Greene County veterans to be inducted into 2020 HOF


Staff report



COLUMBUS — A pair of Greene County residents are among the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Class of 2020, which was announced earlier this week.

Kimberly D. Frisco and Daniel R. Kirkpatrick, both Air Force veterans, along with Greene County Veterans’ Services Executive Director Timothy A. Espich, an Army veteran, will join 17 others who will be honored for their accomplishments and achievements for their post-military service at the 29th annual Induction Ceremony in November.

This group of candidates represents 16 Ohio counties and four military branches. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled the class at his press briefing Tuesday, during which time he praised their accomplishments.

Espich, of Clark County, enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard in 1981 and became a full-time active guard soldier in 1984. In 23 years of military service, he served as platoon, battalion, and operations sergeant, and retired as a master sergeant in September 2005. He then served as the director of the Governor’s Office of Veterans Affairs and worked in multiple roles with the Ohio Department of Veterans Services.

Frisco, of Greene County, a 20-year veteran is currently the Montgomery County Veterans Service Commission director. She advocates for veterans and their families, helps them navigate the Department of Veterans Affairs benefits system, and provides direct and indirect financial assistance during unexpected illness, injury, or loss of employment.

Kirkpatrick, of Greene County, was commissioned in December 1971 and served as a mental health nurse in Japan, where he was promoted to colonel and became squadron commander at Eglin AFB. Kirkpatrick served in Kuwait during Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he was hospital commander at Ali Al Salem Air Base. He retired from the Air Force in August 2007. He is a former Fairborn city council member and mayor.

Other inductees are:

Army — Richard D. Ellsworth (Licking County); William C. Graybill (Brown); Glenn H. Grismere (Warren); Thomas J. Jenks (Cuyahoga); James D. Kaster (Cuyahoga); Babe Kwasniak (Cuyahoga); Jane M. Lengel (Franklin); Carolyn E. Nagy (Lucas); and David M. Ridenour (Wood).

Air Force — David G. Meyer ( Montgomery); and Connie Pillich (Hamilton).

Marine Corps — Kenneth P. Jakubec (Mahoning).

Navy — David C. Lange (Carroll); Paul G. Butler (Clinton); David W. Chilson posthumous award (Wood); James P. Schear (Stark); and Alan R. Wallace (Fairfield).

In lieu of a traditional Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame induction ceremony, ODVS representatives and members of the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Executive Committee will make arrangements with honorees and their families to present their medals and certificates in person — and in a safe environment. The department also will produce a virtual induction “program” that will debut Thursday, Nov. 5.

The Class of 2020 was chosen from among 136 nominations. This year’s class joins 895 Ohio veterans who have been inducted since 1992 and represents all eras, branches of service, and walks of life.

The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame was established in 1992 by former Gov. George Voinovich to recognize the post-military achievements of outstanding Ohio veterans. Charter members of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 1992 include the six Ohio veterans who were elected president of the United States as well as Medal of Honor recipients from Ohio. Honorees of the past 28 years include astronauts, entrepreneurs, volunteers, community leaders, safety officers, veteran advocates, and government officials.

For more information, visit OhioVets.gov.

Staff report