Local Ford dealers honor area Vietnam veterans

U.S. Air Force Capt. (Ret.) Guy Gruters and his wife, Sandy; U.S. Army Capt. Carolyn Abby Auclair; Jim White, president of the Dayton Area Ford Dealers Association; and Mike Imhoff, executive director of the Air Force Museum Foundation Inc., attend a Ford Oval of Honor event June 21 honoring Auclair, Gruters and U.S. Air Force (Ret.) Lt. Col. Mike Scoop Jackson. Contributed photo
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U.S. Air Force Capt. (Ret.) Guy Gruters and his wife, Sandy; U.S. Army Capt. Carolyn Abby Auclair; Jim White, president of the Dayton Area Ford Dealers Association; and Mike Imhoff, executive director of the Air Force Museum Foundation Inc., attend a Ford Oval of Honor event June 21 honoring Auclair, Gruters and U.S. Air Force (Ret.) Lt. Col. Mike Scoop Jackson. Contributed photo

Documentary, reception at Air Force museum theater part of event

The Dayton Area Ford Dealers Association demonstrated how much the sacrifice and valor of three local Vietnam veterans are appreciated by sharing their stories, saluting their courage and celebrating their remarkable achievements June 21 at the Air Force Museum Theatre, located inside the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The event showcased the veterans during a screening of the Ken Burns documentary, The Vietnam War, courtesy of ThinkTV, following the Ford Oval of Honor.

Each year, the Ford Oval of Honor program recognizes individuals who have demonstrated an uncommon commitment to serve and defend the nation. Ford dealers in the Dayton region created this program to honor sacrifice, courage and valor.

This year’s honorees were:

• U.S. Army Capt. Carolyn “Abby” Auclair – nurse (https://youtu.be/fRV-P5GXmfY)

• U.S. Air Force Capt. Guy Gruters – pilot and Vietnam prisoner of war (https://youtu.be/UiR-3yFuyvw)

• U.S. Air Force (Ret.) Lt. Col. Mike “Scoop” Jackson - pilot and founder of Operation Homecoming (https://youtu.be/5irlJFgZj-g)

“This effort has been going on since the early 2000s,” said Jim White of White’s Ford in Urbana and president of the Dayton Area Ford Dealers Association, “and this year we are so fortunate to be able to honor these Vietnam heroes. This is kind of the ‘welcome home’ they never received. It’s a passion of Ford Motor Company to do this and honor all veterans.”

White thanked the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, the Air Force Museum Foundation Inc.’s Mary Bruggeman, ThinkTV and Cox Media Group Ohio for their event support.

He said the event will continue next year.

“There are so many heroes who have not been honored,” White said.

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