Wellston Residents Unite For Fallen National Guard Soldier

By
Taylor Mirfendereski

Dateline
Updated Tue, Apr 17, 2012 2:51 pm

A Jackson County community came together today to pay their respects to a military hero who gave his life half a world away.

Master Sergeant Shawn T. Hannon, 44, of Grove City, was one of three national guard soldiers from Ohio killed by a suicide bomber in northern Afghanistan on April 4. The attack left 13 dead and several more wounded.

Jackson County residents are honoring the fallen soldier, who was buried at Ridgewood Cemetary in Wellston at 2:30 this afternoon, where he has familial ties.

Local residents lined the street of Pennsylvania Avenue from Route 32 and waved American flags as a Patriot Guard motorcade led the precession to the Wellston cemetary.

Arnold Tripp, veterans service officer for Jackson County, said the veteran services office distributed at least 1500 flags around the community to show support for fallen soldier and his family.

"Small town southern Ohio is the most patriotic part of the country that you're going to find," said Tripp. "I would hope the family could see the love and respect that is being paid. They're going to get a good small town welcome."

Tripp said some local businesses on the Pennsylvania Avenue have posted signs that read, "Thank you for your service. Thank you for your sacrifice."

Wellston City Schools released students from class two hours early in honor of the master sergeant.

Hannon was a member of the Ohio National Guard's 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. He served in the military for more than 19 years, first enlisting into the United States Army Reserve as a parachute rigger. During his service, he also served as a communications chief and cavalry scout, and he served two deployments.

He received his law degree from Capital University and worked for the Department of Veterans Services as chief legal counsel. 

Hannon was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic service, a Purple Heart for being wounded in combat and the Ohio Distinguished Service Medal. The Ohio National Guard postumously promoted Hannon from sergeant 1st class to master sergeant.

His funeral service was held at the Grove City United Methodist Church on Monday.

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