XENIA — Six Greene County veterans received recognition at a special ceremony Monday for their service in World War II. Honored were William Ashren, Navy; Simon Rose, Army; William Ahrendt, Army Air Corps; Robert Penrod, Navy; Leslie Ashcraft, Army; and Radford Keene, Army.
Each honoree received a World War II hat and a medallion in recognition of his service.
“There are so few World War II veterans left … and we believe them to be the greatest generation of heroes,” Greene County Veterans’ Services Executive Director Chris Chrystal said. “This is a limited time that we have to actually acknowledge them and show a little bit of appreciation to them. That’s why we wanted to honor them today.”
Rose, a Beavercreek resident, said he was proud of the award. Rose was drafted out of Middletown in 1941 and was an infantryman who served for four years in the Pacific Theater of World War II.
“We backed up the Marines in Guadalcanal,” he said of his service. “And then we went from there to Iwo Jima. I was up there about 11 months.”
Rose, 98, said he also served in efforts at New Caledonia, Tongatabu and British Samoa before his service was completed in 1945.
“These men took part in fighting evil,” Greene County Veterans’ Services Commissioner Bud May said. “… [It was] their heart and commitment and the blood that was shed to keep us from that evil. Here we have a remnant that still represents … the ‘Greatest Generation.’ We all owe a tremendous debt … every single one us that enjoy the freedom that we have in the United States of America.”
Reach Nathan Pilling at 937-502-4498 or on Twitter @XDGNatePilling.