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3 Daviess Countians among veterans hall of fame inductees

Messenger-Inquirer - 6/5/2024

Three Daviess Countians are among the 26 individuals who will be inducted into the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame Foundation as part of its Class of 2024.

Tommy Mullins, Dennis Newberry and Matt Ralph will have their names added later this year to the Veterans Hall of Fame monument at Smothers Park.

“Just to be nominated for possible induction into the Hall of Fame is a great honor,” foundation Regional Governor Adrian Bambini said. “Selection into the Hall of Fame is a capstone event for most veterans, as the entrance/selection criteria is based on an entire life’s worth of dedication to others.”

Bambini said the criteria for induction, in addition to having served in the military, is tied to three areas: leadership, volunteerism and advocacy.

“We’re basically looking at everything a person has done in support of his fellow man since they left the military,” he said.

Mullins, who served in the U.S. Army, has been involved in many veteran-focused projects within the greater Daviess County area. He helped establish and is an officer in the local V.E.T (Veterans Empowered Together) program, which coordinates many diverse veteran support activities. As a Gold Star dad, he and his wife Cathy have established the Brandon Mullins Memorial Fund, which conducts a number of events during the year generating funds to provide scholarships and specialized services to local veterans and their dependents.

“Tommy’s at every event I go to,” Bambini said. “He’s just not the vocal guy who wants the limelight.”

Newberry, also served in the U.S. Army and held numerous leadership positions in the county for more than 40 years, including within the Texas Gas Corporation, lastly as its president and chief executive officer. He has held numerous volunteer roles, such as chairman of the Owensboro Symphony Board of Directors, a trustee of Kentucky Wesleyan College, chairman of the board of AAA of KY, and director of the Southern Seminary Foundation.

He is a recipient of a Congressional Gold Medal for his service during World War II.

“Mr. Newberry is 96 years old, but he’s still quite active,” Bambini said. “He stays involved.”

Ralph, the youngest member of this year’s class at age 44, served in the U.S. Marine Corps. As the vice chairman of Honor Flight Bluegrass board of directors, he has helped coordinate many honor flight missions. He also helped coordinate the annual Owensboro Emergency Services Gala, which honors local first responders. He has also done work with cancer survivors within the Angels for Avery program, and he helped initiate the Military Skills Bridge Program for his company, which helps veterans transition into civilian careers after leaving the military.

“He’s really volunteer driven,” Bambini said. “And it’s nice to have somebody that young be part of it.”

Additionally, Daviess County’s Linda Preuss Bambini will be inducted into the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame Auxillary unit for her exemplary service to the HOF.

Bambini, a former teacher, has held leadership positions for 55-plus years in the local community, is a graduate of Leadership Owensboro and has been inducted into the Kentucky Academic Coaches Hall of Fame. She has been the “script” writer preparing the biographical information on HOF inductees, helped with event planning and with many other aspects of HOF operations, as well as being a mainstay in HOF actions in the greater Daviess County area.

“She takes on more and more responsibilities,” said Bambini of his wife.

A photo session/meet the press event, which includes a formal introduction of the class of 2024, will be held Aug. 8 at the Embassy Suites Hotel (Coldstream) in Lexington.

The Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame Foundation will hold its annual “gala” on Sept. 6, which will include an introduction of the Class of 2024. The swearing in of the Class of 2024 will be Sept. 7.

There is no charge to attend either the meet the press event or the induction ceremony.


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