‘Unsung Heroes’ Honored

Veterans gather following weekly news series

The Inter-Mountain photos by Tom Barr Veterans and community members gather Tuesday during a reception at the Randolph County Senior Center for The Inter-Mountain’s inaugural Unsung Heroes series. From left are local veterans Roger Ware, Willard Herron and Herman Conrad.

ELKINS — Several veterans who shared their stories as part of The Inter-Mountain’s inaugural Unsung Heroes series were honored Tuesday by community leaders and newspaper staff.

The series, which was published weekly from Memorial Day through Veterans Day, highlighted personal stories of men and women who’ve served in any branch of the military, from World War II through the present.

Steve Herron, publisher of The Inter-Mountain, said he was honored to recognize the veterans during Tuesday’s event, which took place at the Randolph County Senior Center.

“What a proud day for Elkins and The Inter-Mountain’s coverage area. This was the first year The Inter-Mountain recognized some of our hometown heroes, but it won’t be the last,” Herron said.

“We are truly blessed to have so many heroes living among us. I’ve known some of our featured veterans, but not all of them. And I’m sad to say that I had never taken the opportunity to learn what each person went through in the service to our country until I read each person’s story,” he continued.

Donald Jennings, secretary of the West Virginia All-Airborne Chapter, 82nd Airborne Division Association, speaks to veterans and community members gathered Tuesday for The Inter-Mountain’s inaugural Unsung Heroes series.

Herron added that the stories featured people who were ranked from private to a four-star general, but every serviceman and woman, regardless of rank, made a huge contribution to the country.

“I know we have a lot more stories to tell,” he said, adding anyone with veterans to suggest for next year’s series can contact The Inter-Mountain’s newsroom at 304-636-2124.

Local officials also were able to share comments of gratitude to veterans.

Randolph County Commission President Mike Taylor said he enjoys interacting with people who’ve served in the military, and he and his fellow commissioners are proud of the area’s large number of veterans.

“Randolph County is extremely fortunate to have such an illustrious group of dedicated men and women who have served their country in peace and in wartime,” Taylor said. “We extend our deepest appreciation to you.”

Elkins Mayor Van Broughton speaks at Tuesday’s Unsung Heroes reception.

Elkins Mayor Van Broughton also shared comments of thanks to those who have served, while Rhett Dusenbury, a representative of U.S. Congressman Alex Mooney, R-2nd District, also extended comments of gratitude to everyone who has served in the military to protect the country’s freedoms.

Just about half of the 26 veterans who agreed to be interviewed for the series were able to attend Tuesday’s event, which included a presentation of framed copies of each veteran’s article, as well as speakers and refreshments. Many of those unable to attend were out of town, but their framed copies will be shipped to them or hand-delivered.

One of the veterans honored at Tuesday’s event was retired Col. Herman A. Conrad, who spent 29 years of active duty with the U.S. Army and served during WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Conrad attended with his wife, Betty, and one of his children, Allen Conrad.

“I’m thankful that The Inter-Mountain took the effort to honor the veterans, and I hope they continue, because if we didn’t have veterans, we wouldn’t have a country,” Herman Conrad said. “It’s really an honor to be recognized by The Inter-Mountain, and I appreciate it.”

Brad Johnson, executive editor of The Inter-Mountain, said he was pleased with the turnout.

Rhett Dusenbury, representative of U.S. Congressman Alex Mooney, speaks at Tuesday’s Unsung Heroes reception.

“It was a great event, and we look forward to highlighting the great efforts of area veterans again for next year’s Unsung Heroes series,” Johnson said.

Randolph County Commissioner Mike Taylor speaks at Tuesday’s Unsung Heroes reception.

Elkins veteran Jake Roberts is shown here with Beth Henry-Vance, region editor of The Inter-Mountain, who wrote his article for the Unsung Heroes series.

Local veteran John Vallelonga is shown here with Beth Henry-Vance, who wrote his article for the Unsung Heroes series.

Elkins veteran Roger Ware is shown here with Beth Henry-Vance, who wrote his article for the Unsung Heroes series.

Elkins veteran Roy White is shown here with Beth Henry-Vance, who wrote his article for the Unsung Heroes series.

Valley Bend veteran Charles Ranew is shown here with Beth Henry-Vance, who wrote his article for the Unsung Heroes series.

Tucker County veteran Vincent DiBacco is shown here with Brooke Binns, a reporter for The Inter-Mountain, who wrote his article for the Unsung Heroes series.

Barbour County veteran Doug Ashby is shown here with Beth Henry-Vance, who wrote his article for the Unsung Heroes series.

Local veteran Arley Simmons is shown here with Tim MacVean, senior staff writer for The Inter-Mountain, who wrote his article for the Unsung Heroes series.

Belington veteran Harold ‘H’ Becker is shown here with Beth Henry-Vance, who wrote his article for the Unsung Heroes series.

Belington veteran Harold ‘H’ Becker is shown here with Beth Henry-Vance, who wrote his article for the Unsung Heroes series.

Local veteran Daniel Evans is shown here during Tuesday’s event with Brad Johnson, executive editor of The Inter-Mountain.

COMMENTS