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Winston Churchill said “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” On Thursday, October 3rd, 26 people nominated for the 9th Annual Valley Legacy Awards were recognized for not just making a living, but for making a life. From that remarkable group, six outstanding people received the Valley Legacy Award.
290 people attended the Valley Legacy Awards luncheon, hosted by presenting sponsor, Shepherd of the Valley. Leslie Barrett, WFMJ Evening News Co-Anchor was again the event MC, presenting a certificate of recognition with Don Kacmar, Shepherd of the Valley Executive Director, to each nominee as their biography was read.
Eighteen nominations were received for the Outstanding Senior Award, with six nominated for Outstanding Advocate for Seniors. The nominees received flowers and a Certificate of Recognition for their contributions to the community with WFMJ evening news co-anchor Leslie Barrett presenting the Valley Legacy Award to the two Outstanding Advocates for Seniors and four Outstanding Seniors. Meet the nominees ”up close and personal” by downloading the nominee biography sheet.
The 2013 Valley Legacy Award recipients are:
*Twin sisters Betty Jean Bahmer and Anna Mae Cuchna were nominated together by the Trumbull Retired Teachers Association
Shepherd of the Valley launched the Valley Legacy Awards in 2005 to recognize, in a significant and public way, the contribution, service, sacrifice, and compassionate actions performed by or for senior citizens in the Mahoning Valley.
“Gandhi once said, ‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world,’” stated Michele Hoffmeister, Valley Legacy Advisory Board Co-Chair. “Whether nominated as an Outstanding Senior or as an Outstanding Advocate, each of our nominees has used their time and special talents to make the Mahoning Valley a better place.”
Dennis Parks, President of presenting sponsor Shepherd of the Valley’s Board of Directors, stated to the 290 people gathered for the luncheon at Avion on the Water, “It is my personal belief that we are all put here to create and contribute – this is what gives us purpose. As I have reviewed the backgrounds of the nominees for this year’s legacy awards I am honored to be part of a process that recognizes those individuals that have spent a lifetime contributing to our communities and to those who have contributed to the improvement of our elderly’s lifestyles through their professional, volunteer, or civic roles.”
In the past eight years, nearly 240 extraordinary people and organizations have been recognized, with 42 receiving the Valley Legacy Award.
Our thanks to members of the Trumbull County Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and several of the Trumbull County Lutheran churches who held a Day of Service at Shepherd of the Valley’s Howland campus. The Day of Service was organized as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the formation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The celebration’s theme is “Gods Work – Our Hands”, which the everyone involved put into practice.
Members of the Trumbull County Lutheran Churches and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans weeded and trimmed the gardens around Howland’s Greens nursing home patio on September 8. After their hard work, the group enjoyed a cookout with residents, staff, and families on the beautiful Green’s patio.
Congratulations to the 26 amazing people nominated for the 2013 Valley Legacy Awards!
Now in its ninth year, the annual event honors civic-minded seniors and senior advocates for their contributions to the Mahoning Valley. All 26 nominees will be recognized and the Valley Legacy Awards presented to four Outstanding Seniors and one Outstanding Advocate for Seniors at a luncheon on October 3rd. Those nominated by members of the community are:
- Alma Apicella, Salem
- Twin sisters Betty Jean Bahmer, Warren & Anna Mae Cuchna, Niles
- Paul Burgeson, Boardman
- Marion Calpin, Canfield
- Carol Faustino, Liberty
- Mary Ann Fees, North Lima
- Wellington “Doc” Hager, Youngstown
- Louise Joachim, Poland
- Kay Lavelle, Austintown
- Bill & Rosemary Lowery, Warren
- John E. Malys, Boardman
- Daniel Mathey, Warren
- Robert W. Ray, Warren
- Jean Rider, Austintown
- Marilyn Schmidt, Canfield
- Thomas Soltis, Farmdale
- Donna J. Tompkins, Warren
- Marjorie Wise, Columbiana
Outstanding Advocate for Seniors
- Carla Chahine, North Lima
- Roberta Cykon, Fowler
- Mayor Ralph Infante, Niles
- Kay Lavelle, Austintown
- David Mirkin, Liberty
- Roxanne York, Warren
The Valley Legacy Awards Luncheon will be held Thursday, October 3, at Avion on the Water, 2177 W. Western Reserve Road, Canfield. Tickets are $25 and the event is open to the public.
