor Guard watch .
By Josie Sellers
Keene Elementary School celebrated Veterans Day with special guests on Nov . 15 .
The Coshocton County Honor Guard was present at the school for its morning program , and students were allowed to invite veterans in their lives to attend the event .
Jack Patterson , chaplain for the honor guard , said they attend military funerals for Coshocton
County veterans to give them a final honor . The group plays taps for the veteran , fires three volleys from their rifles and presents the family with a flag .
“ There are 30 of us on the roster , and 15-16 usually show up for each service ,” Patterson said . “ On average we do 70 military funerals every year in all types of weather and all times of the day .”
Veterans in attendance were then introduced , and
four sixth-graders shared their essays reflecting on what it means to be an American . Julia Adams , Darius DeLaRosa , Asher Freeman and Abrielle Thomas each reflected on freedom of speech , freedom of choice and right to do things like vote . Freeman wrapped his up with some kind words for all veterans .
“ Thank you veterans for making America great ,” he said .
For more information , contact Shane Harrah 740-502-3809 or jacksontownshipfire8 @ gmail . com

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