COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A group of Ohio’s most distinguished veterans were honored with the achievement of a lifetime Tuesday.

Twenty military service members from the Buckeye State were inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame. For this group of veterans, the achievement isn’t a military award; it’s an appreciation for the selfless dedication to their communities across Ohio.

“I know I say it every year, but I think this was much better than any other class we’ve ever had,” said Maj. Gen. Deborah Ashenhurst, the director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services.

The class of ’22, which includes members from four major branches of the United States armed forces, was chosen from a group of 87 nominees. Ranging in age from 39 to 86, this year’s inductees represent 15 counties across the state.

Now, their enduring sense of duty will never be forgotten.

“They still have this heart for service and they go on to do great and incredible things,” Ashenhurst said. “Whether it’s at the local level or clear across the nation and the world, and it’s important we recognize that.”

The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame was established in 1992 by then-Gov. George Voinovich. The goal: to recognize professional achievements, community service, and selfless acts made by veterans after their military service is complete.

“Absolutely amazing people,” Gov. Mike DeWine said. “You know, we thank them for their military service, but then they came home after their military service and just continued to give back.”

From achievements in public service to health care and veterans services, each inductee received a medal and plaque presented by DeWine, who aims to make Ohio the most military-friendly state in the country.

“The 20 who we honored today, they represent thousands and thousands of others who are out there who could have been up here today,” he said.

With more than 700,000 veterans calling Ohio home, advocates said there are many more brave Buckeyes with contributions in the community to recognize.

“They need to know that we love them, we want them here, and we’ll do what it takes to make this the perfect environment for them to thrive, and live, and raise a family, and play, and just enjoy life,” Ashenhurt said.

This year’s class joins 934 other Ohio veterans who have been inducted into the state’s hall of fame since its inception.

For more information on each of the members of this year’s class and how to nominate someone, click here.