Making veterans lives better


An event that has raised more than $25,000 for the Ohio Veterans Home in Georgetown, the 11th annual Sgt. Morris “Moe” Newton Memorial Golf Tournament was held Saturday at the Hillsboro Elks Golf Course.

Newton was a retired Cincinnati police officer who moved to the Rocky Fork Lake area after his retirement. He completed three tours of duty in Vietnam, was a member of the Highland County Veterans Honor Guard, and held offices in the Highland County AMVETS, Hillsboro VFW and Hillsboro Eagles. When he got cancer he bought a new set of golf clubs that he was never able to use, but his son, Austin Newton, used them at Saturday’s golf outing.

While proceeds from the golf outing have went to the Ohio Veterans Home in Georgetown Volunteer Committee in recent years, this year they were split between the veterans home and the local Highlanders Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution to be used for a Revolutionary War Veterans Memorial the group hopes to dedicate in July of 2026.

The total raised from this year’s outing was not immediately available. About 20 teams participated.

Plans are to place the Revolutionary War Memorial on the south side of the Highland County Courthouse lawn.

Hanna Hopper, volunteer coordinator at the Georgetown Veterans Home, said the funds are used for “any way we can improve the lives of veterans.” She said that includes clothing, personal items and even alcohol for some events, “to help them live the best life they can.”

“We’re just thankful for what the group who organizes this event does and for the golfers that continue to come out each year,” Hopper said. “We are excited to be able to split the proceeds this year with the Sons of the American Revolution because it’s important to keep history alive, and we hope the memorial is something our veterans come and see.”

She said the Georgetown Veterans Home currently has eight residents from Highland County.

The Highlanders Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution originated in 2016. Gary Duffield with the Highlanders SAR said that in addition to the names of 93 Revolutionary War veterans on a plaque on the Highland County Courthouse, the organization has researched and found 111 more names recently of Revolutionary War veterans who either died or were buried were in Highland County. All the names will be placed on the plaque.

He said it will cost about $37,000 to complete the memorial, and that so far about $5,000 has been raised. He said anyone wanting to donate or help raise funds can contact Gerold “Buzzard” Wilkin at 937-393-3730.

Part of Saturday’s event between morning and afternoon flights of golf included a ceremony honoring Highland County Veterans Honor Guard members who have passed away since the organization started in 1992. The honor guard performs at the funerals of veterans from Highland County, and serves at numerous other Veterans Day and county events.

Wilkin said that originally, Hillsboro American Legion Honor Guard members performed services for Highland County’s veterans when they died, and when it stopped the National Guard unit in Hillsboro took over. After that several veterans organizations in the county combined to perform the services until they eventually formed the Highland County Veterans Honor Guard.

It is on pace to conduct more than 90 ceremonies this year.

Eighty-one members have passed since the organization was founded. Their names were read at Saturday’s outing, with a bell sounding for each name. The deceased members were: Ray Alexander, Merle Beekman, Thomas Bingamon, Charles Boatman, Lowell Bradford, Jerry Campbell, Larry Combs, Junior Conaway, Gary Conley, Ralph Crabtree, Robert A. Curtis, John Russel Curtis Sr., Charles Darling, Loreal P. Dean, Gary Dickerson, Dewey Dunseith, Randy Ferguson, Harold Forsha, Joe Freeman, Walter Garman, John Hakes, Butch Hamilton, Richard L. Hanford, Kenneth Harlow, Lester Hartifant, David Higham, Larry Huff, Charles A. Huff Sr., Gary Manor, Robert Jaynes, Todd Jenkins, Roger Jenkins, John A. Jolley, Ivor Jones, John F. Jones, Herschel Juillerat, Raymond T. Kellough, William Lewis, William Lynn, John Malinowski, Earl Mansford, Don Marsh, Robert Martin, Hayden McDonald, Bob McLaughlin, Forest Michael, George Miclea, Daniel Mulvihill, Keith Newcomer, Morris Newton, Herbert Platt, Lewis Poole, Charles G. Puchta, Jerry Purdun, Rodger Ramsey, Charles Redkey, David M. Rotroff, Dick Seaman, Tony Shaw, Arnold Speakman, Dick Stevens, Jesse Stevens, George Steward, Bob Stroup, Jeremy Stump, William Swindler, JL Thompson, Charles Thoroman, Donald D. Tira, Nelson Trent, John Walker, Wilbert Ward, Charles West, Roger Whiting, Glen Wical, Charles Willett, Orland Willis, Joseph Wright and Paul R. Yinger.

“Someone much smarter than me once said that veterans will never be forgotten until their name is said for the last time,” Wilkin said.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.

As members of the Highland County Veterans Honor Guard look on, Ohio Veterans Home Volunteer Coordinator Hanna Hopper reads the names Saturday of honor guard members that have passed away since the organization was formed in 1992. members of the Highland County Veterans Honor Guard look on, Ohio Veterans Home Volunteer Coordinator Hanna Hopper reads the names Saturday of honor guard members that have passed away since the organization was formed in 1992. Jeff Gilliland | The Times-Gazette
Annual outing benefits vets home, Revolutionary War Memorial

By Jeff Gilliland

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