For tickets or more information, call Lynn Miller at 330-530-4038, ext. 2057.
Major sponsors: Platinum Level: Shepherd of the Valley, WFMJ-TV, Oldies 106.1, Newsradio 570 WKBN, The Review Newspapers, The Senior News, First National Bank, Keynote Media Group ComDoc, Huntington Bank; Diamond Level: ComfortKeepers/ Hospice of the Valley, ValleyCare Health System of Ohio/Senior Circle, Home Instead Senior Care
Frances Frantz, RN, BSN, has joined the staff of Shepherd of the Valley-Niles as the new Director of Nursing (DON). Frances brings a wide range of experience with her, coming to SOV-Niles from Humility House where she was the Director of Nursing.
Frances started as a nurse aide in the 1970s and has worked as a nurse in both the acute and long-term care settings. She also served in the Army Reserves at Ft. Sam Houston in Texas during Desert Storm where she replaced Army nurses deployed to Iraq. While at Ft. Sam Houston, she cared for base families, including a large retirement community, as well as wounded warriors returning home.
“We feel very fortunate to have someone with such a diverse background come on staff as our DON,” stated Rick Mattix, Associate Director. “One of the things that caught my eye was that she started her career as a nurse aide and worked her way up. She knows the business and understands the many roles the nursing staff plays.”
“I like people,” stated Frances, “and think that the older generation has a lot to share…and it’s almost like I am supposed to be here at Shepherd. In one of my classes at YSU a classmate said to me that if I ever wanted a job at Shepherd of the Valley to let him know, and nearly 40 years later, here I am!”
Frances received her RN through the nursing program at Trumbull Memorial Hospital, her BSN from Youngstown State University, and went on to earn a Master’s degree in Health and Human Services.
She resides in Newton Falls and is a proud mother of four and proud grandmother of four more.
Throughout the year, employees at each Shepherd community select employees to honor for their dedication and service. In March, five employees from that group, one from each Shepherd location, were honored as an Employee of the Year. This year the following employees were recognized:
Shepherd of the Valley- Niles: Anna Lisa Fawcett, 10p-6:30a shift aide. “She is always positive and always has a smile on her face,” commented Rick Mattix, Niles Associate Director. “You can tell she truly loves her job and was very appreciative of her most deserved honor. “ She has worked for SOV-Niles for 2 years.
Shepherd of the Valley-Boardman: Christina Resek. Christina has been a member of the housekeeping staff at SOV-Boardman since 2009. “Christina is very helpful to everyone,” stated Rich Limongi, Boardman Associate Director. “She goes out of her way for the residents, is always friendly, and a hard worker.”
Shepherd of the Valley-Howland: Lisa Freeman, LPN. “Lisa started at SOV-Howland in 2005 as a housekeeper, studied to become an STNA and is now an LPN,” stated Tamara Salvino, Howland Associate Director. “She is a dedicated employee who always has a smile on her face and a positive attitude.”
Shepherd of the Valley-Poland: Aaron Simko. Aaron has been employed in the SOV-Poland Dietary Department since 1996. “Aaron was chosen by his peers because he is always going out of his way to help the residents each and every morning” explained Kelly Stansloski, Poland Associate Director. “He gives them his undivided attention, warmth, and love. The entire staff at Poland is glad Aaron is on our team!”
Shepherd of the Valley-Corporate/Home Health: Melissa Tustin. Melissa joined the Shepherd of the Valley staff as the Accounts Receivable Supervisor in January of 2010. “Melissa was a good addition to the staff. She is very professional and leads her staff by example,” stated Victoria Brown, CFO/Corporate Office Associate Director.
On December 1, Kelly Pavlik surprised boxing fan Ted Olesky, a resident at Shepherd of the Valley in Boardman, presenting him with an autographed pair of his boxing gloves.
Mr. Olesky had followed Pavlik’s career from the beginning. His daughter explained that her dad liked him because he’s a hometown boy from a blue-collar background who has “done lots for the area.”
“We found out Kelly was in town for a few days,” explained Kim Osborn, SOV-Boardman/Niles Activity Director. “We are thrilled and think it is truly special that he has been able to make time in his busy schedule to visit Mr. Olesky.”
