By Kristin Bednarski
Clermont County Commissioners recognized Sergeant Derek Roat of the Ohio Army National Guard during their Dec. 12 meeting.
Sgt. Roat, a Glen Este High School graduate, returned from Afghanistan before the holidays and will be spending his first Christmas with his wife and daughter as a family since he has been in the service.
Commissioners presented Sgt. Roat with a certificate of appreciation and thanked him for his service.
Tracy Braden, with The Thank You Foundation, also welcomed Sgt. Roat home.
“You answered the call and gave of yourself so we could all enjoy our freedoms,” Braden said.
Clermont County Sheriff A.J. “Tim” Rodenberg and Howard Daugherty, executive director of the Clermont County Veterans’ Service Commission, also thanked Sgt. Roat for his service, and both men presented Sgt. Roat with a challenge coin.
“I just want to say welcome home and enjoy this Christmas,” Daugherty said.
Daugherty also encouraged Sgt. Roat to stop by the commission to learn more about the services they offer veterans.
Sgt. Roat said he enjoys what he does in the military, but was definitely glad to come home for a while.
“It’s good to be home now, it’s good to see my daughter,” Sgt. Roat said.
Sgt. Roat said he joined the Ohio Army National Guard in 2008.
“I’ve been home less than one year since,” Sgt. Roat said.
He said he first served in Iraq and then was deployed to Afghanistan.
Sgt. Roat said he was married to his wife, Megan, before he left for his first deployment to Iraq and the couple had their daughter, Phoebe, 1, before he left for Afghanistan. They are now expecting a second child in June.
Megan Roat said she is glad to have her husband home.
“This is our first actual Christmas together, not over Facebook or Skype,” Sgt. Roat said.
Sgt. Roat said he appreciates the support from the community coming home.
“It’s very nice to know it does matter to people,” Sgt. Roat said about being recognized. “A lot of times these days people aren’t happy with the military. It’s nice to know people care.”
Sgt. Roat said he will continue is career with the Ohio Army National Guard returning to base as needed in Medina, Ohio. Sgt. Roat said he will also continue work as a firefighter in Pierce and Hamilton townships.