GREENVILLE – Local veteran and Greenville resident Gaylen “Becky” Blosser will be honored this year at Cedarville University’s annual Veteran’s Day ceremony on Monday, Nov. 12.
“It’s a real big honor, but I’m no hero. I’ve never claimed to be,” Blosser said.
The service will feature special music by the Cedarville Symphonic Band and the University’s choral groups to commemorate Veteran’s Day.
“Veteran’s Day is really important to our nation,” Blosser said. “And to me, I’m proud I served.”
The Cedarville University Veteran’s Day ceremony annually brings in over 4,000 attendees, and will take place in the Dixon Ministry Center at 10 a.m..
Cedarville’s associate professor of economics, Col. Jeffrey Haymond, Ph.D., will also speak at the event.
Cedarville University interviewed and discussed Blosser’s history before the ceremony, and will be using the information to stage a live-action dramatization of Blosser’s life story.
“I’m really proud I served, but it doesn’t make me more special than anyone else,” Blosser said. “You don’t go to the service to be a hero.”
Blosser said that serving in the military taught him a great deal when he was very young.
“I learned to appreciate what I have and never complain about anything,” Blosser said.
Blosser volunteered to be drafted into service at 19 years-old, and eventually went on to serve in the Alpha Company, First Battalion 46th Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, America Division (23rd Infantry Division).
Blosser remembers going to the Bellefontaine courthouse to volunteer, where he talked to the female draft administrator.
“I can still remember this little metal three-by-five box. She flipped that lid up and just thumbed through the cards, found mine, and stuck it in the front,” Blosser said as he smiled. “They took me seriously! Yeah, they did.”
Blosser took part in one of Vietnam’s more decisive conflicts called Operation Lamar Plain, which began in early May of 1969. Blosser, along with the 196 Light Infantry Brigade, was tasked to stabilize North Vietnamese forces after their major offensive throughout American area of operations.
“It’s well documented. It was one of the bigger battles of the war, but it didn’t get the publicity that some of them do,” Blosser said.
As Blosser looked back on his military service during the weekend, he thought about each new generation that contributes to the nation’s military.
“I always looked up to the World War II veterans,” Blosser reflected. “I knew (the holiday) was for me, but I felt like Veteran’s Day was for the older guys. Now I am one of them.”
During his two-year service in the military, Blosser was awarded several honors, including the Bronze Star, the Republic of Vietnam Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge, and a Presidential Unit Citation.