MASON — Superlatives in their respective fields were recognized when the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 of Mason held its annual Loyalty Day Dinner recently.
Among the honored was National V.F.W. Firefighter of the Year Greg Kaylor, who earlier won the title on the post, district and state levels.
Kaylor is an over 40-year veteran of the New Haven and Community Volunteer Fire Department. He has held the offices of junior fire chief, secretary, lieutenant, president and chief, and is the current financial auditor, chairperson of the fundraising committee, and chairman of the grievance committee. A former Emergency Medical Technician, Kaylor has also worked as a dispatcher for the Mason County Sheriff’s Department, police officer for the Town of New Haven, a sheriff’s deputy, and chief of police for the Town of Mason.
He was presented a plaque and a number of certificates by Post Commander Ray Varian, and District 2 Commander Jeff Elkins, who served as guest speaker.
Recognized as district winners were Police Officer of the Year Bryan Hill and Emergency Medical Technician of the Year Holly Davis.
Hill is the Natural Resources Police Officer for Mason County, a position he has held for four years. In 2017, he was named the West Virginia Natural Resource Officer of the Year. Hill is also a member of the West Virginia Honor Guard.
Davis is an EMT with the Mason County EMS, where she also serves as a dispatcher. A resident of Rutland, Davis is a firefighter with the Rutland Fire Department in Meigs County.
Recognized as post winners were Teacher of the Year Shannon Korn and Scout of the Year Ryan Harbour.
Korn is a teacher at Meigs Intermediate School, and has taught fourth grade for 20 years. Among the subjects she teaches are language arts, science and social studies.
Harbour attends Eastern High School. A member of Boy Scout Troop 235, he achieved the honor of Eagle Scout in June 2017.
Four other youth award winners were recognized. They were Isaiah Pauley, Allison Warth, Savannah Diehl and Bailey Caruthers.
Pauley was recognized as a three-time post winner of the Voice of Democracy audio-essay contest. He is a senior at Wahama High School.
Warth is also a Wahama student. She is in the eighth grade and was the post winner of the Patriot’s Pen written essay contest.
Diehl and Caruthers were awarded college scholarships by the V.F.W. post. They are both seniors at Meigs High School.
V.F.W. Post member Randy VanMeter was presented the Gold Legacy Life Member Award. VanMeter devotes much of his time to helping his fellow veterans with their claims paperwork, as well as other service, it was announced.
Robert Caruthers served as emcee of the dinner. All of the awards were presented by Post Commander Ray Varian and District 2 Commander Jeff Elkins.
Elkins presented a history of Loyalty Day, and told those attending that loyalty can be shown more than on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. He noted Americans should be proud of our freedom and proud of our communities. Elkins said people can show their loyalty and patriotism by casting their ballots in elections, displaying their flags, and just generally showing their pride in America.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.