The Austintown Senior Center was host to a Veteran Day Program on Friday, April 19. Attended by more than 50 veterans and their families, the event saw honors given to the founder of the Veterans' Corner at the center.
On hand for the event were Austintown Township trustees Lisa Oles and Jim Davis, who presented two proclamations. The first went to Austintown's American Legion Post 301. It honored the post for having a long-running distinguished history in continuing to serve veterans.
The second proclamation went to Ron Borngesser, a member of Post 301 who has played an important part in setting up and running the Veterans' Corner. He also has seen the recent success of establishing a program to get veterans into homes through Habitat for Humanity. The first home should be built this year in Austintown, and Habitat for Humanity expressed interest in continuing the program annually.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Austintown veterans Homer Marsh, 87, and John Prochak, 90, attended the Veterans Day program on Friday at the Austintown Senior Center. Prochak is a three-time veteran who served in World War II, Korea, and in Vietnam with the U.S. Army 3rd Rangers. Marsh served as a medic in Germany during World War II, where he was assigned to the 21st Tank Battalion.
Speaking at the event was Senior Center Director Jim Henshaw. He said the day (April 19) was an important day in American history. He said it was on this date in 1775 that Capt. John Parker led his militia into battle against the British at the Battle of Lexington.
"When he was confronted by the British at the Lexington Green, he made the historic comment, 'Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here'."
He witnessed his cousin Jonas Parker killed by a British bayonet. Later that day he rallied his men to attack the regulars returning to Boston in an ambush known as "Parker's Revenge."
The morning was filled with stories of bravery followed by a lunch for the veterans. Tables were set up and staffed by veterans' services staff to showcase what is available to veterans who needed help.