(A slide show of scenes from the Purple Heart ceremony is at the end of this story.)
LISBON, Ohio — County fairs aren’t all just cows and cotton candy. The Columbiana County Fair presented a moving tribute to veterans in the county who have received the Purple Heart in front of a packed grandstand crowd Aug. 8.
Fourteen veterans — representing World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War — were presented with a handmade, red, white and blue quilt or afghan spotlighting the Purple Heart award. A brief bio of each man’s service was also read and the crowd showed its appreciation several times during the service with a standing ovation.
Purple Heart veterans honored at the 2010 Columbiana County Fair.
Charley Mike Stoffel: Served in the Army from the age of 17. Wounded between Normandy invasion and Germany. Was on the front line with the 28th Infantry Division. Earned the rank of Corporal, was a prisoner of war twice and has been awarded four Purple Hearts, plus 12 other medal awards.
James Bussard: James served in Austria and the European theater, being wounded on two separate occasions. He also received three Bronze Stars.
Harold B. Orr: Harold was a sergeant in the infantry division from 1943-1946. Landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day and was wounded in Julich, Germany, on January 23, 1944. Hospitalized for nine months in Belgium, France and England.
James R. Manley: James was wounded in August 1951. Of the 127 soldiers in his unit, only 27, including Manley, survived. He was seriously wounded by enemy machine gun fire, severing half of his left elbow, and causing a deep gashing wound and hole in his leg.
Stephen Chestnut: Stephen served with the 101st Airborne and 5th Special Forces in Vietnam and with the 82nd Airborne here in the U.S. Wounded in action and received the Purple Heart and an Oak Leaf cluster, along with five other medals during the Vietnam conflict.
Michael Nahod: Mike served from 1966 to 1969. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Presidential unit commendation ribbon, as well as six other medals. He also served on the Purple Heart Board past commander chapter 606 in Warren, Ohio.
Steven Tatgenhorst: Steve served with the Marine Corps as a machine gunner from 1969 to 1971. He was wounded in Quang Tri province.
Richard Kountz: Richard entered the Army in 1966 and suffered a severe head wound in December of 1967. Was again wounded leading the point squad on a combat mission near Phan Taet.
Earl “Butch” Hardy: Butch served in the Vietnam from November 1967 to November 1968, with the 3rd battalion, 9th Marines as a field corpsman (medic) and was wounded in February, 1968.
Richard Baker: Richard served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1969. He received a Purple Heart, with two stars, along with seven other medal awards.
Richard Clendenning Sr.: Richard served from 1986 to 1970 with the Army infantry and was shot in the left leg south of Saigon. He also received two Bronze Stars.
Wesley White: Wesley served from 1967 to 1969 and along with his Purple Heart, was honored as an expert rifle and machine gunner as well as being awarded numerous other medals. He was wounded outside Saigon in an ambush.
Blair Whitman: Blair served with the Marine Corps and joined in 1969 was wounded in Vietnam on August 10 of that year and spent more than nine months in the hospital. Hs unit (9th Marines) was responsible for the capture of the Ho Chi Minn Trail, yielding artillery weapons from Laos.
Pete Fraser: Served 1965 to 1998 in U.S. Army in Vietnam. In 1968, he was wounded with shrapnel in the leg. In addition to the Purple Heart, he has earned 28 other awards and decorations including the Bronze Star.
(For more on the ceremony, check out this commentary.)
This slide show captures some of the scenes from the dedication service.