COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Twenty men and women were inducted in the Ohio Military Veterans Hall of Fame Thursday morning.
They were honored for their efforts both in the military and contributions during civilian life. Both men and women honored served in the military as far back as World War II.
Among the 20 men and women inducted into the Hall of Fame is an Ohio native, U.S. Navy SEAL, and a recipient of the Medal of Honor, Senior Chief Edward Byers Jr.
“The Medal of Honor is the United States’ highest and most prestigious award for valor in combat,” said Master of Ceremonies Mike McKinney as he introduced the inductees.
In 2012, Senior Chief Byers successfully rescued an American doctor who was held by the Taliban, and afterwards rendered medical aid and CPR on a teammate who died from his wounds during the rescue.
Byers received the Medal of Honor in February 2016 at an awards ceremony in the White House by former President Barack Obama.
Byers said the rescue happened in eastern Afghanistan and during it we all lost a great American, a Chief Petty Officer who was killed in action.
Pointing to his Medal of Honor, Byers said, “This does not belong to me. It belongs to my team and everyone else that I was part of.”
Veterans from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam were also inducted into the Hall of Fame. Byers says he is proud to stand with them.
Four of them are from Central Ohio. David Dilly, 71, from Coshocton, is a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in the Vietnam War.
Francis Luciotti, 85, a U.S. Air Force veteran from Licking County, served in the Korean War.
James McLaughlin, 73, a U.S. Air Force veteran from Franklin County, served in the Vietnam War.
Warren Motts, 76, a U.S. Army and Ohio National Guard veteran from Franklin County, served from 1959 to 1968. He also is the Founder of Motts Military Museum in Groveport.
“There are so many remarkable Ohioans from the state that are now part of the Veterans Hall of Fame,” Byers said.
A retired Navy SEAL and Ohio Senator was also in the audience.
“It is a huge blessing that we have another Navy SEAL here actually recognizing today’s efforts for Ohio,” said Senator Frank Hoagland, serving several counties along the Ohio River.
The bronze plaque with the inductees’ names on it will be displayed in the Ohio Statehouse in the Third Street lobby.
You can learn more about the Hall of Fame and the 2017 recipients by visiting http://dvs.ohio.gov/main/veterans-hall-of-fame.html