2018-05-16 / Front Page

Air Force, Marine Veterans To Speak At Memorial Day Events

George Johnson George Johnson A retired Air Force colonel and a Marine veteran will speak at Archbold and Ridgeville Corners Memorial Day events, Monday, May 28.

George E. “Bud” Johnson, Jr., Punta Gorda, Fla., and Detroit Lakes, Minn., will speak at the Archbold American Legion ceremony.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9:30 am at the Archbold Knights of Columbus Rebeau Hall. Archbold American Legion, Buehrer- Lauber-Weckesser Post 311, hosts the service.

Johnson will also speak at the Pettisville ceremony, which is set for 11 am at the Pettisville Cemetery.

The Archbold High School Marching Band will perform at the Archbold and Ridgeville events.

The Pettisville band will play at the Pettisville service.


Johnson is the father of the late Spencer Johnson, formerly of Archbold.

He was commissioned as a United States Air Force officer in 1981. While attending undergraduate pilot training, he was a distinguished graduate and recipient of the ATC-UPT Flying Training award at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., in 1982.

Don Rospert Don Rospert He served with the 11th aeromedical airlift squadron, piloting the C-9A, a converted jet airliner, out of Scott AFB, Ill.

Johnson went on to become a C-9A flight examiner, and later, was assigned as one of three initial cadre instructor pilots in the 1375th Flying Training Squadron at Scott AFB.

In 1988, after completing his active duty career, he became a member of the 73rd Airlift Squadron at Scott.

He has served as 73rd Squadron Commander and Assistant Deputy Operations Group Commander of the 932nd Airlift Wing.

In his final two years as a colonel, he served as the North Dakota Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer.

The EPLO is responsible for coordination of all military activities related to any event requiring Federal Emergency Management Agency involvement.

His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with three devices, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with one device, Combat Readiness Medal with six devices, National Defense Service Medal with one device, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with three devices, Small Arms Expert Marksman Ribbon, and the Air Force Training Ribbon.

As a command pilot, he has more than 5,000 flying hours as a military pilot.

Today, he flies cargo jets for a package delivery service.


Don Rospert, Bellevue, will speak at the Ridgeville Corners American Legion ceremony.

The Ridgeville Corners American Legion, Ward L. Adams Posts 454 will hold its program at 10:30 am at the Legion Hall.

Rospert was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, 2nd battalion, 3rd Marines. He served in Vietnam from 1967-68.

While in Vietnam, he took part in 13 major operations.

A graduate of St. Paul’s High School, Norwalk, he attended Miami University before the Marine Corps.

After he was discharged, he completed his college degree at Bowling Green State University.

He is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Legion, American Veterans (AMVETS), and Marine Corps League.

For three years, he was commandant, and was active in the USMC “Toys for Tots” Program.

As a founding member of the Fallen Soldiers Memorial in Bellevue, he was responsible for design and construction and secured nearly 1,100 memorial pavers.

He is also a member of the Vietnam War Commemoration Program, which is a Department of Defense initiative. He has issued pins to more than 700 Vietnam veterans.

A member of the Wounded Soldiers Fund in Bellevue, he has aided families impacted by the Global War on Terror.

Rospert has also been involved with the Ohio Flags of Honor display and the Wall that Heals.

He is also active with Big Brothers-Big Sisters. He was a mentor for 18 years, a board member for six years, and board president for three years.

He was active with the Cleveland Bike to Cure event.

He received the 2013 Distinguished Service Award from the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, the 2013 Community Service Award from Bellevue Rotary, and a key to the city from the mayor.

Rospert was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame in 2017.


During the Ridgeville Corners Legion Post event, there will be recognition of Vietnam era veterans from the post. The Vietnam era is defined as 1955-1975.

Each Vietnam-era vet will receive a commemorative pin and certificate of appreciation from the American Legion.

The Ridgeville ceremony will also feature a performance by the Community Choir, the Kids March, plus a 21-gun salute and taps.

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