Four veterans received their medals and were honored for their service May 9 at the Clermont County Veterans’ Service Commission.
Tommie Bixler, of Goshen, Alfred Harmon of Milford, Michael Hensgen of Amelia and Ronald Pottorf of Batavia were all honored during the ceremony.
“This is one of the great things I get to do, to honor the vets for their service”, Bob Derr, president of the Clermont County Veterans’ Service Commission, said at the ceremony. “We have four individuals receiving their medals.”
Derr introduced each of the four veterans and presented them with their medals.
“They are are hometown heroes,” he said.
Alfred Harmon served in the United States Air Force during World War II. He received the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four bronze stars, the American Theatre Ribbon and the Good Conduct Medal.
“This is one of the best surprises I’ve ever had in my life,” Harmon said. “This is a great occasion for me.”
Harmon said he served in the Air Force from 1941-1945, and served in England, Germany, France, Italy and Trinidad during World War II.
“I flew missions and saw a lot of different things,” Harmon said. “I was in the Battle of the Bulge.”
Harmon, who is turning 94 soon, said the medals were beautiful and thanked everyone for honoring him during the ceremony.
Michael Hensgen served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War and was honored for his service and also for being recently inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor.
Hensgen received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Bronze Star with valor device and the Air Force Good Conduct Medal with the Oak leaf cluster.
Hensgen was inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame in 2008 for his act of heroism in the Vietnam War in 1968.
In addition to his medals, he also received a plaque that will be hung at the service commission.
“It’s wonderful,” Hensgen said about receiving his medals and being honored. “I am more nervous today than I was when I got my medal in Columbus.”
Tommie Bixler, who served in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War, was not expecting to be recognized at the ceremony.
“I just came over here to surprise Al,” Bixler said. “This is a surprise.”
Bixler received the National Defense Service Medal, Navy Expert Rifle Badge and the Good Conduct Medal during the ceremony.
“Tommie, I would personally like to thank you for your service,” Derr said.
Ronald Pottorf served in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and also received his medals during the ceremony.
Pottorf received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with bronze star and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Pottorf said that while he has done a lot of public speaking in his life, he was at a lack of words when he received his medals.
“This is one of the first times since I came home from Vietnam that anyone has said ‘thanks,’” Pottorf said.
Reuniting veterans with their medals is just one service the Clermont County Veterans’ Service Commission provides. For more information about the commission visit www.clermontcountyveterans.com.