Avon to Honor Vets Who Gave All


Air Force Capt. John M. Barelka (top), Marine Cpl. David F. Schneider (left) and Army Sgt. Patrick E. Smith, Jr.

The City of Avon will honor and pay tribute to three local military veterans who were killed while on active military duty. The Memorial Ceremony Tribute will be held on Wednesday, May 18, from 1:30 pm to 2:15 pm at Avon High School located at 37545 Detroit Road.

Honored will be Marine Corporal David F. Schneider, who was killed in Vietnam in 1968;  Army Sergeant Patrick E. Smith Jr., who was killed in Vietnam in 1968, and Air Force Captain John Barelka, who was killed in an F16 training accident in Nevada in 1993.

Plaques will be given to the families and the plaques of Schneider and Barelka will be placed on the outside entrance wall of Avon High School from where they graduated.   Attending the Memorial Ceremony Tribute will be representatives from Clearview High School, Lorain, Ohio who will accept the plaque of Smith Jr. from where he graduated.

The Chaplain will be Father Joe Piskura, a retired Army Colonel who served in Vietnam with the 25th Infantry Division and the 196th Light Infantry Brigade earning numerous military awards including the Bronze Star.

Also included in the program are the Avon Lake American Legion Post 211 Honor Guard, the Amherst American Legion Post 118 Riders, the Patriot Guard Riders of Division Three and representatives from the Avon VFW Post 7035.  The high school band and chorus will also participate as well as Piper Major Robert Durrach.

Refreshments will follow in the high school.

The public is welcome to attend, especially those who knew these men and all those who served.  All Avon High School alumni are also encouraged to attend.

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