Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Inducts Tri-C’s Rick DeChant

Honor Recognizes Coast Guard Veteran’s Service to Country and Community

Rick DeChant took leadership of the Veterans Initiative at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) after serving more than two decades with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Then he built a career that led to the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame.

The state will induct DeChant into its Veterans Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 9. He is one of 20 veterans being honored for making outstanding contributions to society after leaving active duty.

DeChant became executive director of Tri-C’s Veterans Initiative in 2007 and dedicated himself to serving those who served. The program opens its doors to all veterans and their families, regardless of whether they are students at the College.

The goal, DeChant frequently says, is for Tri-C to become a home base and beacon of hope for Northeast Ohio’s military community.

Mission accomplished.

Under DeChant’s guidance, Cuyahoga Community College has continually earned national recognition as a Military Friendly School for its commitment to veterans, active military members and their families.

His accomplishments include launching the Tri-C Veterans Education Connection at the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center in 2010. The groundbreaking program provides distance learning opportunities for veterans getting treatment at the center.

In addition, DeChant has overseen the expansion of Veterans Services Centers at two Tri-C campuses and taken an active role in numerous local, state and national projects benefiting veterans.

DeChant retired from the Coast Guard Reserve in 2008, a few months after beginning his tenure at Tri-C. His decorated years of service included tours in the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame was created in 1992 to recognize the accomplishments of veterans. Bronze plaques representing each inducted class hang on permanent display at the Vern Riffe Center in Columbus.

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