Ohio Military Hall of Fame Inductees to Include Marion Native

Captain Stephen J. ChaneyThe fourteenth annual induction ceremony for The Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor Class of 2013 will be conducted on Friday, May 3, 2013. This year’s class includes representatives from the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps who served during World War II, as well as the conflicts in Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East. Captain Stephen J. Chaney of Marion will be one of those inducted posthumously.

The ceremony will take place in the Atrium of the Ohio Statehouse, commencing at 11:30 a.m.

Hall of Fame board members say these Ohioans have all gone above and beyond the call of duty and performed heroically in specific combat actions against armed enemies of the United States of America. For their actions, they have received such commendations as the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Medal.

Cpt. Chaney was born and raised in Marion, graduated in 1964 from Marion Catholic, and served as a Green Beret in the Vietnam War where he earned the Silver Star Medal. He was awarded the medal after dying during a secret mission in Laos near the Vietnam border.

The following is his citation regarding his deservedness of the Silver Star.

For gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: Captain Chaney distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 23 September 1969 while leading a reconnaissance patrol deep in enemy-controlled territory.

Following helicopter insertion into the hostile area, Captain Chaney led his men in a careful search for signs of enemy movement. As the team moved cautiously through the enemy sanctuary, a footbridge crossing a narrow stream was spotted a short distance away. Captain Chaney instructed his men to take up defensive positions while he crawled close to the bridge. From there he observed a contingent of about fifteen enemy troops encamped across the stream. He then crawled back to his men and briefed them on a plan to call in air strikes on the unsuspecting enemy and then assault them while they were stunned and confused.

When the helicopter gunships arrived over the enemy’s position, Captain Chaney began directing and adjusting their fire on the foe. The rockets fired by the first gunship were exactly on target, but one rocket fired by the second gunship veered from its course and impacted near the reconnaissance team’s position, wounding every member of the team and preventing the planned assault.

Although critically wounded by flying shrapnel, Captain Chaney calmly remained in control of the situation. He informed the forward air controller of what had happened and requested that an extraction team be dispatched to evacuate his men. When the recovery team arrived, Captain Chaney, now extremely weak and close to expiring, was still in command of his men and anxious that they be promptly evacuated and given medical assistance. Captain Chaney, however, succumbed to his wounds before he reached rear medical facilities.

Captain Chaney’s gallantry in action, at the cost of his life, was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.

The 2013 inductees were born in and / or entered military service from, or currently reside in various towns and cities in Ohio, including Akron, Batavia, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Fairborn, Findlay, Galion, Greenville, Hillsboro, Hollansburg, Junction City, Lakewood, Lancaster, Laura, Lebanon, Lima, Logan, Marietta, Marion, Powell, Quincy, Struthers, Washington Courthouse, Wilmington, Xenia and Zanesville.

The ceremony will bring the total number of Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor inductees to 238, of whom four have received the Medal of Honor.

The induction ceremony will be open to the public.  Currently, Governor John Kasich, Congressman Patrick Tiberi, Congressman Steve Stivers and Jason Dominguez, Assistant Director of Ohio’s Department of Veterans Services, have been invited and may participate in the event, which will culminate with the singing of “God Bless The USA” by Brian Michael Smith.

The Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor was established in 2000 to recognize Ohio servicemen and women who were decorated for heroism while in combat situations.  You can visit www.ohioheroes.org for more information regarding The Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor and the noble service members who have been inducted into its ranks.

Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor Class of 2013 Inductees (* = Posthumous Award)

Silver Star Recipients

  • SGT Buryl R. Allison    U.S. Marine Corps
  • *  CPL Sam Boggs, Jr.    U.S. Army
  • *  1SG Steve P. Boros, Jr.    U.S. Army
  • CAPT Daniel Carmichael    U.S. Navy
  • *  CPT Stephen J. Chaney    U.S. Army
  • SGT Robert K. Debolt, III    U.S. Army
  • 1SGT George De Lost, Jr.     U. S. Army
  • LT COL Louis E. Gale    U.S. Air Force
  • PFC Dale M. Marker    U.S. Army
  • SGT Lovell  L. McKee    U.S. Army
  • COl. Thomas N. Moe     U.S. Air Force
  • *  SSG Paul F. Otto    U.S. Army
  • SGT Dennis K. Thatcher    U.S. Army

Distinguished Flying Cross Recipients

  • MAJ John J. Arvai    U.S. Army
  • LCDR Donald Kimple    U.S. Navy

Bronze Star with “V” Device Recipients

  • SSG Robert W. Carr        U.S. Army
  • SGT Jerry R. Chiles    U.S. Marine Corps
  • LT Maurice H. Docton    U.S. Navy

Army Commendation Medal with “V” Device Recipients

  • SGT Danny D. Bare    U.S. Army
  • SGT Gary A. Rhoades    U.S. Army

This year’s induction is in memoriam of Major (ret) Robert Wrentz White, Sr. (1937 – 2008). A member of the 2000 Inaugural Class, Bob was among those instrumental in the founding of the Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor. At the inception of the Military Hall of Fame, Bob enlisted the support and guidance of then State Representative Patrick Tiberi in making the Ohio Military Hall of Fame a reality.  Congressman Tiberi continues his association with the organization as an Honorary Board Member.  As a member of the Board of Directors, Bob assumed the responsibilities of Ceremony Director and spent countless hours since the first Ceremony in coordinating the annual dedication to Ohio’s Military Veterans.

Bob died in December 2008, after a short, but courageous battle with cancer, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on May 28, 2009. Bob is survived by his wife of 32 years, Mary Jo, children: Robert W. (Melody) White, Jr., Rebecca (Gary) Chambers, Daniel (Carol) White, Jeffrey (Deana) White and Michelle (John) Weber, Mother: Jane Pyle (Harold), brother: Wilbert Joseph White (Sandy), 11 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.

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