Major General Deborah Ashenhurst read a proclamation of congratulations from Governor Mike DeWine honoring the 2019 Veteran of the Year Otto Wenzlick during the annual Veteran of the Year program on Saturday. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)
Major General Deborah Ashenhurst read a proclamation of congratulations from Governor Mike DeWine honoring the 2019 Veteran of the Year Otto Wenzlick during the annual Veteran of the Year program on Saturday. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)
CONTINENTAL — Otto Wenzlick, Ottoville, was honored as the 2019 Putnam County Veteran of the Year on Saturday.

2019 represents the fifth year the Putnam County Veteran’s Service Commission has hosted the Veteran of the Year recognition banquet. Five veteran servicemen received nominations for this year’s annual award. The other nominees included Jack Etter, John Mathias, Edward Rau, and David Yoder. The event was hosted by Continental American Legion Post 651.

Veterans Service Officer Kristi Powell said things they look at for Veteran of the Year is their involvement in the community and how they serve veterans. She said Wenzlick had done remarkable things his entire life to serving Putnam County.

Wenzlick, current commander of Ottoville VFW Post 3740, has served in that position for 20 years.

“I feel there are many who are more deserving of this honor,” said Wenzlick.

Major General Deborah Ashenhurst read a proclamation of congratulations honoring Wenzlick from Governor Mike DeWine during the ceremony. Ashenhurst, the guest speaker on Saturday, is the director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services.

Special recognition was also given Saturday to Joe Moenter, who serves as the Putnam County Veteran’s Service Officer. He has been in this position for 27 years. Moenter is retiring this year.

The Veteran’s Service also recognized several veterans from the Korean and Vietnam Wars. New this year was recognition for the men and women deployed in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

General Ashenhurst said Governor DeWine is always asking her what else can be done to make it better for veterans. She said there are almost 800,000 veterans in Ohio and over 1,800 veterans in Putnam County.

“Those in the military are an elite group,” she said, “We have to have the best of the best.”