Honoring our servicemen

Elder’s Support the Troops club makes sure that the contribution of our nation’s military is never forgotten


War Veterans at the Changing of the Sign ceremony on Glenway Avenue

During the Vietnam War, the Elder community lost eleven soldiers in battle, including four members of the class of 1966. A few members of that class wanted to honor their fallen classmates and now Ohio State Route 264, or Glenway Avenue, is dedicated in their name.

In 2014, State Representative Louis Terhar helped push the dedication through the Ohio state legislature after being approached by the group. Once it passed, the Support the Troops club at Elder and Mr. Brian Bill took over from there.

“For the first year, a new sign was hung up next to Glenway each month,” said Bill. “On the second (of October), our first yearly sign was hung after each member got a turn to be honored.”

The Support the Troops club was formed in 2008 but then-seniors Matt Brannen and Ben Combs who wanted to send care packages to those fighting for our country in the Middle East. After a three year absence of the club, the two alumni contacted Mr. Bill about resuming the club and it has thrived.

“The club will do many things such as make care packages for vets, the changing of the sign ceremonies, a veterans baseball game, and is also accepting other about about the military especially involving alumni of Elder, “commented Bill.

“I joined the club after I heard an announcement about it. I wanted to learn more about it so I attended the first meeting and I’ve been a member since,” said junior Ryan Ruehl.

Sophomore Chris Conway is another member of the club. “I joined the Support the Troops club because although I don’t believe in war, I do believe that these men and women are rising their lives to protect me and my country,” said Conway.

My dad was in Vietnam, so the military always has held a special place in my heart

— Mr. Brian Bill

“I love learning more about the veterans who served that also went to Elder,” said Conway. “It is important to know who in our Elder family risked or lost their lives defending our country.”

Ruehl said, “My favorite part is that the club is open to every single personality at Elder. Every single student has the opportunity to be a part of something special.”

“My dad was in Vietnam, so the military always has held a special place in my heart,”  said Bill.