You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Veterans pitch in to honor fellow vet

There are few things sadder than having to say goodbye to a true hero — one who sacrificed in service to our country.

And yet, it is also an inspiring time, knowing the veteran has earned his greatest reward and any suffering has come to an end.

It is also a humbling and wonderful experience to watch as his fellow veterans remind us about the bond that is built through their military service and the years that follow.

Such were the services for Jefferson “Doc” Honefanger, who died last month. Among his many other associations, he was a member of the local Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 620, and the visitation included a special service by members of that organization.

Because “Doc” was a veteran of the United States Army and served in France with the 45th Infantry Division during World War II, he was entitled to be buried with full military honors during his funeral the next day.

Unfortunately, when his son, Jeff, arrived at Littleton and Rue Funeral Home, he was informed by Funeral Director Rob Kampman that the Army Honor Guard en route from Ft. Knox, Ky., had experienced a medical emergency that prevented their arrival here.

Despite calling every available resource, Kampman was unable to get a replacement Honor Guard. Jeff contacted Chapter 620 Commander Dave Bauer, who mentioned he could arrange for a local group of Marines to do the job. Although he knew his father wanted the Army to conduct the ceremony, Honefanger responded that if the men had an American flag on their uniform, that would be fine.

Marine Corps League 963 members Ron Coss, John Campbell, Richard Lira, George Lazaer, bugler Mike Hamilton and Keith Murgatroyd handled the ceremony, with help from Bauer and Jeff Leonard, who played the “Echo TAPS.”

There were a few other glitches along the way, but as Honefanger said later, “quite honestly, if you were not aware of what was going on behind the scenes, everything appeared to be happening as it should.”

He added, “My family owes a debt of thanks (to those men and) Funeral Director Robert Kampman.”

It should also be noted this isn’t an unusual circumstance. These men frequently perform services to honor and assist veterans in our community. But in this case, they answered a last-minute call to duty to honor a fellow veteran’s last request.

Bauer, who served in the Army during the Vietnam War, handled the flag portions of the service.

He couldn’t resist pointing out, “the flag was folded and presented by the Army after all.”

And thank you to Army Vietnam veteran Randy Ark for his help with this column.

Contact this writer at

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

'Zoolander 2,' 'Batman v Superman' top Razzie nominations for worst in film
'Zoolander 2,' 'Batman v Superman' top Razzie nominations for worst in film

A day before Academy Award nominations showcased the best in film, the people behind what they deemed "this year's tackiest Tinsel Town trophy" announced the contenders for the worst in 2016 cinema. The Golden Raspberry Award Foundation on Monday announced the nominees for its nine categories. The nominees will learn on Feb. 25 whether...
NEW DETAILS: Fairgrounds purchase approved
NEW DETAILS: Fairgrounds purchase approved

Montgomery County has agreed to give the University of Dayton and Premier Health $2 million if they buy the county fairgrounds and retain and redevelop the historic roundhouse. Last month, UD and Premier Health signed a letter of intent to purchase the Montgomery County Fairgrounds on South Main Street for $15 million. The institituions agreed to fork...
‘Twenty One Pilots’ rehearses at Wright State
‘Twenty One Pilots’ rehearses at Wright State

‘Twenty One Pilots’ — the hit Ohio-based band that climbed the charts last year — rehearsed its pyrotechnics display at the Wright State University Nutter Center last month, according to Fairborn’s fire chief. What to do: Visit for the latest local entertainment news Chief Mike Riley said the members of the...
Police: Florida man kills stepson after arguing about chili dog
Police: Florida man kills stepson after arguing about chili dog

A Florida man shot and killed his stepson Monday in a fight over a chili dog and an argument over what time it was, police said. Police said Danny Holder, 68, shot and killed his stepson, Randall Lowen, 55, in the family home in Port Orange at approximately 8 a.m. Lowen’s mother told police that Holder threatened to shoot Lowen ...
Prehistoric otter with wicked teeth, powerful jaws once roamed Earth
Prehistoric otter with wicked teeth, powerful jaws once roamed Earth

An unusual skull discovered at a dig in southwestern China in 2010 has now been identified as that of a fierce, wolf-like animal that roamed the Earth more than 6 million years ago, weighing about 100 pounds, with large, sharp teeth and powerful jaws. The newly discovered species is a prehistoric otter and an ancestor to the modern-day otter, but it...
More Stories