Chillicothe — As I wrote yesterday, Bob Leach has been working on a book describing all Ross Countians who died in service in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, but he has had good reasons to delay it.
Bob Leach says he is now holding up publication for a local War on Terrorism monument. There are Ross County monuments for all previous twentieth-century wars that he covered, but not for the latest.
But local veterans’ organizations have approved a design and are starting to raise funds to commemorate Ross Countians Gavin Colburn, Aaron Reed, Brad Clemmons, and Josh Gire, he says. That will complete having monuments for all 321 names in his book.
The monument in Veterans Park should be finished in about a year, which is when Leach says he will finally publish. The monument will be built between the Korean and Vietnam monuments in the Chillicothe park at Yoctangee Parkway and Park and Chestnut streets.
(Additionally, Melody Lapczynski Hatfield is working towards having the city utilities building next door turned into a walk-through veterans museum once the city vacates it for combined city facilities in the former “Pepsi Warehouse” on East Seventh Street – more on that soon. She previously wrote a book on the Carlisle Building and helped get Chillicothe listed as a Purple Heart City.)
Leach gave a talk at the Ross County Genealogical Society Tuesday evening entitled “The Stories Behind The Names (Those Who Did Not Return) – Local Ross County Military Lost in Battle.”
Leach focuses only on the twentieth and twenty-first century wars in his upcoming book – World War I to the War or Terrorism – but he says there is now interest in commemorating those who served in the 1898 Spanish-American War.
He said veterans of the War on Terrorism felt a connection with them, and want to add a monument in Veterans Park to the three known servicemen who died in that effort…after they accomplish a monument for their own war.
Leach says funding has just started for that, and information will be shared soon to support the War on Terrorism monument.
Bob Leach says the best way to contact him is through the VFW at 740 / 772-1939, or email at [email protected].
You can watch the Ross County Genealogical Society’s 38-minute Facebook Live video of Leach’s talk on their page. (It also has captioning available.)
Hear Kevin Coleman’s July 18th, 2023 interview with Bob Leach on his book: