Ohio National Guard News

Three former Ohio Guard members
inducted into Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame 2018 Class
Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame logo

Story and Photos by Staff Sgt. Michael Carden, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

Twenty Ohio veterans were inducted into the 2018 class of the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame at a ceremony Nov. 8, 2018, at Radiant Life Church in Dublin, Ohio. The honorees, including three former Ohio National Guardsmen, were recognized for their outstanding contributions to their local communities, Ohio and the nation outside of the military.

Ronald Albers, former member of the Ohio Air National Guard.

Haraz Ghanbari, former member of the Ohio Army National Guard.

E. J. Thomas (center), former member of the Ohio Air National Guard.

DUBLIN, Ohio (11/8/18) — Twenty veterans were inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame during a ceremony at Radiant Life Church. Among the Class of 2018 honorees are three former members of the Ohio National Guard. All inductees were selected for their contributions not just while they were in uniform, but for their service to their communities, the state and nation outside of their military careers.

“It’s wonderful to recognize these great Ohioans for all they’ve done,” said retired Col. Chip Tansill, director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services and a former member of the Ohio Army National Guard. “Most military members continue their service once they’ve taken off the uniform and it’s important to recognize the contributions they continue to make.”

The former ONG member honorees were Ronald Albers (Ohio Air National Guard), Haraz Ghanbari (Ohio Army National Guard) and E.J. Thomas (Ohio Air National Guard), joining a distinguished list of Guard members in the Hall of Fame.

“It was a labor of love,” Albers said. “It was things I had started while I was in the military that I just continued to stay with.”

Albers was referring to being the only American member of a French organization that dedicates monuments and plans ceremonies to honor U.S. aircrew members who died while serving in France during World War II. For his efforts, he has been presented the keys to 11 cities by French mayors. He also continues to work with local groups to promote and recognize the contributions of service members throughout history, including interviewing and publishing the stories of veterans dating back to World War II.

For most of the inductees, the honor brings a moment of reflection and a renewed sense of purpose.

“It’s truly humbling,” said Ghanbari, a former ONG enlisted Soldier who currently serves as a lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve. “I look forward to the chance to continue to give back.”

Ghanbari has deployed to both Bosnia and Afganistan during his military career, while his service to his community continues with helping veterans transition to civilian life through his work as the director of military and veteran affairs at the University of Toledo. He also volunteers with a variety of veterans service organizations across northern Ohio and was elected to the Perrysburg City Council in 2017.

Each of the honorees took the recognition with understated humility and pride, quick to point out what the other inductees had done more than their own contributions.

“That’s one of the things about Americans that is really pretty unique,” Thomas said. “We have generous hearts and we’re there to help others when they need it.”

Thomas currently serves as the president and CEO for Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio, a nonprofit organization that refurbishes and provides affordable homes to those who couldn’t otherwise afford housing. He also works to advocate for veterans issues in both the Ohio Legislature and in Washington D.C.

A plaque listing all of this year’s honorees will be unveiled during a ceremony in May at the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts in downtown Columbus.

For more information on the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame, biographies of this year’s and previous years’ inductees, or how to nominate a deserving veteran for a future class, go to: http://dvs.ohio.gov/main/veterans-hall-of-fame.html. The submission deadline for next year’s class is June 1.

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