AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Patriot’s Day program was held for the 11th time at the Austintown Quaker Steak and Lube Thursday evening.
It’s an event that honors veterans and those who help veterans.
World War II Marine Corps veteran John Poptic of Newton Falls was one of the honorees at the evening’s Patriot Day program.
He’ll be 98 on Saturday and still fits in his uniform blues.
“I still weigh about 260 pounds. Pretty good I say, for an old rookie like me,” Poptic said.
John Zubick of New Springfield, a marine who served in Afghanistan, was also recognized for his service.
“It’s a great feeling of honor. Just to see the support of everybody that comes out and shows,” Zubick said.
Ken Keonig of Mineral Ridge spent 26 years in the Marines, including tours in Iraq.
His service left him using a cane.
“Got a lot of skeletal problems, waiting on pending back surgery,” he said. “This helps me around so I don’t fall and embarrass my wife.”
The Fitch Concert Choir performed patriotic songs, and a Bill Dotson original was played during a special presentation for Pearl Harbor survivor Bob Bishop.
The main focus was on the 13 men and women being honored — like Korean War veteran and former Youngstown policeman John Fromel — along with Vietnam Veterans Skip Cole and three-time purple heart recipients Bob Cooper and Roger Bacon.
“I probably am different than a lot of people. I treasure the time I had in there,” Bacon said.
Rain forced most people under tents, but the program kept going.
These were veterans, after all — they’ve seen a lot worse than this.