Serving with Honor: The Queen City's Veterans, an exhibit now at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County and running through mid-January, profiles some of the many veterans from the Greater Cincinnati area who took up the call of duty, starting from the War of 1812 to the present day. Photos, diaries, letters, uniforms, medals and other artifacts from local veterans will be on display.
During World War II, Army Air Corps fighter pilot Lieutenant Herschel Ponder flew 51 missions over Europe. Forty-five years later he wrote about his experience. His daughter, Carol Ponder, and her husband, Robert Kiefer, both long-time entertainers, used her father's memoir to create Ponder Anew: A WWII Warrior's Story. Performances of Ponder Anew and their accompanying workshops are being used to help military personnel and combat veterans open up about their wartime experiences, and cope with PTSD and other mental or emotional problems they may face.
Joining us to discuss Ponder Anew and its role in helping members of the military, veterans, and their families, are Carol Ponder and Robert Kiefer; Sherry Walker, a social worker and therapist on the Alvin C. York campus of the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in Murfreesboro, Tennessee; and Laure Quinliven, a board member of Heroes Fund, which provides support locally to active duty military serving in a combat zone and veterans who served in combat zones.
Staff Sgt. Billy Cook, a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, brought his family to the Army birthday and welcome home ceremony in Washington Park Friday. Tara Cook calls her husband’s 15 months in Iraq “a really long tour,” and worse for her than his more recent year in Afghanistan. Cook’s wife and three children are happy he's serving stateside as a recruiter now.
Retired Major Sario Caravalho spoke of his three tours in Vietnam and the special men with whom he served during a salute to Vietnam era veterans.