The Shepherd staff embraced Second Wind Dreams (www.secondwind.org) to help our seniors realize one more dream. The program highlights the positive aspects of aging and encourages the community to join in on the celebration of life in our elders, making their dreams a reality, and joining the rewarding quest by becoming DREAM WEAVERS.
Last month, Bo Rein Stadium, homeod the Niles Red Dragons, served as the location for a touching Second Wind Dream involving Bill and Joan Ifft, Assisted Living residents at Shepherd of the Valley – Niles.
When they were asked what dream they would like to come true, the Iffts quickly answered, “We want to see our grandson play football.” They had never been to a game and their grandson, Ryan, is a senior at Niles McKinley High School and was one day away from playing the last regular season game of his high school career.
This dream had to come together quickly. The Dream Team at Niles swung into action and contacted Marc Fritz, Athletic Director for Niles City Schools. He graciously offered free tickets to the game for the Iffts and Shepherd staff and front row seating so they could catch all the action. He also worked with head football coach Brian Shaner who gave Ryan a few precious moments before the game to hug his grandparents, thank them for coming to watch him play, and present his grandma with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. While words were not easily expressed, Bill and Joan’s happy tears were eloquent.
The Red Dragons added the icing on the cake as they defeated the Youngstown East Panthers and clinched a playoff berth.
The Shepherd staff embraced Second Wind Dreams (www.secondwind.org) to help our seniors realize one more dream.
Throughout 2012, Shepherd of the Valley has celebrated the 40th Anniversary of its founding in 1972. On November 19, three individuals who were instrumental in the formation of Shepherd of the Valley were honored at the 40thAnnual Meeting with the Helen R. Stambaugh Award. The recipients were:
Pat Niswonger: 40 years ago, Shepherd of the Valley was an idea waiting to happen. Pat Niswonger was the president of the Lutheran Women’s League during the formation of the corporation. She was instrumental in securing the first major gift for the building campaign, presenting a check for $10,000 from the Lutheran Women’s League.
Rev. Gary Schreckengost: Pastor Schreckengost has supported Shepherd of the Valley from its inception. He served on the original Shepherd of the Valley Steering Committee and continued his service through the decades on the Board of Managers. Pastor Gary is currently the senior pastor at St. John Lutheran Church in Youngstown.
Ernie Sigle: Mr. Sigle played an instrumental role in the formation of Shepherd of the Valley. He served on the original Board of Managers and was the second Board President (1974-1975). Mr. Sigle has remained involved with Shepherd of the Valley over the years, helping to ensure quality leadership as a member of the Board’s Nominating Committee.
The Helen R. Stambaugh Award recognizes individuals, businesses, or organizations that have provided extraordinary contributions of time, talent, and/or treasure that have had a profound and long-lasting impact upon the residents, staff, and Shepherd of the Valley communities. The award was first presented in 2008 to its namesake, the late Helen Stambaugh.
On Wednesday, a visit to Animal Charity on Market Street turned into more than a pet blessing. It became a college reunion.
“When I saw the information about the pet blessing in the paper,” said Liz Smith, “I wondered if that was Jimmy Brandis. I just had to come and see if it was.”
It turned out that it was indeed Jimmy Brandis, who Mrs. Smith knew from their time at Theil College. Jimmy Brandis is now Pastor Jim Brandis, Corporate Chaplain for Shepherd of the Valley. “It’s been 40 years, but when she asked if I recognized her, I knew her right away,” he said.
After catching up, Lola, the Smith’s dog, enjoyed a special blessing, as did several other dogs brought to the shelter by their owners, including Blade, a Border collie mix, and Mosa and Mano, 4-month-old Boxer/German Shepherd mix puppies. Pastor Brandis also blessed all the cats and each of the dogs awaiting their “forever homes” at Animal Charity.
The pet blessing was held as part of Operation Santa Paws, a drive by Shepherd of the Valley, spearheaded by its Poland community. Operation Santa Paws, in its fourth year, collects needed items for the dogs, cats, and other critters cared for by Animal Charity of Youngstown, Alchemy Acres Animal Sanctuary in Salem, and The Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County in Warren.
Donations will be accepted at all Shepherd of the Valley locations, Copper Zone Tanning at the Southern Park Mall, and Pet Supplies Plus in Boardman through Monday, December 17. Click here for suggested donations or call Shepherd of the Valley-Poland, 330-726-7110, ext.0.
