FILE: Col. John Devillier (right) became the new Installation Commander and 88th Air Base Wing commander in a ceremony held Thursday at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Devillier replaces Col. Cassie Barlow (center) who has retired. At left is Lt. Gen. C.D. Moore, commander of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Three local Air Force vets to be honored in Columbus today

The state will honor three local veterans today in Columbus, including one who previously led Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Cassie Barlow and Frederick Pumroy — both of Greene County — and Fredric L. Abrams of Warren County will be among 20 Ohio veterans celebrated during an 11 a.m. ceremony today for recently being inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame. Barlow is the former installation commander of Wright Patterson Air Force Base’s 88th Air Base Wing.

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The three were part of the 27th group of veterans inducted in a November ceremony. To commemorate their induction, Deborah Ashenhurst, director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, will unveil a plaque at the Riffe Center in Columbus today.

“It’s a huge honor,” Barlow said. “I can’t completely put it into words what it felt like.”

The hall of fame was established in 1992 by former Gov. George Voinovich. It recognizes outstanding professional achievement, service to the community and selfless acts of vets, according to a release.

Charter members of the hall’s class of 1992 included six Ohio military vets who were elected President of the United States and all Medal of Honor recipients from Ohio. The honorees have included astronauts, volunteers, community leaders, safety officers, veteran advocates and former government officials.

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Since leaving the Air Force, both Barlow and Pumroy have remained active in the community.

Barlow joined the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education in 2017 as director of the Aerospace Professional Development Center and moved into the chief operations officer position soon after. She later took on the job of interim president at SOCHE, a consortium of 23 colleges in the region that is dedicated to promoting higher education and paths to employment.

Pumroy has served as the vice president of the Fairborn Performing Arts and Cultural Association and as a member of the Fairborn City Council.

“When we’re in the military, we’re all in it together for that larger purpose,” Barlow said. “To be able to have that larger purpose when you retire…It’s good to be able to continue to give back to the community.”

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