More than one-fifth of the 29 inductees into the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame reside in Hardin County. It was the largest group selected in the hall’s history.
The continued influence of Fort Knox and the local military nature lead many retirees to settle here. Leaders such as Vince Carman, Bob Casher, Carl Cornelius, George Dille, Archie Mack and Mike Weaver in turn lend their skills and abilities to the region.
These six men were among 29 military veterans from Kentucky added August 27 to the Hall of Fame. All served in the US military and were all able to attend the ceremony in Lexington at the Marriott Griffin Gate Hotel
Carman said the amazing part of the Hall of Fame for him was that the inductees were everyone from privates to generals in almost every branch of the military. He said he also loved hearing what inductees were doing in their hometown.
“I learned a lot from others, and I hope they learn from myself as well,” Casher said.
Veterans are “selected for their record of significant post-military community service at the local, state, or national level, the class has served in the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, in conflicts from World War I to Operation Iraqi Freedom,” according to the organization’s press release.
After a grand gala dinner on Friday, the inductees were escorted by the Lexington Police Honor Guard and the Pipe Band. Their military service was briefly summarized and the inductees were escorted to their tables by members of the University of Kentucky Pershing Rifle Company C-1.
One of the August 26 dinner speakers was Governor Andy Beshear. Other speakers include Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton, Kentucky Congressman Andy Barr and Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams.
“Veterans put country and people first,” Beshear said at the event.
Saturday’s celebration included songs performed by the 202nd Army Band. A Hall of Fame medal was presented to each inductee as their community service was discussed.
Inductees also received an American flag that flew over the United States Capitol, a coin, and a shadowbox. The names of inductees will appear on a plaque located in the Kentucky Capitol building.
Carman and Kosher said they were able to attend the ceremony with their family. Kosher said his former boss in the military also traveled from Washington, DC.
They both said the event was patriotic and humbling, and they were honored to be inducted. Kosher said all veterans share the same passion.
“It was very, very humble and very organized,” Kosher said. “It was a beautiful ceremony”