Winston Churchill said “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” On Thursday, October 11th, 29 people nominated for the 8th Annual Valley Legacy Awards were recognized for not just making a living, but for making a life. From that remarkable group, six outstanding people received the Valley Legacy Award.
The 2012 Valley Legacy Award recipients are:
Diana Bauman, Warren, Carol Bigelow, Youngstown, George Grim, Boardman
James E. Herriman, Warren, Beverly Poidmore Pariza, Boardman
Outstanding Advocate for Seniors: Charles Wilkins, MD, Youngstown
Eight years ago, Shepherd of the Valley launched the Valley Legacy Awards to recognize, in a significant and public way, the contribution, service, sacrifice, and compassionate actions performed by or for the senior citizens in the Mahoning Valley.
In the past seven years, the Valley Legacy Awards have honored nearly 175 extraordinary people and organizations, with 40 receiving the Valley Legacy Award. This year’s nominees hailed from Austintown, Boardman, Canfield, East Palestine, Girard, Leavittsburg, Lowellville, New Waterford, Niles, Poland, Salem, Warren, West Farmington, and Youngstown. The spanned a multitude of interests, occupations, and talents with friends and family nominating educators, community volunteers, veterans, business people, and physicians.
“Americans are recognized for being the most caring and giving people in the world,” stated George Hays, Valley Legacy Advisory Board Co-Chair. “The members of the 2012 class of Valley Legacy Award nominees are inspiring examples of this caring and giving nature. While six will take home an award, all of the nominees, by virtue of their selfless dedication, are winners.”
Dennis Parks, President of Shepherd of the Valley’s Board of Directors, stated to the 260 people gathered for the luncheon at Avion on the Water, “It is my belief that we are all here to serve a purpose. If you have had the opportunity to review the background of this year’s nominees, you can know and appreciate a group of outstanding individuals who have spent a lifetime serving a purpose within our own Valley. We are honored to recognize them today at the eighth Valley Legacy Awards Luncheon.”
After the invocation by Rev. E. Richard Bowen, retired Lutheran pastor and resident of the Senior Apartments at Shepherd of the Valley in Niles and lunch, Mistress of Ceremonies Leslie Barrett, WFMJ Evening News Co-Anchor, and Don Kacmar, Shepherd of the Valley Executive Director recognized the nominees with flowers and a Certificate of Recognition for their contributions to the community. Leslie Barrett closed the luncheon by presenting the Valley Legacy Award to the Outstanding Advocate for Seniors, Dr. Charles Wilkins, and the five Outstanding Seniors; Diana Bauman, Carol Bigelow, George Grim, James E. Herriman, and Beverly Poidmore Pariza.
Americans are recognized for being the most caring and giving people in the world. The 29 members of the 2012 class of Valley Legacy Award nominees are inspiring examples of this caring and giving nature.
Take a moment to meet them “up close and personal”. Click here to download a PDF with a short summary of each person’s nomination and photograph.
Oprah Winfrey shares our nominees’ motivation, saying “I choose to rise up and see that in moments of desperation, fear, and helplessness, each of us can be a rainbow of hope, doing what we can to extend ourselves in kindness and grace to one another.” This year’s nominees give of themselves, not to achieve recognition, but because they see a need. They truly care about helping others.
In the past seven years, the Valley Legacy Awards have honored nearly 175 extraordinary people and organizations, with 39 receiving the Valley Legacy Award. This year, a record 29 nominations were received from across the Valley. Nominees hailed from Austintown, Boardman, Canfield, East Palestine, Girard, Leavittsburg, Lowellville, New Waterford, Niles, Poland, Salem, Warren, West Farmington, and Youngstown. Our nominees span a multitude of interests, occupations, and talents. Friends and family nominated educators, community volunteers, veterans, business people, couples, sisters, and physicians.
Tickets to the luncheon on October 11th at Avion on the Water in Canfield are still available. Contact Lynn Miller at 330-530-4038, ext. 2057, or via email.
There was fellowship, food, prayer, and song as nearly 100 people gathered at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church to celebrate Shepherd of the Valley’s 40th anniversary.
Everyone gathered in the Crossroads Hall the evening of September 16, where they were greeted by a dozen collages of events and activities organized by site and decade. A visual media presentation highlighted people, locations, and events from Shepherd’s 40 years or service. The dinner buffet featured cakes decorated with Shepherd’s various logos through the decades was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Prior to the prayer service, a short program recalling the formation and achievements Shepherd has experienced over the past 40 years. Featured speakers included Ernie Sigle and Rev. D. Gary Schreckengost who were present from the beginning, and Dennis Parks, the current president of the Board of Directors.
