Call ahead to give soldiers a ‘bright and loud’ welcome home

We ran a Sound Off letter from Kent Johnson a couple of weeks back, and I would like to make mention of it again. It’s a fantastic new program established by Port Clinton Police Chief Rob Hickman and Fire Chief Kent Johnson. They want to establish a program to honor local soldiers and sailors returning from deployment overseas.
“In many circles, there seems to be a better understanding of the sacrifices made by the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces,” said Johnson in his letter. “Service men and women still receive applause walking through airports, even though 9/11 was 10 years ago. Chief Hickman and I have been trying to obtain a list of individual service members from the City of Port Clinton currently serving our country.”
It hasn’t been easy. The two chiefs want to give these brave men and women a proper welcome. All they need is 24-hour notice and they will provide a “Bright and Loud” escort from the city limits to the home or meeting place of the returning soldier, sailor, Marine or airman. So, if you have a son, daughter, brother, sister, aunt or uncle who is returning from service overseas, contact Kent at 419-734-3430 and they would be “honored” to announce the return of another American Hero.
One example might be Ben Michael Ihnat of Port Clinton who is seen here receiving his Combat Infantry Badge for being present in a forward area under enemy fire actively engaged in ground combat.

I need to warn you all — next week, the Great Swami, returns for an insightful look at what will be the top news stories of 2022! Remember, it’s all in fun and sometimes over the past 28 years, the Great Swami has even been correct in his prognostication.

Joan Sabacz, of Marblehead, was selected as our “Find Wylie” winner this week. She found our friendly fish hiding in the ad for Gerner-Wolf-Walker Funeral Homes on page 6A last week. Joan wins a $20 gift card from Friendship Food Stores. We’ll be hiding Wylie again this week. If you find him, just drop off an entry form at our office in the Beacon Place Business Center, or hit the Find Wylie icon at

Two old friends passed away during the Christmas holidays. Ken McAtee died on Christmas day. We worked together on a number of Kiwanis projects over the years. Ken instituted the Kiwanis Law Enforcement Officer of the Year awards and carried it through until just a couple of years ago. We played golf in a number of Kiwanis outings. I followed his foursome one time and had an awful time finding our golf balls because Ken would scatter the ground ahead of us with marshmallows!!! Ken loved to laugh and loved to have a good time.

Last week we told you about Mayor Debbie Hymore-Tester’s challenge with Toledo Mayor Mike Bell. Well, David beats Goliath again! In just an hour and a half, the mayor raised more than $1,000 for Salvation Army at Bassett’s Market. She not only won the bet, but smoked him by an 8-to-1 margin!

The American Red Cross Bloodmobile will be returning to St. Paul Lutheran Church on Church Road in Marblehead on Tuesday, Jan. 3, and Catawba Township Hall on Saturday, Jan. 7. I learned this week that my next pint donation will take me up to the 4-gallon level! So I have a 10 a.m. “date with destiny” on Jan. 7 at Catawba Township Hall.

We received notification of a vacancy on the Catawba Island Township Zoning Board. If you live on Catawba and would like to serve, call 419-797-4131 or stop by the Catawba Township Administration Office on Cemetery Road Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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