The Clermont County Commissioners welcomed home a soldier in the war on terror last week. Marine Sgt. Ryan Jones recently returned from deployment to the Philippines.
Jones served six months in the Philippines as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. As Commissioner Bob Proud pointed out, the Philippines is not an area of the world usually associated with terrorists.
“It doesn’t get a lot of publicity, but there is stuff going on there,” Jones said. “Two Marines were killed in September by an IED blast right before I got there.”
Jones was serving in the Philippines as a signals intelligence operative.
The 2005 Glen Este graduate studied to become a Korean linguist and was deployed with a Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2008. He was then stationed in Hawaii before being deployed to the Philippines.
Jones said he will be honorably discharged soon and he wants to go to school on the G.I. Bill.
The Commissioners thanked Jones for his courageous commitment to his country before presenting him with a proclamation thanking Jones for his service. Commissioner Scott Croswell also presented Jones with a challenge coin and commended him on behalf of Sheriff A.J. Rodenberg.
Clermont County Veteran Services Commission Director Dan Bare gave Jones a challenge coin and stressed the dangers service men and women face.
"We have a lot of local men and women who stand up, raise their right hand, and do their duty," Bare said.
Bare shared the words of Gold Star Mother Carol Hoffman who lost her son Justin in 2005 in Iraq.
"Don't take today for granted, don't take your loved ones for granted," Bare said.
District Director for Congresswoman Jean Schmidt's office Gertrud Whitaker presented Jones with a certificate from the Schmidt and thanked him for his service.
"I would like to join the Congresswoman in inviting everyone in the county to welcome home Sgt. Jones, who served his country at such a critical time," Schmidt said.
Jones said the support from his family was great throughout his deployment. He said Clermont County's support for its troops far surpasses anything he saw in California or Hawaii.
"I want to thank the community for their support," Jones said. "There's a big difference between Clermont County, Ohio and California or Hawaii."