Mr. Sigle talked about the initial meetings where the idea of a place where the Lutheran churches could care for their aging congregants became the reality of the first location in Niles. He took the crowd through the challenges of creating the idea, obtaining support and financing, and purchasing the first location.
Rev. Gary Schreckengost led the guests through the expansion years for Shepherd of the Valley and they moved into Mahoning County. He jokingly commented that he became the “building expert” as he was called upon to head the building committees for the Niles expansion, Poland condos, and the Poland assisted living building.
“Thousands have been served because of the efforts of faithful people like yourselves,” Rev. Schreckengost said in closing.
The final speaker was current Board President Dennis Parks who talked about the program additions and expansion projects undertaken in the 1990s including building the Howland community, its nursing home expansion project, and the addition of home health services.
“My nine years serving on the Board have been rewarding,” Mr. Parks commented. “(Shepherd is) truly a treasure to our area as it continues to serve our senior citizens and our community.”
Following the featured speakers, everyone was invited into the sanctuary for a prayer service. A mass choir made of members of the Zion and other Lutheran churches led them in song as prayers of thanks were offered for continued prosperity in the years to come.
Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, Bishop of the Northeast Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America offered encouragement and blessings. Pastor Ronald Young, Assistant to the President of the Ohio District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, offered congratulations and gratitude.
“Happy 40th anniversary, Shepherd of the Valley,” Rev. Eaton said. “May God continue to bless your work and may this continue to be a place of refuge.”
Click here or on the image below for a collage of photos from the event.
Congratulations to the nominees for this year’s Valley Legacy Awards. Twenty-nine nominations were received from across Mahoning, Trumbull, and Columbiana Counties.
The nominees for the Class of 2012 are…
Outstanding Senior Award
Lock P. Beachum, Sr.
Linda & Marlene Caldwell
Ronald & Dodie George
Ruth Jean Hawkins
James E. Herriman
Shirley & William Kohuth
Donald J. Marsco
Beverly Poidmore Pariza
Vincent E. Schuyler
Outstanding Advocate for Seniors Award
Thomas E. Albani, Jr., MD
Vincent E. Schuyler
Charles Wilkins, MD
Bios and photographs will be posted to the website and the Valley Legacy Facebook page beginning August 22.
The nominees will be honored and award recipients announced at the Valley Legacy Awards Luncheon on October 11th, 2012, Avion on the Water Banquet Center, Canfield. Invitations will be available after September 1. To be added to the invitation list, contact Lynn Miller at LMiller@ShepherdoftheValley.com or 330-530-4038, ext. 2057.
“HOWDY!” the brass plaque on the rockers welcomes everyone to sit and rock a spell. Ed Johnson and his sister Jean Davis recently donated two rockers in memory of their mother, Sally Johnson, for Shepherd of the Valley-Niles’ “front porch”. They said the chairs needed to say “Howdy” because it reflected their mother’s spirit.
“Mom greeted everyone with a ‘howdy’,” son Ed shared. He and Jean explained that the gift was commensurate with their mother’s philosophy, which they wanted to memorialize. “She was a giving person who came from a generation where you sat on the porch and visited with family and neighbors.”
Thanks to their donation, residents and staff can remember this remarkable, kind, and generous woman while they sit and rock a spell.
Sally Johnson always said she attributed her long life and good health to hard work. Mrs. Johnson experienced a great deal in nearly 103 years; the horrific flu pandemic of 1918, WWI, women gaining the right to vote, the invention of the automobile, the Great Depression, “talkies”, WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam, television, men on the moon, and the Internet, all while raising 16 children…eight her husband brought into the marriage, two of her own, and six they had together!
Besides raising this large family, during WWII Sally, her daughter Helen, and several neighbors traveled to Abington, VA, six days a week to load military shells for the Navy. She remembered receiving Gas Ration stamps since she worked for the war effort. “We gave them to Blanche Miller to keep gasoline in the car so we could make the trip to our job,” she related.
At the age of 43, she and her family moved to Ohio. Sally worked in several occupations including a press operator in a local laundry and as “house mom” at her son-in-law Ray’s rooming house in Warren.
