Butler County Veteran of the Year honored

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Butler County Veteran of the Year Ron Dzikowski

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Applause was the sound of the day at the Michael J. Colligan Lodge at Veterans Park in Hamilton on Friday.

There, veterans and politicians observed Veterans Day, which is today, and honored Butler County’s Veteran of the Year.

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Ron Dzikowski, commander of the VFW Post 7696 in West Chester Twp., was bestowed the honor of Veteran of Year for his contributions to the post, including tripling the number of active members and leading the restoration of the home where the group meets

Dzikowski said a few years ago only maybe 10 people would attend meetings and now 30 are routinely involved in the activities at the Post, which is unusual these days.

“It’s a great honor,” he said about the designation. “I didn’t do this for the accolades I did it because of my concern about my fellow veterans. And I’m going to still continue doing it.”

State Rep. George Lang, a former West Chester Twp. trustee, was the keynote speaker for the event that celebrated all veterans.

“In my opinion all veterans are heroes. I know many of you who have served and come back, you say you’re not the hero, the heroes are those who did not return, those are the true heroes” Lang said. “You may be right, but my definition of a hero is this: anybody that put their life on the line for the benefit or the safety of another or anybody who is willing to put their life on the line for the benefit of another … are heroes.”

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Lang told the group he is not a hero and doesn’t know if he could step up, but went on to say everyone needs to teach young people that sports icons and entertainers are not heroes. That the service men and women and veterans gathered in the lodge were.

“They should be known that the true heroes are not the sports heroes but they are the men and women who served our community,” Lang said. “Our heroes today are not Colin Kaepernick but they are people like Warren Davidson who fought for our country.”

Congressman Davidson was also on hand for the ceremony and took the opportunity to scold his colleagues in Washington for the lack of a national security plan, for breaking promises they made to veterans and for not providing adequate funding. He said even with those problems young people are still signing up to serve, which is a “humbling” thing.

He described service in the military like this:

“Everyone who served knows it could cost everything, including your life but scripture says that greater love has no man when asked that he lay down his life for his friends,” Davidson said. “It’s an anathema, complete contradictory to say every man for himself in uniform, because it’s the exact opposite, you win as a team, you win as a unit, you win as a nation.”