The salute to veterans at the Clermont County Fair Thursday night included a unique event. More than 40 military recruits from Clermont County took their oath of service as administered by state Representative and Ret. Marine Colonel Danny Bubp.
“There have been 55 American men and women killed in Afghanistan and Iraq this month, including Spc. Dohrenwend and Spc. Bauer,” Bubp said. “I think the impact of the decision these young people have made needs to be highlighted.”
Bubp commended the recruits’ dedication to Clermont County and to the United States.
"We form a long unbroken line from pre-Revolution up to now," Ewing said, "and I just want to say, welcome to the family."
The event, which was held in the grandstands prior to the demolition derby, honored servicemen and women who have served in the past and are serving today, and included a special recognition of the servicemen and women's families.
"When we deploy, they do too," Ewing said.
Ewing said it is vitally important for soldiers to have the support of friends, family, and strangers back home when they are deployed, both for themselves and for their families.
"They can focus on their mission when they know that their family is being taken care of back home," Commissioner Bob Proud said.
Major Doctor Brad Wenstrup was the keynote speaker for the evening. Wenstrup joined the Army Reserves in 1998 and in 2005 he was deployed to Abu Grab, Iraq where he was appointed chief surgeon. He echoed Ewing and Proud's sentiments.
"Behind every troop member is a brave family, their constant support is so important," Wenstrup said.
Wenstrup reminded the new recruits that they will be wearing the uniform that symbolizes help throughout the world.
"You are representing the greatest people in the history of the world," Wenstrup said. "We are the good guys."
He pointed to Saddam Hussein as an example, explaining that when Hussein was captured he looked to Americans for protection from his own people.
"To the veterans of all eras, tonight we say thank you," Wenstrup said, and to the audience that came out to support them he said, "When you tuck your children in and go to bed unafraid, please remember why."
The ceremony began with an invocation by state Representative Joe Uecker followed by the pledge of allegiance led by representatives from each of the recent American wars beginning with World War II. The evening included several singers including Sarah Pellington, who sang the Star Spangled Banner, Jeffrey Beard, Lynn Griswold, and Cindy, Hannah, and Bekah White.