The upcoming Veteran’s Day holiday on November 11th always reminds us to fully appreciate the services of our military service members and their bravery on behalf of our country.
In recognition of the individual achievements of veterans served by Goodwill, the “Distinguished Veteran Alumni Award” is presented annually to a selected veteran at a Veteran’s Day Luncheon event hosted by the organization’s Volunteer Service Guild. This year’s recipient, Ron Combs, will be unable to attend the luncheon on November 10th due to medical issues but fortunately, Cincinnati Councilman Kevin Flynn and Goodwill were able to come to him.
When Mr. Flynn was informed of Ron’s hospitalization, he said he would like to visit Ron at Cincinnati’s VA Medical Center and present him with the award, as planned. The presentation took place at the VA Medical Center in its Community Living facility. During his remarks, Cincinnati Councilmember Flynn noted Ohio Valley Goodwill’s more than a century of service to people with disabilities and our nation’s veterans. He also talked about the importance and dignity of work for all people facing challenges to employment. He then described Ron’s story of personal success and presented the award in front of the assembled guests.
Ron’s comments in accepting the award were heart-felt and compelling. He shared his personal story and credited Ohio Valley Goodwill with helping him to get the help he needed to now celebrate almost ten years of employment. He indicated that through his own journey, he learned about his true calling- serving people with developmental disabilities. He also encouraged veterans to seek help when they need it and find their own personal story of success.
Ron’s story is one of remarkable courage. While in the military, Ron was stationed at Ft. Bragg South Carolina as a Specialist E4 and a member of the Army’s Combat Engineer’s Battalion. He saw action in Grenada and, after four years of service received an Honorable Discharge. After the Army, Ron couldn’t find work and struggled with other significant life crises which ultimately, resulted in homelessness. Through his family, Ron became connected with Goodwill’s Veterans Services. Today Ron has his own apartment and has been employed since 2009, and says he credits Goodwill with helping him on his journey of personal achievement.
Ohio Valley Goodwill salutes Ron Combs for his personal success and congratulates him on being selected as the 2017 recipient of the “Distinguished Veterans Award.” The organization is also grateful to Councilmember Kevin Flynn for his outreach in support of Mr. Combs and our military service members. As we near this year’s Veteran’s Day holiday, join Ohio Valley Goodwill in thanking our military veterans for their service to our country.
To find out more about Ohio Valley Goodwill’s programs and services for military veterans, visit www.cincinnatigoodwill.org/services.