Convoy honors the fallen


By Sam Wildow

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TROY — The local community recognized Memorial Day by remembering and honoring those military servicemen and women who lost their lives in service to the country with parades and other events on Monday.

The Miami Valley Veterans Museum, 2245 S. County Road 25-A, Troy, hosted the Ohio Motor Pool and its convoy of historic military vehicles as part of the museum’s Memorial Day event. The convoy traveled through local communities on Monday for Memorial Day.

Mike Haines, a member of the Ohio Motor Pool, said the group brought three vehicles originating from World War II, as well as vehicles from the Korean and Vietnam wars. A historic civilian fire truck from Beaverdam was also on display.

“These are the vehicles they rode in, died in,” Haines said about the military vehicles and the service people who used them.

Haines said the Ohio Motor Pool has been operating for approximately 30 years with the goal of educating the public, as well as preserving historic military vehicles. Haines added the group is “really big on getting the kids interested.”

“They’ve been great supporters of us,” Karen Purke, executive director of the Miami Valley Veterans Museum, said about the Ohio Motor Pool. This year was the second year the veterans museum hosted the Ohio Motor Pool, and she added the group also helped the veterans museum move to its new location.

“We’re honored to work with them,” Purke said. The Ohio Motor Pool holds similar goals to the veterans museum, Purke said, making the two organizations a good team.

“Our mission is to honor, preserve, and perpetuate the legacy of Miami Valley veterans,” Purke said.

The veterans museum also plans on working with the Ohio Motor Pool again later this year in September to recognize the 20th anniversary of the Sept.11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

As for Memorial Day, the true meaning was at the forefront of Monday’s event.

“Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Purke said. “It’s very different than other holidays. It is in honor of those heroes.”

“We’re very grateful to be able to have a gathering here at the museum in honor of the fallen heroes,” Purke said.

The Miami Valley Veterans Museum currently has limited hours due to the ongoing construction at the site, but it plans to open additional hours once the renovation of its new location is complete. The veterans museum is currently open to visitors on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursdays from 1-5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We’ll expand those hours after we finish construction,” Purke said.

For more information, follow the Miami Valley Veterans Museum on Facebook or visit its website at For more information on the Ohio Motor Pool, visit

Parades honoring Memorial Day were also held throughout Miami County on Monday, including in Piqua, West Milton, Casstown, Covington, Fletcher, Christiansburg and more.

The Piqua Veterans’ Association held the Piqua Memorial Day parade 9 a.m Monday, following the typical route from the Piqua Intermediate School to the Veterans’ Memorial at Forest Hill Cemetery. The keynote speaker for the Memorial Day services following the parade was Brigadier General Paul Craft of the US Army Cyber School at Fort Gordon, Ga.

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