“She lived on her own until she was 97,” Ed shared with a smile. “So many people have their kids telling them ‘it’s time to move’ and it’s a hard sell. Mom made the decision to move to a senior apartment on her own. From there she moved to assisted living and then to Amaryllis Avenue in the nursing center at Shepherd Niles.”
“She loved the staff and enjoyed living at Shepherd,” Jean added. “We enjoyed everything at Shepherd.”
For more information, contact Rick Mattix, Associate Director, at 330-544-0771, x2802, or via email at RMattix@ShepherdoftheValley.com.
Whee!!! Buster Scott and his grandchildren, Mya Scott, Caleb Scott and Peyton Klien, take a wild ride on the Wild Cat during the Poland Celebration for Shepherd of the Valley’s 40 Years of Caring.
On July 15, the Poland staff, residents, family, and visitors took a trip back in time to “Revisit Idora Park” when the first floor turned into Idora Park. Admission tickets were “sold” at the door. The dining room became the Idora Ballroom, mirrored ball and original carousel music included. Then there was the root beer in the Crazy Horse Saloon, Idora fries and funnel cakes, games, and the memorabilia room…
The most popular “ride” was a reproduction of an Idora Wild Cat roller coaster car built by the maintenance staff. Everyone wanted their photo taken, arms waving in the air.
“Everyone had a great time,” exclaimed Kelly Stansloski, SOV-Poland Associate Director. “The staff put in a huge amount of time to create our ‘Idora Park’ and the residents have loved sharing their memories of Idora with us. It was a thrill to see how much people enjoyed everything, especially the Wild Cat.”
For additional information, call Kelly Stansloski, Associate Director, Shepherd of the Valley-Poland, at 330-726-7110, ext. 0.
In May, we kicked off our Summer of Celebrations with a great party at our Niles community. Nearly 200 people enjoyed BBQ chicken and music from the ’60s and ’70s, all accompanied by beautiful weather. We even had some dancers on the lawn!
Staff decorated a huge birthday cake built by the Poland Community for their Boardman St. Patrick’s Day Parade float. You may have caught the photograph in the Tribune of our staff and residents posing with the cake. The Bayowski boys brought a 1940 Buick with which they proudly posed (see below). For a collage of photos from the day, click on the thumbnail below.
This year, we’re celebrating our 40th anniversary; “40 Years of Caring”. Over the summer we will host celebrations at each of our communities. Our Niles community kicked off the celebrations in May, followed in June at our Boardman community. Please come and celebrate with us:
July 15, 1-4pm - Poland Campus (301 W. Western Reserve Road, Poland) invites you to “Revisit Idora Park”. For more information, click here to download a poster or click on the poster image below.
August 19, 1-4pm - Howland Campus (4100 North River Road, NE, Warren). Watch for more information.
On May 11th, 87 year old Joe Briganti, a retired United States Navy Flight Instructor, finally got his wings and back on a plane.
During WWII, Joe flew SNJ single engine planes for the Navy. He was 18 years old when he enlisted and his last flight was in 1947. “Being up in the air is very quiet and peaceful to me,” he explained, “the only thing you hear is the engine of the plane and if you didn’t hear that you knew you were in trouble. Just talking about flying again puts a smile on my face and reminds me of the good old days in the Navy.”
Joe has talked about how he loved flying and being in the Navy; teaching new pilots about the planes and how to fly in all kinds of situations and weather. Being an instructor also kept him state-side longer and out of the “shooting war”.
His son, Joe Jr., stated that while Joe still had his flight gear, goggles, and log book, he was missing his pilot wings. The Shepherd of the Valley-Boardman staff, with the help of Major Brent Davis and the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna, has worked to make Joe’s dream of getting back onto a plane come true.
At 12:00pm on May 11th, Joe’s dream was granted. He and hs son had lunch at the 910th Airlift Wing Community Activity Center and then toured a C-130 aircraft. Members of the Reserve Station presented him with a certificate of service and an honorary set of Air Force wings.
“They are our heritage. The legacy that they have handed down to us we try to honor and continue to the best of our ability and we have to get these guys out here and let the young guys see them and know where our heritage came from,” said Lt. Col. Donald Milliken, squad commander of the 773rd Airlift Squad.
Joe was accompanied by his son and staff from Shepherd of the Valley-Boardman (7148 West Blvd, Boardman)