UPDATE:

Champaign County missing sailor: ‘A lot of people’ care about him

Fallen Ohio soldiers honored


Sixteen fallen Ohioans, including nine from southwest Ohio, were posthumously honored at the Ohio Statehouse Tuesday for their sacrifices on the battlefield.

The 16 were awarded the Ohio Military Medal of Distinction, presented by state legislative leaders to family members who attended. Afterward, the fallen were recognized again during a wreath-laying ceremony for which Ohio Gov. John Kasich gave the keynote address.

The ceremonies were scheduled in advance of Memorial Day.

In a noontime speech that resembled a Sunday sermon, an emotional Kasich said the men — who all died within the last two years — had not lost their lives in vain. Kasich later embraced two of the fallen soldiers’ family members who attended and wiped away tears.

“They live in glory,” he said.

Among those honored were:

  • Michael B. Cook, Jr., of Middletown. Cook, 27, was a specialist in the Army. He was killed on June 6, 2011, in a rocket attack at a military base in Baghdad.
  • Bobby L. Estle, 38, of Lebanon. Estle, an Army sergeant first class, was killed last July 28, 2012, by small arms fire after his unit was attacked in the Wardak Province of Afghanistan.
  • James Edison Groves, III, 37, of Kettering. Groves was an Army chief warrant officer who died on March 16 when the helicopter he was piloting crashed near Kandahar, Afghanistan.
  • John P. Huling, 25, of West Chester. Huling, a sergeant with the United States Marine Corps, was shot and killed on May 6, 2012, while on foot patrol after he was ambushed by a person wearing an Afghan National Army uniform.
  • Robert A. Massarelli, 32, of Hamilton. Massarelli, an Army staff sergeant, was killed last June 24 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, after a truck he was traveling in hit an improvised explosive device, according to MLive.com.
  • Nicholas H. Olivas, 20, of Fairfield. Olivas, a corporal in the U.S. Army, was killed by an improvised explosive device on May 30, 2012, three months after he arrived in Afghanistan for his first deployment. His father, Adolfo Olivas, is a former Hamilton mayor.

  • Jeffrey L. Rice, 24, of Troy. Rice died July 19, 2012 in the Kandahar Province in Afghanistan. He was a private first class with the U.S. Army.

  • Cody D. Suggs, 22, of West Alexandria. Suggs, a specialist in the Ohio Army National Guard, died last March 7 in a noncombat incident at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.
  • Wesley R. Williams, 25, of New Carlisle. Williams, a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army, died on Dec. 10, 2012* after an improvised explosive device was used against him in the Kandahar province.

The first ceremony was held in the House chamber as a joint session between the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate. A bell was rung once each time a group of family members walked to accept a framed and mounted medal. The women’s select choral group from Little Miami High School sang the National Anthem.

The second ceremony was in the Statehouse atrium. Five students from the Dayton Early College Academy presented the colors.

“The men we honor today were taken from this earth too soon, but the spirit of their character and the significance of their sacrifice will carry on for generations to come,” Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder, R-Medina, said.

*This date has been corrected subsequent to publication.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Cottrel: New Carlisle title office a rare gem

Why does everything have to be so complicated? Some days it just seems impossible to jump over all the hurdles and through all the hoops that life puts before you. That is how I felt last Friday. RELATED: New Carlisle title office will remain open with new hours I needed to get a copy of an old car title quickly to make a sale. It’s been awhile...
Protesters demand removal of NYC statue hailing doctor who experimented on slave women
Protesters demand removal of NYC statue hailing doctor who experimented on slave women

NEW YORK — When Sharon Thompson was a girl, she used to get a bad feeling when she walked by an imposing statue of a man on the edge of Central Park near East Harlem.          On Thursday, Thompson learned the story behind the statue when a local news station produced a piece on it...
New Carlisle seeks to block income tax change from November ballot
New Carlisle seeks to block income tax change from November ballot

The Clark County Board of Election approved Monday putting an initiative petition to change how New Carlisle collects income taxes on the November ballot but city leaders have said the issue would be devastating and filed a protest against it. Ohio residents pay income taxes both in the city where they work and where they live. Some cities give their...
Exclusive: Secret Service depletes funds because of Trump's frequent travel, large family
Exclusive: Secret Service depletes funds because of Trump's frequent travel, large family

WASHINGTON — The Secret Service can no longer pay hundreds of agents it needs to carry out an expanded protective mission – in large part due to the sheer size of President Trump's family and efforts necessary to secure their multiple residences up and down the East Coast. Secret Service Director...
Toxic algae increasing in Kiser Lake, state studying solutions
Toxic algae increasing in Kiser Lake, state studying solutions

Kiser Lake State Park — a significant contributor to Champaign County’s economy that draws visitors from across the region — has seen toxic algae slicks in recent year and a state study found the blooms have become more common. The harmful algae often appear as a floating, bright green blob along the water’s surface and...
More Stories