By Kristin Bednarski
Clermont County Commissioners recognized two servicemen who recently returned from Afghanistan during their Nov. 28 regular meeting.
Lance Corporal Benjamin Martin of the United States Marine Corps returned to the states in October, and Private First Class Cody Curless of the United States Army returned just a couple weeks ago.
Both men were honored by Clermont County Commissioners Ed Humphrey, Bob Proud and David Uible.
Curless and Martin were also recognized by Howard Daugherty, executive director of the Clermont County Veterans’ Service Commission, Clermont County Sheriff “A.J.” Tim Rodenberg and Tracy Braden with The Thank-You Foundation.
“I am very proud and honored to stand here with you,” Daugherty said.
Daugherty thanked the men for their service and presented each of them with a challenge coin. He also informed Curless and Martin about the veterans’ service commission and told them to stop by so they could learn more about their benefits as veterans.
Sheriff Rodenberg also presented Curless and Martin with a challenge coin.
“I am so glad you’re back and wish you smooth sailing in your future,” Rodenberg said.
Curless and Martin both returned to their families before the holidays.
Curless, an Amelia High School Graduate, said during his deployment to Afghanistan he helped train Afghanistan soldiers.
He said he appreciated support and care packages from his wife, Chelsi, and members of the community while he was away.
Chelsi gave birth to their son, Cayden, while Curless was overseas. When he returned several weeks ago he was able to meet Cayden for the first time.
“It was emotional,” Curless said about seeing his son in person for the first time. “It was great having the whole family there.”
Curless said it was nice to be recognized for his service when he returned home.
“It’s really great to come back with this kind of support,” Curless said.
Curless said he will be leaving on Friday to return to Joint Bases Lewis-McChord in Washington.
Martin, a Bethel High School and Grant Vocational School graduate, joined the United States Marine Corps in 2009 and deployed to Afghanistan in March.
While he was there, he said he worked on and repaired electrical components of warfare jets.
Martin returned home in October and will be marrying his fiancee, Megan Rossi, Dec. 1. He said they will go on a honeymoon before he heads back to the Marine Corps Air Station New River in North Carolina.
Martin also said he appreciated the support during and after his deployment.
“It makes you proud to know you came from a place like this that shows this kind of support,” Martin said.