Between 1942 and 1945, Army Sgt. Glenn Reese found himself defending the Aleutian Islands from the Japanese.
It was a cold, miserable place, Reese told his son, Terry, who lives in Massillon. When the war ended, Reese headed for home and never looked back. And he never received the medals that recognized his service to his country.
That changes today. Terry Reese, his wife, their two sons and families will be at Canal Park in Akron, where 20 veterans or their families will receive the honors they earned in military service.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown will present the medals prior to an Akron RubberDucks baseball game. His staff reviewed the veterans’ records and determined if they had honors coming.
Glenn Reese, who worked 30 years as a Stark County sheriff’s deputy, died in 1995. “He was a kind, tough guy,” Terry Reese said.
Reese had his father’s military records. When another family member researched medals, Reese decided to find out what his father should have received. On the list are a Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and a WWII honorable service lapel button.
Reese plans to have the medals mounted with some other items from his father’s service. “I wanted my sons to have those,” he said.
Lake Township Vietnam veterans James R. Oakes and David B. Pickens also will receive medals. Both are members of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 717 in Akron, and members submitted forms to Brown’s office after some others hadn’t received medals for their service.
“It was more for support for the other guys,” Pickens said, explaining why he filled out the form.
Oakes and Pickens didn’t expect to receive any new medals. Both were surprised when they heard from Brown’s office that they were due additional honors.
Oakes served from 1967 to 1970, and was in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive and other campaigns. When he came home and started college, he did another stint in the Ohio National Guard.
Serving in the Army was a learning experience, Oakes said. “It teaches you to wake up.”
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