The new State Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart is a Clark County resident.
Dave Bauer, who lives in Selma, was installed during the organization’s state convention last weekend in Springboro.
The 67-year old Bauer is also a member of MOPH Chapter 620 and served in the Army for three years — including a year-long tour in Vietnam, where he was wounded in action.
Bauer said there are 19 Purple Heart Chapters around Ohio and he plans to visit all of them during his time as State Commander.
He is already working with Mayor Warren Copeland and city officials to designate Springfield as a “Purple Heart City,” hopefully this month. Bauer added he would eventually like every city and village in Ohio to have that designation.
Another goal, Bauer said, is to issue associate memberships to immediate family members of military personnel who are killed in combat.
“I want the family to know that they’re part of Purple Heart, they will always be part of Purple Heart, in remembrance of their (loved one),” he said.
Bauer became State Junior Vice-Commander of MOPH in 2012 and was slated to serve one year in that position but moved up to State Senior Vice-Commander early due to the death of the man that held that position, Russell Folt of Newark.
Now that he is State Commander, Bauer said, “I’m so happy I’ve got the ability to do this. I want to leave something behind so that the young people know what’s happened.”
As part of his activities locally, Bauer has been instrumental in obtaining the “Purple Heart Way” designation for North Fountain Avenue in Springfield. He has also help spearhead efforts to place the War Dog Monument and the planned Vietnam Dog Tag Monument at Veterans Park in Springfield.
He continues to be very active in Honor Flight — which transports World War II and other veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit various memorials — serving as director of the “Flags of Our Heroes” program.
He previously served on the Clark County Veterans Service Commission.