Humble local hero finally gets a place in Hall of Fame

Typical of many military heroes, Vietnam veteran Gary Rhoades, 67, of Marietta, prefers to tell stories of the bravery displayed by his fellow soldiers decades ago.

But we insist in saying congratulations, Sgt. Rhoades, and thank you for serving our country and defending our freedom.

While we’re sure other soldiers’ stories are well worth hearing, Rhoades’ actions stand out so much that he has been inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame. Rhoades is the first Washington County resident inducted into the Hall of Fame, which was created to recognize Ohioans who have received medals of valor for their battlefield actions. Inductions for the 2013 Hall of Fame class took place Friday.

Rhoades received the Army Commendation Medal with Valor for actions against hostile Viet Cong forces on Nov. 3, 1967. He ran through a hail of shrapnel and debris to reach his mortar position. Then he continued to direct fire at the enemy until they were forced to flee their position. Bravery, indeed.

Still, Rhoades just likes to say he was doing his job. We appreciate that he did his job so well.

And now that his actions have been made part of the Hall of Fame, every Ohioan can see how bravely this Marietta soldier served.