GALION — Veterans who work at Brothers Body and Equipment were in for a special treat Tuesday when the director of the Ohio Department of Veteran Services (ODVS) showed up at the business to honor them.
Deborah Ashenhurst, a retired major general of the Ohio Army National Guard and now director of the ODVS, shared remarks and presented the veterans at Brothers Body and Equipment with challenge coins.
These employees were recognized: Dustin Tomecko, Russ Montgomery, Josh Snyder, Gary Horsley, David Jones and Christopher Seiley.
Michael Horn, president of Brothers Body and Equipment and a veteran himself, said the ODVS has been calling him for two years wanting to come up and visit the business.
“So finally, the timing worked out and I told them to come on up,” Horn said.
Also on hand for the event was Tammy Puff, military and veterans liaison for Governor Mike DeWine.
“We’re a federal government contractor and we build a lot of military equipment here, so they know who we are,” Horn said. “They just want to come out and recognize veteran-owned companies and veterans for the work that we provide.”
Matt Horn, operations manager at Brothers Body and Equipment, said 95-percent of the business at the company is government or military.
“We like having veterans building military equipment,” Michael said.
As the ceremony started, Michael introduced the veterans who work at the company and said they are the ones who get the job done.
“We’ve been here since 2006. We manufacture anything and everything for many different types of governments … foreign and domestic, and a lot of commercial customers, as well,” Michael said. “But it’s these guys who really make it all happen. We’re proud of all of our veterans, and I’m especially proud that we get veterans who help make stuff that the military is going to put to good use.”
“I’m thrilled to be here,” Ashenhurst said. “We have 800,000 veterans in Ohio and I’m increasing the amount of veterans I meet by being here today.
“To find somebody who is a disabled veteran himself, owns a business that still services the (Department of Defense) and goes to the extraordinary measures to hire other veterans is certainly someone I want to partner with and link up with and figure out how the magic works.
“We can help other organizations in Ohio understand how to hire veterans, because we all know what veterans bring to the table. Veterans don’t just bring an employee. They bring a work ethic. They bring a certain quality of person as dedicated as you all are to the job.
“So I like to exploit people like Michael, who show how it works and that it’s worth the effort to go out and find veterans for the right job,” she said. “It’s because of people like (Michael), demanding quality of each other and demanding quality of the product that you build is what makes America so great.”
Addressing Michael Horn, she concluded: “Thank you for your extraordinary efforts to make sure veterans in Ohio have an opportunity. That is huge in my world.”