DUBLIN — Two Greene County residents will be inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame next month.
Howard F. “Bud” May, United States Air Force Veteran, and Katherine T. Platoni, United States Army Veteran, will be honored for their post-military service at the 28th annual Induction Ceremony in November in Dublin, according to the Ohio Department of Veterans Services.
The Hall of Fame recognizes veterans who have continued their service by contributing to their communities, state and nation.
May and Platoni, both of Beavercreek, had similar reactions to the phone call informing them that they’d been selected.
“My reaction was, ‘Wow,’” May said. “It’s one of the most humbling things that I’ve ever experienced. To think that I’ve been included in something like this for doing things that I love to do — it’s just amazing to me. At age 73, it’s the greatest honor I’ve ever received.”
Said Platoni: “I was literally shocked, just overwhelmed by this honor. It’s enormous. I was just stunned when I got the word.”
May and Platoni were chosen from among 145 nominations. They will join 18 other Ohioans from 13 counties and four military branches in the Class of 2019, as well as 875 Ohio veterans who have been inducted since 1992.
Both local veterans have chosen to serve others close to home and beyond — but each consider it a blessing.
May — who served in the U.S. Air Force from September 1969 to November 2002, held two command positions and retired as a colonel in 2006 — is involved throughout the community in various service organizations.
President of the Greene County Veterans’ Service Commission, May continues to help county veterans through his creation of the annual resource fair and his help in implementing the county’s first veterans’ court in 2017.
He serves on the Foundation Board of Soin Medical Center and Greene Memorial Hospital, and is a member of Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS, American Legion, and the Miami Military Affairs Association. May has served as a board trustee for various churches, as a financial counselor for individuals and families, and as a member of the Nurse Advisory Board during the launch of the Masters of Nursing Program at Cedarville University.
Spending the last 18 years as a chaplain with the Cedarville University Men’s Cross Country Team, May counsels and mentors students, and prays with the team at meets.
“Before we run, we pray, and end with, ‘It’s all for the glory of God,’” May said.
May, who also ran in college, said it’s his runners who have taught him about camaraderie and the importance of each team member.
“This is ministry, my faith in Christ more than anything,” May said. “Some say a ministry is supposed to be hard, but I love this sport, I love the kids, I love the university.”
Like May, Platoni’s passion for her work — and compassion for people — is evident.
Commissioned as a U.S. Army officer in 1979, Platoni served more than three decades as a clinical psychologist and deployed four times in war before retiring as a colonel in October 2013. In her 38th year of military service, she serves as chief psychologist for Ohio Military Reserve/State Defense Forces.
“I so love being a soldier and wearing the uniform — it was probably the best decision I ever made in my life,” Platoni said. “I want to continue to serve as long as I’m still standing — which I still am!”
Platoni sees patients 12-16 hours a day as a clinical psychologist at her private practice in Centerville. She also volunteers as a psychologist with Dayton SWAT and the Dayton Hostage Negotiation Team — something she says has been a learning experience like no other.
“I’m running out of daylight hours! This is what drives me,” she said. “I love what I do. I consider my work an absolute blessing.”
An expert on PTSD and trauma, Platoni speaks on veterans’ issues and co-authored two books on war trauma, “Expanding the Circle of Healing: Trauma in Its Wake” and “Healing War Trauma: A Handbook of Creative Approaches.” She also serves as editor of “Combat Stress,” an e-magazine devoted to military personnel, veterans and first responders.
After surviving the Fort Hood Massacre in November 2009, Platoni began working as an activist for reconsideration of the shooting as an act of terrorism to assure that victims and their families are awarded benefits. She was instrumental in the awarding of the Purple Heart to those injured and to the families of those who lost their lives.
Platoni will enter the Hall of Fame at age 67.
“I feel so blessed that I’ve had an incredible career,” she said. “To pay it forward and give back: that’s what it’s all about. It’s the common thread among veterans — service to country.”
Ohio veterans, along with the general public, are invited to the ceremony Thursday, Nov. 7 at Radiant Life Church, 7100 Post Road, Dublin. A continental breakfast reception will be held at 9 a.m. and the induction ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.
The bronze plaques representing each of the classes are permanently on display at the Vern Riffe Building, 2nd Floor located at 77 South High St., Columbus.
Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498. Follow @annadbolton on Facebook.