By: Brad Wenstrup & Terry Johnson
Many of our veterans have worn more than one uniform in service to our country and their community. Twice the servant, they place themselves at risk to defend the United States in our armed services only to also protect and serve communities as law enforcement or first responders.
Serving abroad and here at home, their common thread is an admirable inability to separate self from service. This dual servant represents a burden few others endure.
We, as legislators in Ohio and veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, are working to formally recognize these remarkable individuals through Armed Services, Peace Officer, and First Responder Dual Service Recognition Day. With the support of fellow southern Ohioan Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, the Ohio legislature has designated November 10 as Dual Service Recognition Day. In the U.S. House of Representatives, a similar resolution was introduced.
Those dedicated to a lifetime of service are owed an extra measure of gratitude. Dual Service Recognition Day recognizes those who run towards danger as part of their daily job.
Robert Dwyer is one of these individuals. Robert, a Marine Corporal, was wounded in Korea and received a Purple Heart. Upon his return home, Robert Dwyer continued his service to his fellow Americans as an Ohio State Highway Patrolman. One night, while making what seemed to be a routine traffic stop, Robert was shot and severely wounded. This man, who served his nation at home and abroad, received his first wound from the Chinese and North Korean communists and his second from another American.
Another is James McNaughton, the first of New York City Police Officer to lose his life in the line of duty Iraq. He came from a family of police officers, and deployed just a year after the twin towers were struck. While deployed, McNaughton volunteered for a dangerous mission in place of fellow soldiers who had children back home. It was his last mission, losing his life to an enemy sniper.
To risk your life again and again is an incredible commitment to your fellow man
Ohio House Bill 244 and U.S. House Resolution 516 honors Robert, Jimmy, and the thousands of who twice serve their nation. This inaugural November 10th, we hosted spanning Southern Ohio to recognize those individuals in our communities.
The support and turnout from our local communities for was immense. The ranks of our local sheriff and police departments, fire stations, and other first responders are dotted with veterans and those who may go on to serve in the armed forces.
Only one percent of Americans serve in the United States armed forces. Each and every man and woman who serves is willing to put their life on the line for generations of Americans they will never meet.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” goes John 15:13. Those who volunteer to continue running towards danger know that love.
The men and women who don the uniform to serve their country and community are responsible for the very freedom and prosperity we enjoy, asking little in return. These dual service individuals, and their families, bear the weight of the unknown, never knowing what dangers the next call or deployment will bring. For this, we recognize them, and say thank you.