Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame names Vietnam vet Ron Schwachenwald to Class of 2018

October 4, 2018

Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame names Vietnam vet Ron Schwachenwald to Class of 2018

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Ron Schwachenwald, an ardent supporter of local veterans causes and organizations, has been named to the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame, Class of 2018.

Schwachenwald, 81, of North Ridgeville, was among 20 Ohioans receiving the honor that is administered by the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, and has recognized the post-service accomplishments of state veterans since 1992.

In naming Schwachenwald, the Hall of Fame noted that he “leads by example and his personal drive and magnetism help him grow an active coterie of involved veteran community members.”

Schwachenwald is an Army veteran of the war in Vietnam where he served with the 281st Aviation Co.

During his 35-year service (retiring in 1994 as a colonel), Schwachenwald received military awards including the Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal for Valor.

His professional career includes serving as a military affairs, education and industry liaison for the late Congressman Louis Stokes, and program director for the U.S. Army Aviation and Troop Command in St. Louis, and the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

He is one of the founding board officers of the Greater Cleveland Fisher House, that provides a place for families of vets being medically treated here to stay.

The Hall of Fame citation noted that Schwachenwald was involved in developing a capital campaign that raised more than $3 million for the local Fisher House, which was matched by the national foundation, enabling two facilities to be built here.

Schwachenwald served as president of the local chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA), and AUSA state president.

He was board president of the Joint Veterans Council of Cuyahoga County (JVCOCC) for two terms.

During his tenure he helped with such annual events as the JVCOCC Veteran of the Year awards luncheon, the Vietnam Anniversary Recognition event (March 29), and a Flag Day celebration held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Schwachenwald was also commended for helping bring back a Veterans Day parade to downtown Cleveland after a 40-year absence.

He is also a past president of Purple Heart Homes of Northeast Ohio, part of a national nonprofit group that provides housing for service-connected disabled veterans.

Though he acknowledged that inclusion into the Hall of Fame was a significant honor, Schwachenwald praised the people that got him there.

“It’s everybody who helped me do things, the support people, the volunteers who stepped forward,” he said. “That success is based on teamwork.”

He also credited his wife of 59 years, Lois, as his biggest supporter. The couple has four children, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Schwachenwald is still involved in veterans’ projects, much to his own surprise.

“Everything’s good. I never thought at 81 I’d still be doing this, but it’s very rewarding,” he said.

He and the other 19 honorees, chosen from among 119 nominations, will be recognized for their accomplishments and achievements at the 26th annual Induction Ceremony on November 9, in Dublin.

Members of the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame are honored in a permanent display at the Ohio Statehouse at Riffe Center, 77 South High Street, in Columbus.

Past Hall of Fame honorees have included astronaut Neil Armstrong, actor Paul Newman, business entrepreneur and philanthropist R. David Thomas, and surgeon and inventor Dr. Henry Heimlich.

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