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Operation Never Forget to remember three local troops

Volunteers needed in $20,000 effort

A campaign to have three bronze busts of Logan County’s three fallen servicemen in the War on Terror is under way with Doug Chivington leading the push

Doug Chivington, background, talks at Monday’s Bellefontaine Rotary Club meeting about Operation Never Forget which helps create the life-size busts of fallen servicemen and women from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. (EXAMINER PHOTO | JOEL E. MAST)

Mr. Chivington told the Bellefontaine Rotary Club on Monday it was his first public plea for donations to cover the estimated $20,000 cost to produce the sculptures and set them in public locations for display.

—Video of meeting available below—

He is working with Operation Never Forget and this is the first project in Ohio which has lost nearly 200 servicemen and women in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Working with the Logan County Veterans Service Office, he contacted the families of the county’s fallen warriors and each agreed to participate.

“We don’t make cold calls to the families,” he said.

His goal is to have a bust made for Sgt. Jeremy Hodge, a 20-year-old Ohio National Guardsman who was the county’s first and youngest loss on Oct. 10, 2005, in Iraq; Gunny Sergeant David Spicer, a Marine ordnance disposal technician who died July 13, 2009, in Afghanistan; and Staff Sergeant Dennis Hansen, who started his military career in the Marine Corps, but died while serving in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division on Dec. 5, 2009, in Afghanistan.

GSgt. Spicer’s family wants his bust to be displayed at his alma mater, Benjamin Logan High School, while SSgt. Hansen’s will end up at Indian Lake High School.

The project needs to raise the money by June 30 so that a presentation ceremony can be conducted on Nov. 11 in the Holland Theatre.

He said contributions are needed as are volunteers to help with a fundraising committee and the events committee.

All of the fundraising is under the United Charitable Programs and this project’s number is 102257.

Mr. Chivington, who has been involved with the Wounded Warrior Project, already has scheduled the first event for March 18 at Blue Jacket Park. It is a 24-hour running and walking event around the park’s track.

His friend Todd Bumgardner is training for a 100-mile run and will take to the track from 9 p.m. on March 18 to 9 a.m. March 19.

Also planned is an April 9 event at the Hilliker YMCA, 300 Sloan Boulevard, at which Olympic Gold Medalist Bob Schul is scheduled to appear. He won the 5,000-meter race at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964.

Mr. Chivington is a Honda associate who is volunteering his time on the project. He has two sons: Julian who was wounded while serving in the Army and is now a police officer after two years of recovery; and Jeremy, who is currently in the Air Force.

To reach Mr. Chivington, call 441-5724 or e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

On the web at operationneverforget.org

CLICK HERE to watch video of Doug Chivington's Operation Never Forget presentation to the Bellefontaine Rotary Club Monday at Chattan Loch, 212 E. Columbus Ave. 

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