Two Navy recruiters and a Marine recruiter stood at attention Wednesday and saluted over a newly placed black granite marker inscribed with the names of two Navy SEALs killed in Libya nearly a year ago.
Standing with the recruiters, also saluting, was Don Maurer, 66, of Canal Fulton, who served with the Marines in Vietnam and who had the idea to memorialize the two SEALs at the Ohio Veterans Memorial Park.
The park includes a wall with the names of all 3,095 Ohioans killed in Vietnam, honors Ohioans killed in other wars and lists all those from the state killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“This is an excellent thing,” Petty Officer 1st Class Justin J. Orahood, 35, said of the new marker. He works out of the Navy’s recruiting office in Canton.
The 8-by-16-inch marker is inscribed with the names of former SEALs Glen Doherty, 42, and Ty Woods, 41, who were killed in the terrorist attack in Benghazi last Sept. 11 along with U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and foreign service worker Sean Smith.
“We felt even though those boys weren’t from Ohio they need to be honored,” said Ray Arnold, 66, an Army Vietnam veteran and president of the board of trustees at the park.
On Sept. 21, a POW-MIA wall and reflecting pond will be dedicated at the park, and next year a Gold Star father statue will be added. A Gold Star mother statue already exists at the park.
Marine recruiter Sgt. Amy Hastie, 31, a Louisville native, called the marker remembering the two SEALs and the park itself “probably the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. The fact that they are taking the time to remember and recognize these guys is awesome. They don’t get it enough.”
Lee Schreckengost, 81, and his wife, Barbara Midcap, 76, watched the short ceremony.
His brother, Fred Schreckengost, was taken prisoner in June 1964 in Vietnam and died trying to escape two days later. His remains were not found until 1990.
Also watching the ceremony were Larry and Janice Fernandez of Louisville.
“We have been upset about the Benghazi tragedy and we wanted to come here and honor” those killed, Janice Fernandez, 64, said.
Maurer, retired from the Ohio Department of Transportation, said he felt the two SEALs have not gotten the accolades they deserved.
“It brings tears to my eyes looking at it,” he said of their marker.
The memorial park is located at 8005 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road in Clinton. For more information, go to www.ovmp.org or call 330-773-2385.
Jim Carney can be reached at 330-996-3576 or firstname.lastname@example.org.