A community improvement group is working with veterans organizations to collect the names of Logan County soldiers who served in wars.
The Logan Empowerment Action and Development group is currently working to get every name of every Logan County soldier who served in combat.
The names are being collected so that those combat veterans can be honored by having their names inscribed on a plaque in the new Logan County Commission building, which sits across the street from the Logan County Courthouse.
LEAD founder U.S. Army Maj. Richard Ojeda said he expects the project to take about a year because there are so many names and he wants people to have a chance to get their information in for the plaque.
“We want to give them the maximum time to be able to get their names in and we continue to get emails asking for more information,” Ojeda said. “I’m sending people to the Veterans Center in Henlawson or the American Legion Post 19 under the Bowling Alley. We are still collecting names of all those who served in any conflict.”
Ojeda said people give the names of veterans who served in a conflict also have to present proof of their service in a war to be included on the plaque.
“They have to show the documentation or some type of medal, like the Purple Heart, that states the soldier was in the combat zone,” Ojeda said. “The soldiers would have had to serve in combat in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan. This is for any veteran who served in any conflict, who was in the theater of combat. A person who served as an instructor at Fort Leonardwood, Mo., would not count, because he didn’t leave the states. He had to have a set of orders that showed he was in the theater of combat.”
Ojeda has served in combat duty in twice in Iraq, and one tour of duty in Jordan and Afghanistan. He is also a Cold War veteran, because he was a brand new private in Germany before its reunification. He also served in Korea for a year during one of the most turbulent times and engaged in a firefight with North Koreans.
His combat service makes the project near and dear to his heart.
“I’m a combat soldier,” Ojeda said. “So that’s my job to go out there and do those things. I am honored to get to do this.”
The Logan County Commission started the project several weeks ago. Logan County Commission President Danny Godby said he thought it would be fitting to honor the soldiers who served in wars by putting their name on a plaque that will hang in the county commission building.
Ojeda then picked up the project and has been running with it.
Persons who have information on veterans who served in conflicts can call the American Legion Post 19 at 304-752-4941 or the Veterans Center in Henlawson at 304-752-4453.
To contact Staff Writer Michael Browning, call 304-752-6950, extension 309, or email him at email@example.com.