AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Thursday at the Austintown Quaker Steak and Lube, the community came together to honor veterans. 13 brave men and women who served in the military received plaques and were recognized for their service.
For 16 years Ken Jakubec has been organizing Patriots’ Day — a celebration of military service at the Austintown Quaker Steak and Lube.
“My mission is to tell the story of these brave men and women that served. You don’t read about it anymore. When you come here and listen to their bios you’re hearing living history,” said Jakubec.
One of these living heroes is John Turner who spent 33 years in the military, served in every major conflict since the Vietnam War and has at least 40 military awards.
“Served in Vietnam, Gulf War stateside. Served in Iraq in 2003. I served in Germany, the Philippines, Kuwait, Japan,” said Turner.
He said he followed his father into military service.
“My dad served in World War II. My uncle was in Normandy,” said Tunrer.
Another one of those living legends is Jim Kaster. He was drafted for the Vietnam War and was awarded a Bronze Star.
“1967 during the Tet Offense to 1968,” said Kaster.
Others honored Thursday night continue to give back even after leaving the service by instructing would-be service members.
Kevin Riley now teaches aerospace technology at Fitch High School after spending 31 years in the Air Force.
“The second song they sang, God Bless the USA, has a special ring to me and it gets me every time. It started out, I was looking for a job but once I got in the comradery, the fraternity of being in the military– there is something special about it,” said Riley.